Executive Spotlight Series with William Roof from Intellicheck
What can you tell us about Intellicheck and Intellicheck's involvement within the payments industry?
Intellicheck provides technology solutions that go to the heart of fraud prevention and loss and an improved customer experience. Our payment industry partners use our technology solutions throughout their retail establishments to authenticate identification for people making purchases and applying for store credit cards that are underwritten by our payment partners. Retail ID and Retail ID mobile can be integrated in point-of-sale systems or used on tablets and smartphones to significantly improve the customer experience while delivering fraud prevention which speaks directly to the bottom line. Our technology is also applicable to customers purchasing gift cards. The fraud associated with store-specific credit card applications and gift card purchases remains a significant, ongoing problem. Our payment industry partners realize tremendous reductions in fraud losses due to significantly enhanced loss prevention when they implement our solutions. Because our technology solutions also auto-populate key form data, information input mistakes are alleviated and customer delays associated with filling out forms are eliminated as well. In addition, we support establishments selling age-restricted products like alcoholic beverages and tobacco with Age ID. Like Retail ID and Retail ID mobile, Age ID provides instant, real time results regarding the authenticity of bar-coded IDs like driver licenses to assure sales are made only to age appropriate individuals. This is critical given the importance of regulatory compliance and the associated risks which can include the loss of license.
What makes Intellicheck superior to other authentication platforms?
At Intellicheck, we like to say we have the “CURE” for fraud in the payment industry. We view our superior product as exhibiting key criteria in the areas of Cost, Usability, Reliability and Effectiveness. Any anti-fraud solution provided to the payment industry must be affordable. Expensive authentication platforms, if they show a return on investment, will do so over a longer period of time than Intellicheck’s solutions. Additionally, store personnel must find the solution easy and fast to use so customer throughput is not degraded and customers are not queued in checkout lines as might be experienced with slower, more expensive systems. Of course, the solution must be reliable. Intellicheck has been providing fraud-fighting systems like Retail ID to the payments industry for over 20 years. We have extensive product distribution and our product has been proven to be rock-solid with customers that range from Fortune 500 enterprises to local hometown businesses. Effectiveness is really the end result of cost, usability and reliability. The system must be affordable, easy to use, always work and be easily upgraded as new ID formats are released by issuing jurisdictions from motor vehicle bureaus to government identification documents. Ultimately, effectiveness is measured by the payments industry in terms of cost-of-fraud and fraud reduction. Our users are realizing exceptional results in both as well as an improved customer experience after implementing our technology solutions
You recently announced a patent in Biometric authentication. What are the implications for that for the payments industry?
The use of biometrics in the “identification” business, whether in support of the payments industry or in some other context such as homeland security, is becoming more mainstream. That said, there are issues with biometrics that continue to be examined on a number of levels beginning with what some consider to be the intrusive nature of these approaches, whether the biometric is a fingerprint, iris scan, or perhaps facial recognition. All these approaches require the biometric identifier, a person’s private information, to reside in data storage so there can be a match between the stored data and the person. Many people do not want their biometric data stored in a database that can be subject to intrusion or hacking. Also, storing biometric data off-site, in a cloud for example, requires a network connection to access and match the data. So, even the process can be an issue because without a network connection, the process stalls. Our patent actually matches the fingerprint of the person presenting the card with an image of the fingerprint that is encrypted and stored locally on the card, in a small chip. This means that the owner of the ID carries their biometric data with them, on the card, not in a remote database and, obviously, a stolen card is of no use given the fingerprint match requirement. For the payments industry, knowing that an individual is presenting an authentic ID and that the person presenting the ID is the owner of the ID has far-reaching implications that go beyond reducing fraud to include such critical factors as customer confidence and trust.
How do you see the authentication industry evolving?
Given that the authentication industry is highly segmented, we will continue to see these segments deploying different solutions depending upon perceived risk. Clearly, authentication solutions that protect people and facilities, such as military bases or critical infrastructure, require a high standard of authentication distinct from the solution designed to address banking and retail fraud or prevent the purchase of alcoholic beverages by minors. We see trends in homeland security ID authentication out in front of non-critical segments in terms of biometrics and more exotic technologies. Eventually, we believe there will be a combination of existing technologies as new technologies continue to evolve. Emerging technologies, such as our ChromaID solution, will change the face of authentication validation in the very near future.
What are some of the challenges Intellicheck faces to ensure that your products remain consistently accurate and reflect market needs?
We see a tsunami of high quality counterfeit IDs sweeping across our country such as those that come from China. Counterfeiters actively seek and use new technologies to improve the quality of their counterfeit documents. We are always working to understand, predict and operate in a proactive manner to keep ahead of the counterfeiters. While our current industry leading technology solutions have repeatedly demonstrated their effectiveness, we are keenly aware of the need to stay one step ahead of these evolving threats. Ultimately, we need a technology that is, essentially, “counterfeit proof.” At Intellicheck, we believe we have this technology and are working on product development to bring it to market. This new technology, ChromaID, along with our existing, proven technologies, will give the edge to markets ranging from banking, payments and retail to law enforcement and defense. We expect to keep the "bad guys" scrambling to catch up.