SoCure, a New York startup, has started a pilot program that uses facial biometrics to authenticate financial services customers.
The pilot started a couple of months ago. So far the company is scoring a fail rate in the 3% range, which SoCure considers a good result. The company did not say when the pilot would conclude.
The SoCure pilot is noteworthy because biometrics offers a unique way of authenticating users. Biometrics means the use of biological data for authentication. In other words, instead of using an image of your face for authentication, biometrics creates data points based on a facial scan, such as the distance between your eyes, and uses those data points for future authentication.
With facial biometrics, SoCure is going down an interesting path, betting that your face can replace your password.
SoCure also has another product that uses “social biometrics,” which is data from a user’s social media practices.
SoCure maintains that its technology is better than conventional authentication or facial recognition, because it authenticates quickly and comprehensively, and in a non-obtrusive manner. SoCure makes its technology available in a SaaS API at an annual subscription. The API should allow for easier integration into existing technology stacks, CEO Sunil Madhu said.
SoCure has filed patents for the facial biometrics technology and created an SDK for app developers. This might be obvious, but the facial biometrics is opt-in and is only activated when a user accepts a prompt.
Social biometrics is the company’s main product right now. SoCure uses propriety software to analyze social media interactions from channels like Facebook and Twitter. This creates an “authenticity rating” from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). Every user starts out with a score of 5, and those without social media accounts are left at that score so banks can follow up with those users for more information.
The system works, and quickly too – the score is generated in real-time and has slim margin of error. First, the technology parses through duplicate profiles. For example, I’m certainly not the only Ian Kar in the world, but SoCure’s technology looks at where my IP address originated from, my age, gender, demographic, location, and other data that I put in in my application and determines whether I am actually attempting to open a new account or someone else’s. SoCure also applied behavioral models to make sure the interactions I make online are authentic or if they seem artificial.
SoCure’s most recent funding round — a $2 million raise — closed last March, according to Crunchbase.