A Digital Transformation in Healthcare

The term “social distancing” otherwise a relatively unknown phrase just 12 months ago is now one of the top searches on Google. The healthcare industry has been forced to rethink their entire practice due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They have had to quickly adopt digital technology such as artificial intelligence, precision medicine and telehealth services to create touchless options for checking and onboarding patients. And as this “touchless” form of healthcare becomes the new norm, adopting a digital streamlined approach for patient onboarding is imperative for the survival of society.
Read more about what Acuant CEO Yossi Zekri had to say on the topic recently in Healthcare IT Today.

Deploying Digital Identity Solutions in Healthcare is Long Overdue — With the Current Crisis, It Is More Critical Than Ever

The healthcare industry in the United States faces many challenges including  mountains of paperwork, fluctuating policies, payment structures and a bureaucratic process that can do more damage than good. All of this is further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to mandated social distancing and limited non-essential office visits. The response has been a massive investment into and the adoption of digital technology such as artificial intelligence, precision medicine and an uptick in telehealth usage creating “touchless” options for onboarding patients. As the healthcare system makes this rapid evolution to embrace digital transformation, the benefits – and incentives for adopting a more streamlined approach—are more apparent than ever before.

The onboarding of patients presents a prime example. This process is typically overburdened by redundant forms, the need to repeatedly present documents for identity and insurance requirements and other requests for information already on file somewhere in the system. The difficulties are compounded with poor record management, human error, and security of personally identifiable information (PII). And when circumstances require that this process be done remotely, the challenge is ten-fold. How can patient identity be collected, verified, and kept secure?

The case to automate secure data capture & identity verification

Digital Identity solutions allow healthcare officials and institutions to streamline and improve the onboarding process by eliminating extraneous paperwork, but it goes beyond cutting down on paperwork. Streamlining the intake process boosts efficiency by drastically cutting down on potential for human error during intake, reducing labor costs and time spent on rejected insurance claims owed to wrong or missing information, and can even prevent patient mismanagement and healthcare fraud.

Healthcare providers should take a page from the Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations adopted by the financial services industry. This practice verifies that the customer is who he or she claims to be, confirms that they are not on any prohibited watch lists, and assesses their general risk factors. This practice would afford medical offices, clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies with the ability to establish a trusted patient identity for administering care and ongoing treatment.

These verification checks, including document authentication and facial recognition match, can be added on to validate patient identity in one seamless workflow. Facial recognition can then be used to login to patient portals and even while administering care to prevent patient mismanagement. Automating the intake process enhances the operational efficiency, security, and the patient experience.

With proper affirmative consent, patient data can be remotely captured from medical insurance cards and government issued IDs. The patient’s electronic health record (EMR) is quickly auto populated with both data and images to keep accurate records. Institutions should look for solutions that are privacy minded, engaging encryption, cryptography and other data privacy measures to thwart data breaches and minimize hacking threats.

The need to protect customers and the industry from fraud

The combination of fear, loosened health care regulations, and expected stimulus payments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic could unleash a surge of health care scams and fraud. It is no secret that the healthcare industry has been under fire by fraudsters who have used consumer facing scams and payer facing fraud schemes –  both successfully and unsuccessfully – for years. Healthcare fraud in the U.S. approaches $300 billion annually. Implementing stronger protection for physician portals and EMRs and utilizing authenticating technologies easily diminishes the potential for identity theft and thereby returns money for the good of public health.

When a patient’s identity and privacy are compromised, not only do they suffer financial fallout, but the industry has to deal with the fraudulent claims and any legal fees they incurred because of the initial theft. This can tarnish a business’s reputation and it is critical to healthcare’s success to have a standardized, streamlined flow of patient information—one that includes identity safeguards.

Having the power to verify patient identity allows hospitals and other practices to confirm that any given record is accurate and up to date. It also provides the necessary  peace of mind to know that their patient data is not being used by malicious hackers or fraudsters. With identity verification solutions, medical professionals can protect customer information from falling into the wrong hands, but also ensure that medical records and health data are accurate. Errors in patient data could jeopardize future treatments and healthcare financial limits.

The demand for mobile and contactless healthcare experiences

During this pandemic and likely forever more, it is critical to have an effective method of treating patients virtually. Concerns of virus spread have significantly cut down in-office visits and going forward the need to decrease personal contact will likely increase. When doctors can recall patient information at a moment’s notice, it enhances the quality of their care, and their ability to interact with patients – no matter where they are. This also applies to patient care in non-traditional settings, such as specialized pharmacy administration and home health care.

Mobile identity solutions create a sense of self-sufficiency that many patients may prefer. With tablets and kiosk systems, patients can handle their own registration and check-in. This is another contributing factor to lowering labor costs and improving the patient experience. Self-service streamlines the registration process by further automating the input and recall of patient information while reducing errors.

That fact that digital identity solutions in healthcare have been rushed in by the current crisis is clear. But they are here to stay, and this is an opportunity to make much needed advancements. We have witnessed the impact of drive thru testing and the great response and need for more telehealth options that offer convenience and safety. These options can be made secure and provide the operational efficiency needed by institutions, while providing a better experience for all.

Learn more about Acuant Health

Transacting with Trust During COVID-19 & Beyond: Online/Mobile Identity Verification

We are in the midst of a global crisis. Many businesses around the world are closing their offices and instructing employees to work from home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, numerous retailers have begun to close their storefronts, as many people are self-quarantining for the next several weeks. And when people do venture out, health officials are recommending social distancing, which includes keeping a 6-foot buffer zone – making it difficult to perform in-person transactions.

In response, there has been a surge in online transactions as in-person transactions now have the danger of spreading the virus through an exchange of physical IDs and cards. There has also  been an increase in electronic payments as cash is considered a way to spread the virus. On the healthcare front, when U.S. lawmakers waived telehealth restrictions for Medicare, the flood doors opened for remote consultations. Now many doctors and medical facilities are using telemedicine to manage the high volume of patients.

Now that so many daily activities and transactions are being performed online, the need for identity verification is greater than ever to enable all of us to transact with trust. For retailers there’s likely an increase in payment fraud. In telemedicine and mobile medical practice management, there are HIPAA requirements to comply with and insurance coverage payouts to consider. Financial services companies will experience an increase in online banking and a need to comply with KYC/AML.

In every case, businesses should be asking consumers to submit identity verification. No matter your industry or use case, Acuant’s Trusted Identity Platform instantly prevents and reduces fraud making it easy to address risk, comply with regulations and provide an exceptional customer experience. We enable multi-factor Identity Verification in seconds, via any channel, on any device, from any location.

Acuant WebID™ allows users to seamlessly verify their identity across channels utilizing both Acuant AssureID™ and Acuant FaceID via HTML and their mobile device. Businesses can onboard consumers and verify identities any way they choose – including via the web, on a smartphone or within an app. For consumers, there is nothing to download, no app to install and an easy-to-follow mobile browser experience.  Businesses can easily integrate this within their system to be up and running quickly rather than spend time and budget on building out the front end.

Acuant FaceID offers biometric facial recognition match via a selfie and a liveness test. The customer snaps a picture of their government issued ID and then takes a selfie and a liveness test. The selfie image is compared to the identity document (which is authenticated) to verify a match and provide a confidence score in seconds. Acuant now offers NIST tested and iBeta certified Advanced Passive Liveness to further thwart the increasingly sophisticated fraud of deepfakes and video replay. All workflows protect personally identifiable information (PII) providing encryption to and from the cloud with no images or data being stored.

As organizations scramble to adapt to a rapidly changing way of life, it is important to maintain trust as the foundation of our economic and healthcare infrastructure. While many of us are trying to act responsibly in this challenging time, there will be those that seek to exploit this opportunity for their own gain. Identity verification solutions can give businesses a superior way to stop fraud, meet compliance standards, support government health directives and ultimately transact with trust online.

This current crisis begs the question of how far away we are from implementing digital IDs globally. It is evident that all should follow the lead of the EU and other countries when it comes to eIDs and digital identity. As we move towards a new normal, it will be critical for all to do trusted business digitally beyond COVID-19.

Make sure to sign-up for our next Acuant news update to hear about our latest development in digital identity management.

New call-to-action

What it Takes to Create Trusted Identities in a Digital Economy

Acuant CEO, Yossi Zekri, was interviewed in this exclusive with The Paypers. You can read the original here. Acuant was also a featured solutions provider in The Paypers Fraud Prevention and Online Authentication Report 2019/2020.


If we look at the current challenges faced in the identity-based transactions ecosystem, what risk issues are the most prevalent and why?

We all see the steady headlines regarding major data breaches and hackings that have penetrated leading corporations, which has yielded significant fake identities. Additionally, the rapid pace at which we have become a mobile-first world is now presenting new fraud challenges that businesses must quickly address.

AI-based identity fraud, including deepfakes and video replay, is also growing. Elementary identity proofing including passwords, social security numbers, and knowledge-based authentication are no longer viable for businesses who want to meet compliance regulations such as KYC and AML.

Synthetic identity fraud is another one to watch, and according to McKinsey, it is the fastest growing type of financial crime in the US, accounting for 80% of all credit card fraud losses. With synthetic ID fraud, there is no person to trace or collect from, so banks and lenders must take steps to prevent it. Financial institutions should look beyond a credit score and bring in third-party data such as social media accounts, cell phone records, previous addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers, while seeking a high degree of consistency for those attributes and ensure they are tied to a proven identity.

What must companies keep in mind when employing identity verification solutions?

There are no global standards today in identity verification, but there are solutions that offer a level of certainty for every level of risk. It is up to institutions to decide the amount of security they are requiring, and up to consumers to decide how much friction they are willing to bear. Consumers are more willing to bear it for things like opening a bank account as opposed to making a low value purchase on an app.

Establishing a trusted identity is the base for the digital identity of the future — and this is at the heart of what Acuant does. We believe you must start with document authentication to establish a trust anchor to set a level of trust associated with the initial identity/person. Afterwards, you can layer on specific solutions to further perform additional identity proofing (e.g. biometrics, device fingerprints, behavioural, data points etc.).

What role does the remote identity verification play in improving customer experience? Moreover, what are the best methods for verifying an identity remotely?

Being able to transact from anywhere at any time in today’s ‘On Demand’ culture has led to opportunities that can increase revenue, but also led to increased fraud attempts.

Verifying identities remotely creates additional challenges for businesses. They must be able to establish genuine presence, taking into account users’ risk appetite, and offer a diversity of solutions based on the type of transaction and the problem being solved. Once a trusted digital identity has been established, it paves the way for it to be re-used with less friction and increasing trust.

We recommend the use of multi-factor authentication, which can be quite swift and seamless today. The best methods start with capturing and authenticating a quality image of an identity document and then binding it to the person using the document with some form of biometric such as facial recognition with strong liveness test. For remote transactions this can be done via desktop or mobile device. Image capture features such as auto-cropping and glare detection can not only boost user experience, but also significanlty improve results 100%. Solutions must also be in real time, to decrease abandonment rates.

What is an identity corroboration hub?

An identity corroboration hub is the ability to build and a true digital identity. This means that you have established a verified identity via a trust anchor, tied it to a person, and now have access to a trusted identity platform that continuously authenticates this identity/person through real-time monitoring. Gartner has stated that by 2023, identity corroboration hubs will displace existing authentication platforms in more than 50% of large and global enterprises. They also state that there is a growing trend toward orchestrating identity proofing, fraud detection and orthodox credential-based methods that are traditionally used to provide confidence in the identity of returning customers.

The corroboration hub offers tracking and analysis of true identities linking their connections and their activities in real time, while protecting their privacy. This allows for true identity verification at any point in time, giving the ability to pinpoint fraud and also decide when and how you want to verify an identity (with what data points), expanding the scope of identity proofing.

Identity corroboration hubs prevent new account and transaction fraud, account takeovers, identifying the use of stolen or synthetic identities, and enable compliance with regulations such as KYC and AML.

How do AI and machine learning power up the current strategies of customer verification?

Is there any room left for manual checks in the future? Computer software can independently process millions of transactions at a rate unachievable by human experts and is necessary to scale. However, humans can apply their expertise and teach the computer how to spot the issues in the future. Human-assisted machine learning allows the model to improve through constant input and refinement of data with the oversight of a trusted identity expert.

This marriage of AI and human experts passes more good IDs/ customers, while catching sophisticated fakes, and providing a seamless customer experience. The key is to start with an automated solution that uses a strong algorithm, have a relevant data set, then add human oversight. And for cases where 100% certainty is needed or automated review was not able to provide an adequate answer for transaction, there is still manual review of documents by trained forensic experts.


Why You Can’t Believe Your Eyes: Deepfakes – the Newest Threat to Identity

The rapid rise of deepfake technology has become a hot topic. Celebrities and public figures have been prominently “featured” in viral deepfake videos – from the now-famous lip synching video of former President Obama, to the recent video seamlessly morphing comedian Bill Hader into Tom Cruise, then Seth Rogan. But there is a very real threat here masked by the entertainment factor.

Deepfake activity was mostly limited to the artificial intelligence (AI) research community until late 2017, when a Reddit user who went by “Deepfakes” — a portmanteau of “deep learning” and “fake” — started posting digitally altered pornographic videos. This machine learning technique makes it possible to create audio and video of real people saying and doing things they never said or did. The fact that this tech was historically costly and restricted to a skilled population also comes into play. Today, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to create deepfakes- especially for sophisticated fraudsters. This is bad news for businesses and consumers.

Whereas video was once considered a valid and authentic method of identity proofing, the risks from the introduction of deepfake technology cannot be underestimated. If images and data fall into the wrong hands, bad actors gain the ability to impersonate just about anyone. This poses an obvious threat to the political arena or highly confidential government entities, but also any organization that onboards new customers and wants to validate the user’s identity- as well as the customer’s themselves. AI-based identity fraud is growing, and businesses are beginning to realize that elementary identity proofing is not viable if you truly want to know who you are doing business with and must meet regulations such as KYC.

The growing risks surrounding deepfakes – loss of customer trust, potential to spread misinformation, and severe security risks – underscore the role that biometrics must play in the identity verification process moving forward. It is increasingly difficult for companies to be able to guarantee that a user is genuinely present, at the moment they are attempting to validate their identity.

Fortunately, however, the very technology behind deepfakes is also the technology that can be used to spot spoofs and fraud. Using a combination of AI and biometric facial recognition, companies can securely and simply authenticate users to verify they are physically present. Liveness detection guards against fraudulent attempts to gain access to personal data and protects against attempts to bypass biometric identity verification. Fraudsters will often try to bypass the system using a doctored photo, screen image, a recording or doctored video — all of which can now be made even more lifelike with deepfake technology.

Acuant Face™ provides powerful biometric facial recognition match and liveness detection technology to prevent identity theft and fraud. Understanding that business wish to address various levels of risk, Acuant Face offers 3 classes of technology to address low to high risk transactions. For example, when using a ride share app the level of risk is lower than when conducting a high value financial transaction, opening an account or crossing a border.

In high risk environments, our Enhanced level of facial recognition uses controlled illumination to detect and thwart deepfakes, video replay and presentation attacks- even monitoring for velocity to alert when a person is making suspicious transaction in a short period of time (perhaps in different countries). A user simply captures an image of their government issued ID and then takes a selfie. The selfie image is compared to an extracted photo from the identity document such as a driver’s license or passport to verify a match. Contact us to learn more.

To learn more about Acuant’s identity solutions, schedule a demo now:

Verifying Identity In Today’s Digital Economy: A Look At Regulated Retail

Glenn Larson is the Vice President of Engineering at Acuant and is a member of Forbes Technology Council,  an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Read his article for the Forbes Tech Council below, or you can read the original here.

Digital adoption has changed the very nature of business and customer interactions. Just 20 years ago, business was always conducted in person — whether applying for a retail credit card or purchasing alcohol. The rise of mobile phones has changed that dynamic. Now customers can be located anywhere, with very little to no interpersonal communication throughout the transaction.

While customers are thrilled with the flexibility this provides — no need to travel to a physical location and no transaction restrictions during traditional business hours — retailers are left to determine how best to verify customer identity virtually, a challenge that only increases in scope. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, “92% of companies surveyed had been a victim of organized retail crime (ORC) in the past year.” Even further, “71% said ORC incidents were increasing.”

Retailers are left struggling to balance security with user experience. Research shows that the onboarding process is often the key indicator of the customer relationship. A laborious ID verification process during onboarding often results in an abandoned cart or — worse — a visit to the competition.

Regulated Industries Face Strict ID Verification Legislation 

Regulated industries — like alcohol, gaming, tobacco, vaping and cannabis — require more stringent compliance for verifying customer identity. New federal regulations require that retailers prove they are not selling “age-restricted” products online to customers who are “under the minimum legal age.” Failure to comply can result in steep fines or, in more severe cases, jail time.

The rise in popularity of “vaping” — especially amongst minors — has brought increased focus and legislation on the e-cigarette industry. According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “approximately 3 million U.S. adolescents currently use e-cigarettes. This includes those who never smoked cigarettes.”

The FDA weighed in on this growing public health concern during a March 2019 address. Scott Gottlieb, outgoing Food and Drug Administration commissioner, shared new age-restriction-related policy for the purchase of flavored e-cigarettes. The purchase of flavored nicotine pods will be limited to retailers and websites that impose age restrictions.

Individual states and counties have taken steps to fight this epidemic on their own. For example, California’s recently enacted Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act, or STAKE Act. Meant to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21, the STAKE ACT mandates that distributors and retailers post a notice at each point of purchase, and it requires online retailers to verify the age of prospective consumers.

Adapting To An Era Of  ‘Customer Not Present’

It’s no secret that mobile commerce has exploded. Forrester estimates that “sales made via smartphones is expected to reach $209 billion by 2022 and in 2018 accounted for approximately 23% of all online sales.”

Rising mobile and e-commerce transactions present challenges in verifying customer identity; however, there are steps retailers can take to minimize risk and add benefits:

• Require Customer Accounts: Taking this step ensures that customers provide adequate, verifiable information about themselves during the initial purchase process only (onboarding), making ongoing purchases much faster and easier, providing the ability to personalize targeted advertisements and marketing campaigns in subsequent client engagements.

• Use Identity-Verification Software: Savvy retailers are adopting online fraud-detection tools like risk-based authentication and new account fraud prevention. Especially pertinent for retailers in highly-regulated industries, identity verification software ensures compliance with mandates and legislation.

• Get to Know Your Customer: Retailers that properly manage customer data — whether it be purchase history or personal preferences — are streamlining the process for future business and creating a “stickier” relationship with their customer base

• Meet Customers Where They Shop: The growing number of global transactions means that it’s more important than ever to provide solutions to identify and protect users on the move. Be mobile! Look for solutions that can streamline the onboarding and information gathering process (eliminate unnecessary typing where possible) on all channels — especially on smartphones — while accurately identifying each customer.

As retailers struggle with the hurdles imposed in identity verification — especially for those in highly-regulated industries — it’s important to keep in mind there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Ultimately, your solutions and practices need to provide a streamlined, balanced and customer-centric approach. How you go about doing that is up to your business and what works best for your customers.


To learn more about Acuant’s identity solutions, schedule a demo now:

Digital Identity Is The Key To CX

Glenn Larson is the Vice President of Engineering at Acuant and is a member of Forbes Technology Council,  an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Read his first article for the Forbes Tech Council below, or you can read the original here.

Digital Identity Is The Key To CX

It’s no secret that today’s consumer is experience-centric. Not only have organizations realized the tie between customer experience and revenue, but 88% of businesses view customer experience as a competitive differentiator. Data shows that customers are willing to pay more for a better experience, and often experience trumps both price and product.

Companies like Apple, Uber and Venmo have set the bar for what customers now expect from brands. Not only should the service be fast and intuitive, but personalization has become the expectation of mobile-first users. The first customer touch point is incredibly important as well; a clunky or time-consuming onboarding process can result in frustration or — even worse — abandonment.

Then consider the more than 70 million digitally-savvy millennials who have grown up with internet access and who expect near-immediate response times. Having grown up with access to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, they value speed and efficiency. These individuals use smartphones to conduct their business, whether for shopping, services or banking. Over the past several years, we’ve seen a steady rise in what’s been dubbed the “experience economy” — attributed, almost certainly, to the buying power of millennials.

A Balancing Act: User Experience Versus Risk

The challenge comes in providing a smooth experience that still adequately protects both the user and the company. There is significant risk associated with exposing personally identifiable information (PII) and the answers to knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions, which can easily be bought and sold on the dark web. In fact, nearly 15 billion identity records circulated in underground communities in 2018.

Establishing identity in a digital world is fraught with challenges and questions around how to collect, process and manage PII data. With hackers looming large, it’s on merchants to find more secure methods of establishing identity. For businesses, providing the customer experience that clients demand while ensuring security is all about balancing an acceptable level of risk with the smallest possible amount of friction. Here’s how to go about it.

Digitize And Automate Onboarding

That first touch point — customer onboarding — truly sets the tone for the relationship. Today’s customer turns a nose up at a lengthy, arduous onboarding process. No one wants to deal with manual paperwork. You can streamline the process while still keeping risk in check by using technology that captures ID images, data and identity verification in one process.

Omnichannel Is Imperative

Consider the banking industry. According to research from the American Bankers Association, 72% of Americans most often access their bank accounts online. Millennials, in particular, are exploring banks that offer mobile account enrollment and access, as they prefer to avoid visiting bricks-and-mortar branches.

Savvy businesses will empower their customers to transact whenever and however they wish. There are many ID verification solutions available to enable easy onboarding but still enforce stringent security protections. These methods can capture and digitize PII to quickly verify that the person is who they claim to be.

Loyalty Programs + Personalization = Return Customers

Today’s shoppers expect a targeted user experience based on previous behaviors, purchases, likes and even dislikes. Collecting customer data that provides insights into customer preference is one key to achieving customer loyalty. In particular, companies in the hospitality, gaming or retail industries should keep track of customer demographics to offer more targeted experiences. For example, retailers can offer specific product recommendations based on what the customer previously purchased or offer targeted savings/promotions for favorite items.

Enabling quick, automated signup for loyalty programs is also key. Customers are generating and sharing more data than ever, and with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, companies can take this opportunity one step further by allowing for personalization at the regional and individual level. It’s true that some may find this technology unsettling, and there should always be a prominent option in place to allow customers to opt out. But at the end of the day, we know that millennials, by and large, are all-in on highly-personalized experiences.

Fighting the Opioid Crisis: Identity Verification Solutions

The healthcare industry has been battered by the staggering effects of the U.S. opioid crisis. According the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), pharmaceutical companies in the late 1990s reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers. As a result, healthcare providers began to prescribe them much more liberally than before, which led to widespread misuse and the current crisis.

It has since become apparent that opioids are highly addictive and incredibly damaging to the health of users. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found overdoses from opioids soared by nearly 30 percent between 2016 and 2017.

In 2017, HHS declared a public health emergency. Companies like Walmart and CVS have implemented restrictions on how it will fill opioid medication prescriptions. Last September, Congress passed The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic. The hope is that together the healthcare industry – both public and private entities – can stem the spread of opioid addiction, prevent overdoses and curb over-prescribing by doctors.

Systems are being developed to help physicians monitor and better understand their patient’s opioid uses. Yet, the pharmacy is the final link in the chain of trust around dispensing opioids. In that setting, it is critical that organizations ensure that the person receiving the medication is the right individual and that proof of identity documents are valid and compliant with state and federal laws.



The first step is to automate data entry for pharmacies dispensing opioids. Using technology like MedicScan® from Acuant allows data to be processed quickly and accurately. Patient information can be captured from an insurance card and government IDs to auto-populate in a matter of seconds, saving time and reducing the opportunity for errors.

Next, the identity document should be authenticated and verified. Acuant’s patented technology extracts biometric and alphanumeric data contained in an identity document to authenticate it by applying 50+ forensic document-specific tests and utilizing the industry’s largest document library. Working in real time, AssureID eliminates manual screening errors, speeds up the document inspection process and significantly reducing employee training, operating costs and customer inconvenience.

Hospitals and other healthcare providers can also engage in stronger patient ID verification to ensure that fraudulent IDs are not being used to obtain prescriptions, and that ID holders are indeed who they claim to be. This can be accomplished with quick and easy multi-factor authentication that validates an ID then engages biometric facial recognition match (Acuant FRM).

With trusted identity solutions in place, the healthcare industry can reduce fraud and prescription drug misuse at the point of sale and in institutions. As public and private entities work together to solve the myriad issues underlying this epidemic, it is incumbent on all of us to bring forth solutions that address key factors in prescription drug process. Eliminating identity fraud and using identity to better track opioid usage is an important part of re-mediating this public health issue.

To speak with Acuant about the use of identity solutions in healthcare settings, you can book time with here for an overview or meet us at the HIMSS Conference, taking place February 11-15 in Orlando, FL.


Meet Acuant at HIMSS 2019

Partner Profile: Aila Technologies

Acuant has partnered with Aila to create a fast, secure, scalable ID verification solution, complete with sleek iPad enclosure, effortless scanning technology, and seamless verification and authentication services. Learn more about Aila through this Q&A with Ryan Salinger, Aila’s Product Manager.


 1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company?

Ryan Salinger Aila Technologies Product Manager I’m Ryan, a product manager at Aila. I help develop new tools, capabilities, and solutions that our enterprise clients can use to provide more efficient processes and more engaging experiences for customers and associates.

Aila delivers seamless experiences for enterprise companies. Specifically, we offer a suite of fixed and mobile iOS-based products designed for end users, along with proprietary computer vision technology—mainly for barcode and ID scanning. Our products work in conjunction with iOS-based software to bridge the gap between digital and physical, enabling enterprises to deploy delight end users with powerful omnichannel experiences, generate actionable data from in-store shopping behavior, and empower associates with sleek, versatile tools.


2. Who are Aila’s typical customers? What problems do you solve for them?

Digital disruption has been particularly transformative in brick-and-mortar retail, and as a result, we’ve helped many leading retail brands improve their in-store capabilities and experiences. Those include American Eagle, Rent the Runway, Ulta Beauty, Staples, and Stop & Shop, among many others. We also work with leading healthcare and medical diagnostics providers, by enabling experiences such as faster, more secure registration and self check-in workflows.

We help our customers utilize technology to elevate end-user experiences throughout the brick and mortar environment. Current deployments cover a wide variety of use cases, from simple price checking and custom ordering to point of sale, self checkout, registration, appointment making, and much more.


3. What are some of the main challenges in this space?

Consumers have come to expect the same frictionless experiences in brick-and-mortar that they receive online. Unfortunately, traditional retail technology hasn’t always risen to the same bar. Many enterprises suffer from technology debt, having built out solutions using siloed, expensive custom-built hardware and software. The challenges with old IT infrastructure are numerous, but perhaps worst of all, it doesn’t usually have the flexibility needed to keep up with rapidly changing demands for customer experiences and modern, streamlined workflows. On an even broader sense, technology is advancing so quickly that the traditional enterprise technology deployment cycle, where it often takes multiple years to develop, test, pilot and roll out new solutions, is simply too slow. Enterprise companies need to be able to innovate quickly and nimbly. We help enable that through versatile systems, built on top of iOS hardware, that are enterprise-ready and easy to integrate, deploy, and use.


4. How have Aila’s products evolved over time?

Our products are continuously evolving as we find new ways to leverage digital tools and new technologies in the physical world. On a practical level, we’re unlocking the incredible power of today’s smartphones and tablets so they can be used in retail, healthcare, logistics, and other enterprise use cases. In the beginning , this started with simple device enclosures. However, this expanded greatly with the development of our proprietary TrueScan technology, which enables the cameras on iOS devices to be used for crisp, clean, fast image capture. This primarily means best-in-class barcode scanning for many customers, but it also enables more advanced computer vision use cases.

Going forward, we are excited to continue to expand our software offerings that augment and add new capabilities to our hardware products. For instance, SoftScan is a new software-based scanning product that enables effortless barcode capture on any iOS device and can be integrated into any iOS application.


5. What do you have planned for the future? Where do you see untapped opportunities in the market?

Aila will continue doing everything we can to elevate the conversation about how technology can be used in brick-and-mortar. Beyond the point solutions of the past, we want retailers to think about their technology stack as a platform for innovation—upon which they can test, learn and evolve. This will mean delivering more engaging experiences and streamlining operations for smarter, more seamless interactions—without getting locked into clunky, expensive hardware that can’t adapt to changing needs. We know that consumer expectations will continue to change, and we want to make sure retailers are ready to evolve and meet those needs.


6. Why is Acuant a good fit as a partner for you?

Acuant’s world-class solutions for ID verification, ID authentication, biometrics, and form completion perfectly complement Aila’s image capture, opening up exciting new opportunities to add even more value to our enterprise customers, increasing the functionality and capabilities of our technology platform.



Book a meeting with Acuant at NRF 2019

Self-Sovereign Identity: Addressing the Digital Identity Crisis

In today’s world, much of our data is stored online. Individuals are strongly encouraged by mobile apps, retail websites and social network providers to “update their profile” to share more and more personal information in addition to that already collected. Companies use this data to improve the user experience and to better understand their customers. But every interaction that an individual has, online and in person, potentially stores information about them in an unknown database at unknown datacenters somewhere around the world.


There is little incentive for the organizations, merchants and vendors who have collected the profiles to secure this data. The seemingly endless stream of high-profile breaches and the rise of identity fraud – which according to Javelin Strategy and Research was an all-time record high in 2017 – has caused consumers to grow wary over the loss of control over their identity, how this data is being secured/stored and who it’s being shared with.


Privacy concerns have sparked a global debate around the handling of personal information. One possible solution concept, Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI), which advocates for individuals having control over their personal identity data, is becoming more popular. And while the idea of owning your own data and consenting to its use may have seemed impossible just a few years ago, legislation such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is already making it a reality. Similarly, the Digital Identification Bill was recently approved by Thailand’s cabinet, and is expected to soon be passed by the National Legislative Assembly and should take effect in the middle of 2019. Given this, we expect to see more privacy legislation globally – including within the US – that grants individuals control over their Personally Identifiable Information or PII.


While such regulation is a much-needed step in the right direction, it does not change the fundamentals of the problem. Presently, knowledge-based authentication (KBA) is the most prevalent means of verifying the identity of an individual, especially during online interactions. But once a set of personal information fields has been compromised, it is no longer suitable for authentication – the individual providing the values may be the thief. Soon, when every piece of PII for nearly every first-world citizen is available for sale on the dark web, the current knowledge-based single-factor authentication system will be rendered useless.


So how do we implement self-sovereign identity while complying with existing – and forthcoming – data privacy regulations? There is clearly a need for a system that enables secure management of a verified digital ID with secure methods for sharing of a limited amount of PII fields. This system would require the confirmation of authenticity for both the user and the vendor, without relying on a third party to keep the storage memory location and exchange confidential.


While it may be true that most US consumers are so-called “data pragmatists” who will trade personal information for certain incentives or benefits under the right circumstances (millennials more so than other groups), one thing is clear – consumers are demanding more control over their personal data. And the Identity and Access Management (IAM) industry is racing to solve the digital identity crisis and put the power back into consumers’ hands.



Read the Infographic

Industry Experts Declare Identity is Broken: A Discussion on Innovation in Identity

Last week in NYC, OWI hosted a panel discussion with BioCatch, InfoMart, Ipsidy, PTB Ventures and Uniken on Innovation in Identity.


Identity is Broken

The first question was, is identity broken? The answer was a unanimous yes. No one disagreed on that; rather the discourse was around what to do about it as global citizens and businesses.

We are all aware of high profile data breaches and the seemingly endless news of personal data being compromised. A popular view was that this is happening because of the many layers that we currently have around establishing identity. Entities tend to glue a lot of pieces together to verify an identity including passwords, devices, ID’s, biometrics and such.

Beyond the layers or pieces, you have other variables to consider. Take payments as an example. You have consumers, employees and multiple device types as variables. All of these must be considered and accounted for in a verification solution, and all agree that humans are the weakest link.

The view was that these layers are what make systems vulnerable and allow hackers to win, and what is missing is a complete identity verification solution that puts the pieces together wholly from the start, say at customer onboarding. The overwhelming majority of fraud is in the onboarding step and can be avoided with sufficient solutions. However, the identity must then be continually verified.

Further evidence to how pervasive the identity problem is, top carriers from the TelCo industry are joining together for Project Verify in which AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon promise a solution to change identity management and security, replacing passwords with more secure, device-based, multi-factor authentication.


Trends in ID Verification Solutions

Most agreed that biometrics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are key moving forward. Research group Goode Intelligence has projected that over 580 million bank customers will use cloud-based biometrics by 2020.

One trend is focusing on behavioral biometrics, which may lead to better solutions. This includes obvious things like keystrokes and device use/habits, but can also tap into subconscious behavior. This is one way to beat sophisticated hackers.

Biometrics will also continue to play a big role in the US Army Intelligence with Biometrics Enabled Intelligence (BEI) and in border and access control with continued terrorist threats. With 1.8 billion international arrivals expected worldwide in 2030, identity management is going to become even more complex because not all countries, government agencies, airports and airlines are at the same level of technological maturity.

Other trends included a focus on establishing trusted devices that are tied to identities, creating one single, strong login vs. multiple logins across accounts, mutual authentication – between businesses & consumers – and blockchain.


The US vs. the Rest of the World

Identity verification solutions vary greatly depending on the region. There are socioeconomics, governing systems and adoption rates to consider. In the US for example, there is not a strong identification background. There is a need to redefine this and build a stronger infrastructure. South America was mentioned as an example where identity is linked straight to the government database. Another example was the Bank ID program in Sweden. A consortium of trusted banks downloaded tokens on consumers’ computers and they use the bank ID system for activities such as voting.

Most felt that the emergence of technology will develop and be adopted outside of the US and migrate back. We are seeing many countries adopt verification technology around voting, airports/travel and payments like China’s Alipay and WeChat Pay.


What is the Solution?

Everyone recognizes there is problem with identity verification today. All industries will be looking to solve it and claim that they are “the platform.” It really depends on use case and industry to get a best of breed solution. There is no perfect solution out there.

The concept of a trusted Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) platform was discussed. Is this the answer? Not all agreed. The idea was that with SSI, consumers can present claims that are true to other people without having to go through a third party. Individuals would control what personal data they share, how and with whom. Advantages include enhancing privacy, economic benefits and decentralization.

All agreed that the private sector will drive the solutions and be led by the financial sector, as they have the most to gain and the most to lose.

It was also agreed that at the end of the day consumers want anywhere, anytime capability and convenience. They don’t want security to be their concern in transactions they conduct and do not view this as their problem. Rather consumers want the institution or business they are transacting with to deal with and solve it. Abandonment rates today are as high as 40%; if people can’t do it fast, they are on to the next. There are simply too many choices in every industry and a good experience is key. The bottom line is consumers will avoid friction – but at what cost?



Talk to a specialist about Identity Verification Solutions