Why Does Everyone Think They’re the IDV Leader?

Mark Knighton

We’ve all heard the words uttered across the iGaming industry, from operators to suppliers: “We are the leaders in this industry!” And we all think the same thing. 

Why? Because you say so? So what does it actually take to truly call yourself a leader?

The identity verification (IDV) space within the iGaming vertical is no different, with a lot of smoke-and-mirror statements being bandied around with no independent verification of such claims attached. IDV is a fiercely competitive landscape, driven by rapid technological advancements, stringent regulatory requirements, and increasing consumer demand for secure, scalable, and seamless player onboarding experiences

In this environment, many companies assert themselves as leaders, particularly through the use of various statements like “highest conversion rates” or “greatest document coverage” or “fastest verification results.” 

So why do so many entities believe they hold the top spot? What role does independent testing play in validating these claims? This article explores the factors contributing to these assertions and also emphasises the importance of independent testing in recognising true industry leadership—and not just because we say so.

Leadership in IDV is multifaceted

To understand why so many companies claim leadership, it’s essential to recognise that leadership can be defined in various ways. The industry encompasses many areas such as biometric authentication, document verification, fraud prevention, user experience, and more. 

Each segment has its own set of challenges and opportunities, allowing different companies to claim leadership based on their unique strengths and contributions, particularly when leveraging technology innovation such as GenAI.

Technological innovation

In an industry where accuracy and security are paramount, cutting-edge, fully automated and scalable solutions can be a significant differentiator. One of the primary ways companies position themselves as leaders is through technological innovation, including the use of:

  • AI & machine learning: Many companies leverage AI to enhance the accuracy, scalability, and efficiency of identity verification processes, especially where manual human intervention poses increases in risk of verification errors and synthetic fraud attempts. The use of GenAI technology, such as document authenticity capabilities, with its advanced algorithms, can generate realistic synthetic data to rapidly train models, improving fraud accuracy, speed, and robustness of these systems.
  • Biometric technology: Advanced biometric solutions, including highly adaptive facial recognition, are often touted as hallmarks of leadership. Companies that develop their own universal, highly accurate, and user-friendly biometric systems using GenAI technologies frequently claim top positions.
  • Mobile & remote verification: As mobile device use proliferates globally, companies offering OS agnostic, seamless and secure remote verification solutions are seen as industry leaders.

Regulatory compliance & security

Regulatory compliance is a cornerstone of the identity verification industry, where companies that excel in navigating the various and sundry regulatory environments and ensure robust security often position themselves as leaders. Differentiation in this area can involve:

  • Compliance with international standards: Achieving best-in-class performance for the liveness ISO for Presentation Attack Detection (PAD) testing (ISO 30107-3 both Level 1 and 2) and successfully adhering to and achieving standards such as SOC (Service Organisation Control) 2 is critical, and obtaining ISO certification as it pertains to security (see below), privacy (ISO 27701 and 27018), quality (ISO 9100) and resilience (ISO 22301) also demonstrates a company’s commitment to protecting personal data.
  • Security certifications: Obtaining certifications like ISO/IEC 27001 for information security management is a testament to a company’s dedication to maintaining high-security standards.
  • Anti-fraud measures: Implementing advanced anti-fraud technologies and protocols to detect and prevent fraudulent activities is essential for leadership in this industry.
  • Accessibility: inclusivity and accessibility should be prioritised within IDV solutions, as digital identity systems have the power to support underserved groups in society. This is demonstrated by getting tested against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines are published by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium, the main international standards organisation for the Internet. A good WCAG rating is Level AA, as it strikes a balance between being reasonably achievable for most websites while providing substantial accessibility improvements for users with disabilities.

Market penetration & brand recognition

Another aspect of leadership is the extent of market penetration and brand recognition. Companies with a significant share of the market, a strongly perceived global presence, and high brand loyalty often assert their leadership based on factors such as:

  • Geographical reach: Companies that have successfully expanded into multiple regions and tailored their solutions to local regulatory requirements and consumer needs can claim leadership.
  • Strategic partnerships: Collaborations with other tech companies, financial institutions, and regulatory bodies enhance a company’s credibility and market position.
  • Marketing & brand strength: Effective marketing strategies that build a strong, recognisable brand and contribute to a company’s perceived leadership.

Customer experience & reliability

Providing an exceptional customer experience and demonstrating high reliability are critical indicators of leadership in the identity verification industry. Ways to evaluate this aspect of a solution may include the quality of:

  • User-friendly interfaces: Companies that offer intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces for both businesses and end users often stand out. A seamless experience across various platforms (web, mobile, etc.) is crucial.
  • Customer support: High-quality, accessible customer support that can swiftly address issues and provide assistance reinforces a company’s leadership status.
  • Accuracy & speed: Reliable and quick verification processes are essential for customer satisfaction and trust. Companies excelling in these areas, especially those using fully automated GenAI technologies for real-time processing, are often viewed as industry leaders.
  • Testing for bias: Whether its system, data, language, or human bias ensuring that biometric and document verification technologies work for users of all skin colours, ages and accessibility needs is essential. Mature companies seek out third parties to become Zero Bias AI™-tested.

The psychology of claiming leadership

Given the various dimensions of leadership I just explained, it’s now easier to see why so many companies might perceive themselves as leaders. However there’s also a psychological aspect to consider. 

Believing and promoting oneself as a leader can be a strategic move, one which is influenced by several factors:

  • Confirmation bias: Companies often interpret information in a way that confirms their preconceptions. If a company excels in certain areas, it might emphasise those achievements only and downplay others, leading to a skewed perception of overall leadership.
  • Competitive marketing: In a crowded and competitive marketplace, claiming leadership can be a powerful marketing tool. Companies might assert their leadership to attract new customers and partners. This strategy is especially prevalent in industries where differentiation is key to standing out.
  • Perception of value: Leadership claims can influence the perception of value among customers. If a company is perceived as a leader, customers might be more inclined to trust its services and products, leading to higher customer acquisition and retention rates.
  • Investor appeal: Claiming a leadership position can also be attractive to investors. It suggests stability, growth potential, and competitive advantage—all crucial factors for investment decisions.

The real differentiator: independent testing

The true measure of leadership, especially within the identity verification industry, should come from independent testing and validation. Such evaluation provides an unbiased assessment of a company’s solutions, and verifies its claims of excellence and reliability, and does not rely on statements made by the companies themselves. 

There are a number of benefits that result from independent testing, including:

  • Objective benchmarking: Independent testing organisations benchmark identity verification solutions against industry standards and best practices and provide an unbiased comparison of different solutions, thus highlighting the true leaders based on performance metrics.
  • Transparency & trust: Such testing not only enhances transparency but also builds trust among customers, partners, and regulatory bodies alike. Companies that subject their solutions to independent testing strongly demonstrate a commitment to transparency, honesty, and reliability.
  • Continuous improvement: Regular independent testing ensures and encourages companies to continuously improve their solutions by identifying strengths and weaknesses through objective assessments. These businesses can then innovate and enhance their offerings to maintain their leadership position.

Ask yourself this question: If you were going to buy a family car, would you buy one that has not been rigorously tested? Hopefully the answer is no. 

So why would you trust a business critical-solution that’s not been stringently and independently tested?  

The true marker of leadership

The identity verification industry is complex and multifaceted, with leadership claims across various dimensions such as technological innovation, regulatory compliance, market penetration, and customer experience. 

While many companies position themselves as leaders, true leadership is validated through independent testing which provides an objective assessment of the identity verification solution. This ensures that companies’ claims are substantiated by real performance metrics. Such third-party validation enhances transparency, builds trust, and encourages continuous improvement, ultimately distinguishing the true leaders from the rest.

In an industry where security, accuracy, and reliability are paramount, companies that consistently subject their solutions to independent testing and emerge as top performers are the ones that can rightfully claim leadership. As identity verification tech continues to evolve, these validated leaders will shape its future, setting new benchmarks to drive the industry forward.

So from now on, ask prospective vendors this question: How have they consistently proven their tech actually does what it says on the tin?

About the post:
Images are generative AI-created. Prompt: Photorealistic image of a political debate taking place in a casino setting, five candidates standing at individual podiums, a seated audience watching the candidates, interior of a lavish Las Vegas casino, slot machines and gaming tables visible, vibrant colors. Tool: Midjourney.

About the author:
Mark Knighton is Global Head of Gaming for IDVerse. Mark is a senior leader with over 25 years global leadership, business transformation and commercial growth experience to call upon. For over 13 of those years, Mark has been working across various sectors of the iGaming/gambling industry where he has been appointed to a number of CXO, senior leadership, and advisory board positions within numerous start-up and scale-up operators, European State Lotteries, as well as content and technical suppliers across regulated and emerging iGaming markets.

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