Tech giant Adobe brings cost-cutting ID verification to KYC

By David Beach | 8 February 2019

Adobe, the stock content platform, is straying more and more outside of its traditional heartlands to offer digital KYC solutions in an attempt to reduce the cost of compliance for its financial services customers.

“Our customers tell us they can achieve huge time and cost savings, reduce error rate and calls to contact centres and deliver a service that is really appreciated by the customers, by giving them what they want ultimately - a loan or mortgage - much faster,” said Mark Greenaway, director of emerging businesses at Adobe, on the sidelines of the firm’s conference this week in London.

A 2017 report by Mitek, the identity verification vendor, put the cost of inefficient KYC processes at an average of £47m a year per bank with 25% of customers in the UK abandoning applications due to KYC frictions.

The report also concluded that eID schemes were not mature enough in 2017 -something Greenaway and Adobe Sign are hoping to turn around this year.

“There’s a lot of regulation in this space and that’s where ID verification can potentially come in to improve KYC situations,” said Greenaway.

“[ID verification] is all part of a process. Our financial services customers have a great deal of regulation to adhere to and many of them not only have to ensure they’re capturing the information required to verify customers and applicants but they’re often doing co-signing type processes using screen sharing with all the regulatory overhead around it.”

Adobe’s ID verification services expand on the existing cloud-based capabilities of Adobe Sign, the e-signature process, that is already employed by a number of the UK’s financial services - both big and small - to digitise document-based processes.

In the case of BNP Paribas, the bank reduced the contract signing process from 12 days to seven and a half hours, according to Greenaway.

The new ID verification will be used to verify UK government issued IDs and certificates, while Adobe Sign is already working on integrating its product with formal banking IDs in the Nordics.

“Adobe is part of a cloud signature consortium - a completely open platform to trust service providers (TSPs) using Adobe sign and enabling the acceptance of government qualified certificates for a given process which ties in quite nicely to eIDAS,” said Greenaway.

eIDAS is the EU and UK standard aiming to put electronic and digital signatures on the same legal footing as paper-based processes.

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