AuthenticID Survives APEX Shark Tank
The sharks were circling at the All Payments Expo in New Orleans this week. To close out the day on Tuesday, a group of eight startups and early stage payments companies pitched their idea or product to a group of three payments industry expert “sharks” including: Sam Maule, emerging payments practice lead, Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group; Michael O’Loughlin, director of consulting, CGI; and Larry Berlin, vice president, First Analysis. The contestants had three minutes to present, followed by a short question-and-answer session with the trio of sharks.
When the waters had calmed, AuthenticID, an Atlanta-based provider of identity verification products, emerged as the winner. In his pitch to the sharks, AuthenticID president and CEO Blair Cohen demonstrated the company’s pictureID service, which enables financial services providers and other clients to verify new account creators via photo. The user takes a picture of his government-issued ID and a photo of himself and sends them to the enrolling institution—which then uses AuthenticID’s connection with document issuers in the U.S. and Canada to access the original government-issued ID. In addition to verifying that the ID is valid, the company compares it with the selfie to make sure the faces match. With account origination fraud on the rise due to the easy availability of names, birthdates and addresses on the black market, pictureID uses data criminals don’t have—license details and a physical picture—to verify identity. In naming the winner, the sharks praised pictureID as a simple and fast way to address a growing problem. “The simplest ideas are the best ideas,” said O’Loughlin, in announcing the winner.
The sharks lauded all of the contestants who braved the waters, noting that each had a compelling product and wishing them the best of luck navigating the sometimes choppy waters of the emerging payments industry.