Biometric technology is becoming more prevalent in our daily lives. Therefore, we reached out to Domingo Guerra, EVP of Trust at Incode Technologies, to discuss its connection in the gambling industry. In this interview, we shed light on the technological challenges and opportunities for gambling operators. We explore how this technology addresses data privacy and security concerns while enhancing the overall user experience.
We ask Domingo about the cross-industry applicability of biometric advancements, drawing parallels with disruptive technologies in other sectors. Finally, we gain his perspective on the potential revolutionary impacts of innovative biometric identity verification developments on the future of the gambling industry.
GE) Biometric identity verification has gained traction as a secure authentication method. From a technology standpoint, what specific challenges and opportunities do you believe this poses for gambling operators, especially those who are new to implementing such solutions?
DG) As online gaming and gambling continue to gain adoption, gambling operators are experiencing a massive increase in regulation, competition, and fraud. Now it’s more important than ever to strike the right balance between ease of customer onboarding and security. Biometric identity verification has emerged as the best practice to streamline user onboarding as well as to secure accounts against account take over and unauthorised access. Reusable biometric digital identities allow organisations to leverage the effort users went through during account onboarding, and get benefits for the lifetime of that account. Taking advantage of the great security improvements with biometric identities, users can now authenticate and verify their identity as fast and easy as taking a selfie. Further, ongoing passive checks like database cross-references, device and behavioural biometrics, and sophisticated fraud signal models ensure that verified users experience minimal interruptions.
Another best practice is that the onboarding and verification process do not have to be one-size-fits-all. Robust identity solutions conduct more comprehensive checks when predictive mechanisms identify riskier profiles, and address the inherent rigidity found in traditional tools. This enables effortless replication of existing processes, customization for specific geographies or markets, and real-time decision-making without separate cloud or database connections. Partnering with a solutions provider committed to data protection ensures seamless integration and scale for gambling operators.
A central challenge lies in shifting perceptions: transitioning from regarding biometrics solely as regulatory tools to recognizing them as catalysts for growth. Gambling operators should look to adopt solutions that provide users with a reusable identity and streamline verification, in turn relieving their company of the responsibilities and risks tied to personal data storage. This approach not only shields businesses from potential fraud but also enhances the agility of user onboarding. Organisations cultivate trust within their ecosystems when users maintain complete control over their identity, determining what information to disclose and to whom.
GE) Data privacy and security are critical concerns in the gambling industry. How can technology and software solutions, including biometric authentication, help gambling operators address these issues while also providing a seamless and user-friendly experience for their customers?
DG) With the escalating legalisation of online betting, the potential for payments and identity fraud is on the rise. Online gambling requires ID verification, yet minors often falsify their age to gain access to the betting platforms. Bad actors also try to leverage gambling platforms to launder funds. Both of these behaviours greatly expose companies to regulatory risk, disrupt business operations, and compromise user safety. Meanwhile, legislation governing social media age restrictions, controlled substance deliveries, video streaming, AML and access to adult content are constantly changing and carrying greater penalties for non-complying organisations.
The industry urgently requires increased adoption of biometrics to enable seamless and secure user onboarding and transaction monitoring. Biometrics stand as the sole age estimation and identity verification solution that can provide full confidence a person is the age they say. Further, cross-checking the proven real-world identity with sanction lists and other known bad actor lists help further protect gambling companies. This shifts the conversation from biometrics merely being a regulatory tool to biometric solutions being a catalyst for industry growth.
GE) As a tech industry expert, you have a unique perspective. In your opinion, how can the gambling industry benefit from cross-industry insights, particularly in software development and cybersecurity, to ensure the successful integration of biometric technology while avoiding potential pitfalls?
DG) Biometrics are reshaping the way all enterprises operate, not just gaming. Whether used as a tool to verify and authenticate customers or employees, companies in every industry are adopting biometrics as a fast and secure way to verify and authenticate people. This is critical not just at the point of onboarding or enrollment, but also before users or employees perform high risk transactions whether it's financial transactions like a large wager or a withdrawal of funds, or changing a mailing address, password, or other critical account information. Identity verification via biometrics strikes a balance between meeting stringent regulatory requirements and streamlining customer acquisition workflows and improving user experience. Solution providers must prioritise aligning user experiences with evolving mandates, particularly as Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks become standardised.
GE) Biometric technology holds the promise of enhanced security and convenience. Can you provide examples from your experience in the technology sector where similar technological advancements have disrupted established industries, and how these lessons might apply to the gambling sector?
DG) Facial recognition programs, exemplified by Apple’s Face ID, marked the widespread adoption of biometrics. It is now the standard way that hundreds of millions of people log into their phones multiple times per day. This technology is now rapidly gaining traction across every industry. In financial and hospitality services, biometrics streamline user authentication and onboarding, offering users secure and convenient access at speeds that were impossible to dream of in the past. But it doesn’t stop in the online or digital world. Large entertainment venues have implemented biometric entry, allowing millions of fans to use their face as their ticket and streamlining stadium entry.
Governments and healthcare providers utilise biometrics to counter the sophisticated tactics of AI-backed fraudsters, ensuring accurate, non-biased identity verification for access to critical services. Even enterprises are incorporating biometrics into their hiring and onboarding processes, a strategic response to the surge in job and employment agency-related scams.
GE) In the context of technology innovation, what are the most intriguing developments in biometric identity verification that you believe could revolutionise the gambling industry? And conversely, what potential blind spots should operators be aware of as they explore these cutting-edge solutions?
DG) Identity solutions are more than just a verification tool; they are a conduit for efficient and secure transactions. Solution providers empower users to seamlessly navigate verification processes by providing a reusable digital identity, all while retaining complete control over their data and its accessibility. For businesses, this creates accelerated onboarding procedures and a significant reduction in liabilities linked to data storage and potential breaches. Adaptable workflows address the diverse needs of businesses, accommodating both regional regulations and individual risk preferences.
About our Contributor
Domingo Guerra, the Executive Vice President of Trust at Incode Technologies, is a seasoned leader overseeing the trust and credibility of the company's biometric and identity solutions. With a background in successful company exits and key roles at Symantec, including the integration of his firm Appthority, Guerra has played a pivotal role in shaping Incode's trust profile. Beyond his executive responsibilities, he serves as a Board Member at Kriptos, an investor in Hackmetrix, and an Advisor to SafeRoom. Guerra, holding degrees in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA, brings a wealth of experience to the intersection of technology and security, demonstrating his dynamic leadership in scaling mobile security solutions, guiding strategic initiatives, and supporting innovative ventures in the AI and cybersecurity space. Visit https://incode.com/