BI Ignite 2019: ID Verification Startup Diro Wins DEMOvation Challenge

Identity proofing and verification startup Diro Labs won the DEMOvation Challenge today at Bank Innovation Ignite 2019 in Seattle. In addition to bragging rights, the company will receive admission to the INV Fintech Accelerator and an advertising package on Bank Innovation.

Vishal Gupta, co-founder and CEO of New Dehli, India-based Diro, said his company solves the problem of not knowing who the other person is in an online transaction. He said “original” documents simply don’t exist online and that things like Photoshop have largely been able to beat existing technologies used for verification.

Diro, a blockchain-based, decentralized identity and access platform, enables auto-organizing, self-updating directories with crowd consensus. Gupta said the platform can eliminate stolen identities and document fraud using fresh timestamps, and allow for remote authentication of individuals by proving command and control of identity and access.

Diro is able to verify any person or document online in a secure, compliant and easy way, Gupta said, by capturing data from the source when a user logs into their accounts with the mere push of a button.

Essentially, Diro allows for the capture of web documents behind secure logins across the web and government websites, by individual consumers. This, Gupta said, ensures the capture of secure provenance information behind SSL/TLS using a cryptographic hash that’s then added to the blockchain.

The need–and opportunity–to get more aggressive about fighting fraud was a major theme at Bank Innovation Ignite 2019. Cort O’Haver, CEO of President and CEO of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, said during his Fireside Chat with Bank Innovation CEO JJ Hornblass that technology, in the long term, can be of most use to financial services by reducing or eliminating fraud.

O’Haver said while there are a lot of “cool things” happening in the industry, particularly around onboarding and designing products and services for optimal user experiences, there is still an alarming amount of fraud happening and more entry points for fraudsters than ever. He said he’s seen fraud grow almost ten-fold since becoming CEO of the Portland, Oregon-based bank.

“Not big dollar amounts, but it only takes one,” he said. “And all these instances add up to pretty big number. That’s a true cost and it’s only going to get bigger.”

Supported by attendee voting, which narrowed the field down to Diro and bond trading platform strartup OpenDoor, the industry judges were Susan French, Head of Product for BBVA Open Platform, Rob Guilfoyle, CEO of Abe AI, and Theo Moumtzidis, Managing Director at Delos Advisors.

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