Can I verify my identity using my smartphone?

Can I verify my identity using my smartphone?

Anyone who wants to open a bank account or buy a mobile phone plan has to identify themselves to the respective service provider. The ETH spin-​off PXL Vision has a simpler solution: just use an ID scan and a selfie video. Several companies are already using the new technology.

“We bring trust to the digital world by enabling secure digital identity verification.” This is how 34-​year-old Karim Nemr summarises the business concept behind PXL Vision. He is one of the founders of the ETH spin-​off, which aims to create products that could one day be as ubiquitous in our day-​to-day lives as coffee machines or smartphones.

Actually, the latter is vital to the business idea of these young Zurich entrepreneurs: in PXL Vision’s technology, the smartphone replaces the people who currently verify the identity of potential customers in a bank branch or a mobile phone operator’s shop.

The process is simple, as Nemr demonstrates: First he scans the front and back of his ID card, and then he records a short selfie video. Using an app, the documents are uploaded to a cloud on a certified Swiss server. Within seconds, the system confirms whether the scanned document and the video are authentic, if a real person is in front of the camera and if the identity document matches the person. With this fully automated method, customers can immediately purchase a mobile phone subscription or set up a bank account from anywhere and at anytime. They are no longer dependent on a customer advisor or opening hours.

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Source: “How smartphones can verify your identity”, Astrid Tomczak, Zurich ETH news