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The co-founders of Trustev, Chris Kennedy and Pat Phelan
The co-founders of Trustev, Chris Kennedy and Pat Phelan

Anti-fraud startup does away with bills (at least for ID purposes)

Cork-based startup Trustev, which prevents online fraud by using your social media accounts, is bringing the same verification process to physical stores.
Feb 11th 2014, 3:23 PM 10,104 14

CORK-BASED STARTUP Trustev is doing away with the idea of needing a bill as proof of identity. Instead, it’s using your social media account the next time you purchase something in-store.

The company, which specialises in online fraud prevention through real-time verification, is bringing its services to physical stores with the launch of Retail Decisions.

The service follows the same format as its online counterpart – customers use their Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account to verify their identity before purchasing goods – but instead of happening online, customers log in through an iOS and Android app via a store tablet.

The service would remove the need for customers to bring in documents such as utility bills and bank accounts as proof of their identity.

For those who are worried about logging into their Facebook account while in a store, The CMO of Trustev, Donal Calahane, says that the service connects to your account for “about two seconds” before automatically logging out and deletes all traces of your profile.

Instead, the service looks at the metadata of an account to verify a person’s identity.

The app, in the way that it’s constructed, is very clear [in what it does]. We connect to your Facebook for about two seconds, and you’re immediately logged out, we delete all traces.

We don’t look at the English language… or the content, we look at the metadata behind it.

Calahane said the feature came after working with UK telecom companies who wanted its online fraud-prevention services to be available in-store.

imageOne of the screens presented when asked to log in. Those who don’t have a Facebook account can use alternative accounts to verify their identity (Image: Trustev)

The two problems faced with current services is that those working in the store aren’t qualified to check documents to see whether you’re telling the truth, and the actual checking of these documents doesn’t actually happen until much later.

As a result, one of the phone providers the startup worked with lost £300,000 worth in handsets in December because of fraudulent documents being submitted in-store.

Currently, the service is trialing with two European telecom companies based in the UK, but the service has already gathered interest from other industries such as banks who would use it to create “a situation where someone can walk into a bank and walk out with a fully-functioning account,” according to Calahane.

The company is also talking to a number of companies in Ireland and it expects to see a number of businesses and stores adopt the service soon.

It (the service) started in the UK because that’s where the customer request came from, but we are talking to a number of companies in Ireland. We would expect within two months to have it up and running in a number of Irish businesses.

Trustev has received a number of accolades since it was founded in 2012. The startup was named the EU’s best technology startup in June and was named one of Forbes’ hot global startup.

The service currently has more than 100 customers for its online service, and processes more than 250,000 records every day.

Read: Scammers are going ‘phishing’ for Revenue customer details >

Read: Two Passport office employees arrested in new fraud investigation >

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Quinton O'Reilly


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