Fiona Davies, Head of Gaming at OCR Labs Global, explains the ‘mission critical’ importance of knowing for certain that people really are who they say they are…
As you head for capital of Catalonia, and the SBC Summit 2022, you will obviously be wanting to open your minds to the diversity of what you will encounter. These few days present a remarkable opportunity for our entire industry, and we should all make certain that, as the city slogan says, ‘Barcelona Inspires’.
A perfect example of this is the participation of OCR Labs Global, specialists in an aspect of the industry that all operators should not only be fascinated by, but should be seriously investing in.
For the benefit of those who may not be aware, OCR Labs Global is a fully automated identity verification provider, including facial biometrics, document verification and face-matching. OCR Labs Global has a unique ‘technology-first’ approach to identity document capture and biometric verification. With iGaming widely viewed as the ‘testing ground’ for fraudsters, the technology delivered by OCR Labs Global may well be essential.
Headquartered in London, OCR Labs Global has a global footprint, operating offices in Australia and Turkey. Its technology has been adopted by organisations across highly regulated industries beyond gambling, including such as banking, finance, insurance, telecommunications and even government.
Technology bridges the gap between failure and success
Fiona Davies is Head of Gaming at OCR Labs Global, and as she and her team prepare for what is poised to be a game-changing SBC Summit Barcelona, Global Gambling News caught up with her to find out exactly what it is that OCR Labs Global brings to the party.
“It has been a race for identity verification vendors to be fully automated, to find a way to bridge the gap in failures and not be reliant on agents to review documents. Our tech solves this problem, bringing higher pass rates, intensive fraud detection and operational efficiencies. All this whilst achieving a smoother journey and less drop-off for operators and their customers.”
“OCR Labs Global is unique in the industry because 100% of our technology is proprietary. This allows us to scale faster and adapt quicker, as has been proven externally by our highest iBeta ranking. The world of gambling is truly global, and our 16,000+ document coverage, covering 142 languages, allows us to support not just home markets, but emerging markets as your businesses expand.”
Demand for identity verification is ever-increasing
Within this area of discipline, we asked Fiona to explain which specific OCR Labs Global services are having the greatest impact across the gambling industry as a whole?
“Due to the nature of OCR Global’s technology, our deep learning algorithms always acquire knowledge on the latest fraud vectors and identify documents as they are released. Across the entire betting and gaming industry, demand continues to increase for an identity verification process that works for both live venues and online environments, as well as the ability to verify unstructured documentation such as payslips and various forms of proof of address.”
And how will these products and services be displayed to operators at SBC Summit Barcelona?
“We will be demonstrating how our fully automated approach to identity verification is faster to approve players, quicker to spot fraud, dependable at any time of day and scalable with peak traffic.
“Most operators and platforms are still using agent-based approaches that feature human error, delays and potential for ‘insider’ fraud. We will demonstrate the step-change in how identity verification can be performed at the highest levels of accuracy and usability.”
Technology that evolves with the industry
OCR Labs Global clearly operates within the ‘high-tech’ area of the business arena, and within an industry that evolves so rapidly, such as gambling, certain key elements of the proposition must keep pace, as Fiona explains. “Our technology evolves with the industry; what one client encounters, irrespective of their sector, we learn from and provide any new benefits back across our whole user base. As we own and develop 100% of our technology and offerings, we are able to make decisions and execute quickly, to the benefit of all of our clients.”
Given this rapid rate of evolution, the obvious next thing to understand is which trends are particularly apparent right now, and capturing the most attention?
“The hot topic right now inn the world of identity verification is automation,” says Fiona, without a moment’s hesitation. “Operators and platforms want to move quicker, with a reliable process, a reliable outcome and with as few people as possible involved. Regulation can drive a heavy process for compliance, and automation is the only way to manage this growing challenge for better player protection.”
The core fundamentals never change
Alongside identity verification, and in many ways a parallel challenge, is the accelerating emergence of new payment technologies and, of course, new payment methods such as cryptocurrencies. Fiona Davies outlines why OCR Labs Global technology is so relevant to operators facing this bombardment of new concepts.
“New payment methods have long been inevitable, but the core fundamentals never change. We all need to check that players are who they are. So it is important to do the right KYC (Know-Your-Customer) checks at the right time. If a player is depositing or withdrawing large amounts of any currency, including crypto, should operators be performing additional checks? Such as liveness, from an anti-impersonation point of view? Criminals will always look for ways to manipulate the system, and it is all about having the right tools and solutions in place to be able to minimise such activities.”
Automation is key to maintaining the balance
Moving on from the specifics of OCR Labs Global, and allowing Fiona a moment to pause for breath, we conclude with a quick look at the wider industry challenges, and what she and OCR Labs Global might see coming over the horizon.
“I think the main challenges going forwards relate to the balance between finding growth in new markets and meeting the ever-ranging and – dare I say it – ever-changing regulators within each one of these markets. The sheer volume of suppliers, solutions and data points that operators now have to plug into can be overwhelming, so finding solutions to reduce this burden is key. Our sector is now monopolised by global brands, and yet operators still need to be local. Finding the balance between the two will be vital.”
And so, where does Fiona Davies see the industry heading over the coming few years?
“More acquisitions and consolidations will make it harder for start-ups to enter the race, especially in mature sectors of the market, as more suppliers offer a truly global solution. Technology, consolidation and automation are key to maintaining a balance between supply and demand.”
Investment in technology that improves performance
Which segways very smoothly into a closing sign-off, as you too pack your bags and prepare to be inspired by what you see in Barcelona. We leave the final word with OCR Labs Global, and its Head of Gaming Fiona Davies, as she looks forward to meeting you in the fabulous Fira Barcelona Montjuic.
“As the industry grows, taking advantage of current technology trends will only benefit operators. By investing in innovative technology, they will serve their customers better, improve performance without sacrificing quality and grow faster. And at OCR Labs Global, our very simple ethos is that anyone, anywhere in the world and at any time, should be able to prove their identity to access services, and we will continue to work with operators to move them away from manual tasks, to fully automated, to help them achieve that ultimate goal.”