Onfido receives £5M grant from UK Banking Competition Remedies to improve access to financial services for SMEs

August 18, 2020 Laura Noye

Award to focus on advanced digital identity solutions to simplify access, promote account switching, and reduce fraud.  

Today, the Board of Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR) announced it is awarding Onfido a £5M grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund Pool, which facilitates development and innovation of financial technology that is relevant to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). 

Out of nearly 100 applications, Onfido is one of six organisations receiving a share of the grant which has a combined value of £20 million. BCR, the independent body established to implement the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) State Aid Alternative Remedies Package, attracts applications across many different sectors and is rigorous in the assessment criteria, analysis, and decision-making processes.

Access to financial products and services is a major challenge for SMEs today. This is often due to the complexity, cost and administrative burden that comes with the Know Your Business (KYB) identity verification checks that form part of obtaining any financial product or service. Onfido is committed to improving digital identity and access, delivering a cost-effective solution that simplifies their KYB obligations, and provides time-efficiency, security and reliability.

The £5M grant from BCR will enable Onfido to invest in the development of biometric fraud detection, data anonymization, and document fraud prevention technologies. This will occur concurrently with the development of portable identity (PID), in order to integrate these enabling technologies and provide a novel service which minimises the impact of the KYB process on SMEs.

Aidene Walsh, Lead Director on the Capability and Innovation Fund workstream said: 

“It has been really encouraging to see that, despite the challenging economic environment, this Pool has attracted a large number of diverse and innovative organisations that are making strong progress in meeting the needs of UK SMEs. All successful applicants have demonstrated a clear vision for how they will deliver on their business proposition by December 2022 and provide agile and enduring products and services to the SME market”. 

Husayn Kassai, CEO and co-founder of Onfido said:

“At Onfido, we’re transforming the accessibility of financial products and services for SMEs. We pride ourselves on leading discovery and innovation of artificial intelligence technologies applied to identity verification and are honoured to receive the grant to further invest in the technologies that are creating a more open and inclusive online world. We view this as a critical issue as we enter a more digitised world where an individual’s identity is the key to access.”

More information on the Capability and Innovation Fund decision-making process, including public commitments, can be found here


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