Socure acquires Berbix to help customers combat online identity fraud

Socure acquired Berbix, a San Francisco-based startup that developed a high-accuracy document verification solution with a patent-pending forensics engine able to detect spoofed IDs – including AI-generated fakes – that are visually indistinguishable to the human eye.

The approximately $70 million cash and stock transaction marks the first acquisition for Socure.

With the integration of Berbix’s technology complete, Socure has also announced the launch of its Predictive Document Verification (DocV) 3.0 solution.

“There’s a perception among users that all document verification solutions perform the same, but after testing several offerings in the market, we found this to be categorically false. In fact, we found endless examples of other vendors in the market providing inaccurate stats that just couldn’t be validated. I don’t blame users for their lack of faith here,” said Socure CEO Johnny Ayers.

“Conversely, Berbix was the opposite in our testing. They delivered substantially better results than what was promised with far superior performance in accuracy and speed, which we have been able to pair with our superior user experience and fraud models.”

Online ID verification has become more critical than ever as consumers have taken the most essential – and risky – facets of their personal and work lives online. From shopping on e-commerce sites to conducting virtual doctor visits and applying for home mortgages, fast and accurate ID verification is a core component of unlocking trusted transactions.

It’s also key to thwarting rampant and growing online fraud. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports a 30% YoY increase in consumer fraud losses in 20221, and the U.S. government infamously saw $700 billion in fraud losses since the start of the pandemic. In both cases, compromised and fake identities were often at the heart of these attacks and losses.

Socure’s DocV 3.0 is prepared to enable increased consumer acquisition while stamping out online identity fraud. The solution marries Berbix’s unmatched forensics engine and data extraction capabilities with Socure’s frictionless front-end image capture app that provides an automated user experience.

Additionally, DocV 3.0 uniquely leverages predictive risk signals from Socure’s ID+ comprehensive identity graph, inclusive of, but not limited to, rich device, phone ownership, behavioral data, address, and geolocation signals to provide risk decisions on the individual connected to the physical credential.

Socure’s approach to radical accuracy in ID verification is proven by the numbers. The solution delivers:

  • Increased fully automated decisioning by 14% – DocV 3.0 delivers 94% auto decisioning versus an industry standard of 80%
  • Increased first-attempt auto approvals of good consumers by 26% – DocV 3.0 delivers a 90% approval rate of good consumers versus an industry standard of 64%
  • Increased fraudulent document capture by 27% – DocV 3.0 accurately captures more than 83% of all fraudulent documents versus an industry standard of 56%
  • Increased speed to decision and user experience – DocV 3.0 delivers accurate, fully automated conclusive results in less than 4 seconds versus a range of 6-75 seconds found in the market

“DocV 3.0 represents a significant departure from legacy providers whose document verification models rely on simple template checks and rules to determine if a document is legitimate. Without running sophisticated fraud models on related personally identifiable information (PII), or pairing the documentary check with rich device, phone ownership, geolocation, and behavioral data, customers see far less accurate decisions, resulting in higher fraud and lower customer acceptance. This prohibits companies from using document verification solutions for high-risk onboarding, authentication, or transactions. It’s a real gap in how ID document verification can be used,” said Ayers.

Getting ID document verification right equates to many millions of dollars in revenue and savings resulting from a huge lift in customer acquisition, a reduction in fraud losses, and a decrease in the operational burn connected to manual reviews. Radical accuracy and speed are annually quantifiable for every customer.

“A global enterprise, for example, can see an extra $86.1 million in revenue in a single year with Predictive DocV 3.0. If they’re running 500,000 checks a month on consumers with a lifetime value of $50, improving auto-acceptance of customers by 26% can mean a lift in revenue of $78 million over 12 months. Meanwhile, increasing fraud capture by 27% in that environment, where we’ve actually seen 50 basis points of fraud and an average loss of $1,000, can return $8.1 million over the same period. That doesn’t include the massive amount of savings accrued by reducing the number of investigators who need to manually review potential incidents,” said Ayers.

Berbix was founded in 2018 by former members of the Airbnb Trust and Safety Team. Berbix CEO Eric Levine will assume the role of Socure’s Senior Vice President and Head of DocV Product Management as part of the acquisition.

“I’m extremely proud of what we built at Berbix to advance state-of-the-art document verification. Moving forward with Socure, we are able to multiply our impact on day one by leveraging our technology with Socure’s substantial customer base, reach, and reputation. Combining our independent investments in document verification is yielding stunning results – and we’re just getting started,” said Levine.

DocV 3.0 can be used as a solo solution, but it is also a key element of Socure’s integrated identity platform, which includes email risk, phone, risk, ID & Synthetic ID fraud, AML, Bank Account Verification, and Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions. The platform delivers simple-to-consume, comprehensive trusted identity decisions and allows users to orchestrate how these solutions are used in combination based on use case and level of risk.

“Socure’s mission and vision is to verify 100% of good identities and completely eliminate identity fraud on the internet while being the world’s most accurate and inclusive risk and identity verification company. To attain this, our focus has always been on radical accuracy – and that’s exactly what DocV 3.0 delivers,” said Ayers. “We’ve spent years investing in being the most accurate in identifying third-party and synthetic fraud, KYC population coverage, and now we’re taking document verification performance to the same level.”

Over 1,800 companies, including four of the top five banks, leading card issuers, and more than 400 of the largest fintechs, rely on Socure’s identity verification and fraud platform.

The Berbix acquisition will accelerate Socure’s document verification product innovation roadmap by over 18 months and opens up more markets and use cases, including telehealth, remote workforce, car and ride-sharing, high-risk financial services, alcohol and cannabis purchases, and two-sided marketplaces. It is also an essential part of the NIST IAL2 standard for government onboarding.

The acquisition will accelerate Socure’s international expansion by providing global coverage of ICAO-compliant travel documents, passports, and national ID cards. Onboarding new ID documents takes less than five days thanks to natural language processing that enables speed and flexibility in learning IDs with changing formats instead of rigid templates.

“In today’s world where digital identity verification is critical in the online channel, solutions that delight the user and protect the organization are foundational in any control framework. Document verification solutions that include a guided user experience, highly accurate results, and fast decisions are gaining wider adoption across many industries and markets to mitigate fraud risks for businesses and their users,” says David Mattei, Strategic Advisor at Aite-Novarica Group.

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