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Discovering a New Way of Identity Verification: HooYu Interview

The identity confirmation platform HooYu speaks to SiGMA about its unique approach on identity confirmation technology

HooYu is one of the Startups to take part in SiGMA Startup Pitch. The company is a global identity verification service using a unique blend of identity technologies including digital footprints, ID document authentication and facial biometrics to prove customer identity.

What is your company’s unique differentiating idea?

HooYu is a global identity confirmation service used not only by businesses that need to check their customers are actually who they say they are, but also by consumers who want to check another person’s identity before they proceed with an important or sensitive transaction. We believe that one form of identification is simply not enough when verifying someone’s identity. A multi-layered defence is what is needed to help pass all of your customers during the on-boarding process.

Gaming companies today need an identity verification solution that can easily verify gamers from all over the world, but that also uses multiple identity technologies to defend against well-equipped fraudsters. Our approach is to blend identity technologies and to work with global tokens of identity that we all have, namely a face, an ID document and a growing digital footprint based on social media consumption and online shopping habits. By combining identity technologies with universal aspects of identity, at HooYu, we are offering a new approach to the age-old challenge of identity verification.

HooYu verifies a person’s digital footprint, authenticates their ID document and conducts a biometric facial check comparing a selfie of the customer with the facial image on their ID document. HooYu then extracts and verifies data from digital footprint sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn or ID document sources such as passports, driving licences or proof of address documents. Finally, HooYu examines, compares and cross-references customer identity across these multiple sources to deliver an identity confidence score. Our service is designed to help online gamers quickly and securely identify themselves using both traditional ID verification and social media identification, all without any complex procedures or significant lag-time enabling them to get immersed into a game with other players they can trust.

What differentiates you from your competitors? Specifically, what do you provide that is currently not available in the market or how do you differ from your competitors?

While other companies use just one signal of identity to prove someone’s identity, namely the ID document, HooYu’s approach is to use multiple sources of identity to confirm an identity not to just rely on an ID document which can be stolen forgotten or manipulated. By combining other sources of identity information such as a digital footprint analysis (from everyday online activity such as social media, online shopping and online payments), database checks and facial biometrics, it makes for a stronger identity confirmation.

It is perfectly possible to get fake ID documents passed a document verification process. Given enough time and money fraudsters can make or obtain perfect forgeries or fraudulently obtained legitimate documents. HooYu’s range of identity sources actually corroborates & increases confidence in a document’s authenticity. HooYu’s approach is more robust as it uses multiple signals of identity whereas Jumio & Mitek rely on only one source of identity.

See how HooYu works


What milestones or tangible traction have you achieved to date? 

Since launching, HooYu has helped a variety of organisations from different sectors onboard customers that are unable to be verified through traditional database checks. Clients include Reparo Finance, BC Remit, International Association of Money Transfer, and many more. Our clients say that our solution makes their customer journey more efficient and smooth, providing them with a great compliment to their current identity checks.

Please explain your objectives for participating in SIGMA Pitch Event.

We’ve established ourselves within a short amount of time to be the go to verification technology within the financial services market. Our new way of identity verification helps onboard more customers across FS, the sharing economy, prepaid sector, retail and gaming. Our technology transcends sectors – ID verification is needed across organisations so that companies are adhering to the correct Customer Due Diligence checks. Our aim is to break into the gaming industry and help gaming companies on-board and verify more of their gamers and prevent fraud.

In 2011, Sony saw an attack compromise 77 million of its gamers details, in the same year Xbox live players fell victim to an email-based ‘phishing’ scam, which led users into revealing details of their gamer profiles, including bank account information. More recently in 2015, hackers managed to steal personal information including email addresses, passwords and IP addresses from many PlayStation and Xbox gamers.

As the number of online gamers continues to increase – so does the need for greater protection and controls, the vast majority of modern gaming sites require highly sensitive personal information for both registration and use. To prevent fraud and protect players, gaming sites need to ensure they are using identity verification services whilst at the same time as minimising the inconvenience to the player and avoiding a decline in player onboarding.

With HooYu players can quickly and securely identify themselves using both traditional ID verification and social media identification. All without any complex procedures or significant lag-time, enabling them to get immersed into a game with other players they can trust. Our talk during the SIGMA Pitch event will be around the need for identity verification and technology. and how it can help gamers and gaming companies.



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