Signicat Secures EU Backing Through Horizon 2020 Funding

Funding for study to establish basis for next generation online trust services for cross-border commercial transactions in Europe

Signicat today announced that it has secured phase one funding from Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for funding research and innovation. The purpose of the funding is to scope a simplified and cost effective online service for identity assurance that can be used in regulated industries such as banks and financial institutions across Europe.

To date, the development of electronic identity in Europe has mainly been done within a national scope, with limited degree of European coordination. This has resulted in a fragmented infrastructure that presents challenges to service providers wishing to reach a broad audience. Signicat’s solution is to let banks in Europe integrate with its identity assurance hub, allowing complex integrations to be centralised. The funding has been awarded to explore the need for a pan-European solution, based on the expected positive impact on the financial market and end-users through experience gained with live customers in the Nordics.

Know your customer (KYC) regulation is important for the prevention of identity theft and financial fraud, including money laundering and terrorist financing. However, the due diligence activities that are necessary to establish the required level of trust in a user’s identity have traditionally been cumbersome and expensive,” said Gunnar Nordseth, CEO Signicat. “Lack of workable solutions for online identity assurance hampers the development of an efficient finance industry in the EU. Surveys done in the UK show that four out of ten customers at some point become frustrated enough with an online application to simply give up. Our vision is to reshape the market for trusted identity assurance and to become the leading provider of such services in Europe.

Horizon 2020 is part of the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. Signicat’s objectives within phase I are to identify commercial requirements, legal environment and technical solutions in six pre-selected European countries including The Netherlands, Germany, UK, Belgium, Italy and Spain. This will form the basis for phase II of the project. Phase II will be the implementation of a revised business plan based on the findings, with available funding reaching an amount of €200m. The feasibility study began on 1st October and will end in April 2017.

Author: Dylan Jones

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