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Javier Mira, Facephi

Improving digital fraud protection and introducing the technological advancements within Facephi and much more with...

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[1 FH] What motivated you to start Facephi, and what key problems does the company aim to solve for its customers?
[JM]We started a little over ten years ago with two very clear objectives: to protect people’s digital identity and improve their experience when configuring it through biometrics, with the protection of their data as a premise. The banking sector is one of the most exposed to suffer great economic losses due to identity fraud, and we have specialised in solving this problem. We have since adapted our products to the needs of the digital society, and have diversified to serve other sectors such as public administration, shared mobility, access to airports and large venues, and smart cities.
[2 FH] Which specific client demographics typically utilize your technology, and what feedback have you received from these customers?
[JM]Our main market is in Latin America, where we first marketed our onboarding and digital identity verification solutions. There we serve more than 200 banks, we are leaders in the sector, and we have a retention rate of 95%. The excellence of our solutions is our main endorsement, which allows us to grow every year, and to expand in recent months to other territories, with EMEA as a strategic destination marked on our roadmap. We currently have more than 250 customers, more than 120 partners and we provide services in more than 25 countries, with subsidiaries in Seoul, Montevideo and London for the APAC, LATAM and EMEA areas, respectively. Portugal is one of the most interesting markets we plan to enter.
[3 FH] What are the primary challenges Facephi has encountered throughout the development and implementation of your facial identity technology?
[JM]From the beginning until today, the digital society has evolved at an incredible pace. Digital identity challenges arise every day and we must be prepared to address and, above all, anticipate them. The development and implementation of our biometric technology has gone hand in hand with this evolution, always respecting international regulatory requirements and complying with the most demanding industry certifications to protect the identity of our users. We now not only cover the needs of the banking sector when its customers open an account and operate with it, but also those of other sectors such as public administration, shared mobility or healthcare.
[4 FH] What is your vision for the future of Facephi over the next five years?
[JM]Facephi has diversified its products and adapted them in anticipation of the future digital society we are going to live in. We now offer our biometric solutions a la carte in SaaS, with a product that is flexible to the needs of each company, regardless of its size or the sector in which it operates. Our immediate goals are to enter the crypto and gambling sectors, and to continue exploring the great possibilities of fintech. Undoubtedly, we are in a moment of business expansion and in the next five years we are sure that our biometric identity verification solutions will be present in many scenarios of our day to day life.
[5 FH] In your opinion, what are the most promising fintech trends that are likely to gain traction in the Portuguese market over the next year?
[JM]The Portuguese fintech sector has recently experienced a surge in venture capital opportunities, indicating a thriving start-up environment and strong investor interest. Moving forward, we anticipate that this scene will be driven by novel technologies like Web3, DeFi, and AI applications. In addition, biometric security measures are becoming increasingly important, enhancing the security and user experience of digital banking and payment services.
We also foresee significant transformations in the payment services and e-money markets, with a shift towards open banking and embedded finance. The developing regulation of crypto-assets is another area worth keeping an eye on, as new tax laws mark a significant turning point in the financial landscape. Furthermore, the Bank of Portugal’s investigation into Central Bank Digital Currencies could herald the beginning of a shift towards digital monetary systems.
Lastly, we expect to see increased adoption of ESG standards by fintech firms as a commitment to sustainable finance and anticipate that it could soon become a regulatory norm.

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