Yoti, an app that transforms paper ID documents into a digital identity, launches in India

People take selfie and scan their passport with their smartphone, which then gets transformed into a digital identity

Yoti, a digital identity app that eliminates the need for paper-based verification, has launched operations in India.

Yoti was founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Robin Tombs, along with Duncan Francis and Noel Hayden.

According to the startup, Yoti transforms paper ID documents into a digital identity. You can use Yoti to prove your identity online and in person. The app lets people prove identities to businesses without showing and photocopying paper documents; confirm the identity details of people they meet online; and log in to websites securely using biometrics instead of passwords.

All personal details are secured with advanced hybrid encryption. Yoti says it cannot access any personal data once the Yoti account has been created and verified.

Founder and CEO Tombs said: “After three years of hard work by the team and a successful UK launch, we’re really excited to now be bringing Yoti to India, where nearly 300 million adults have smartphones. Indians, many of them millennials, are well educated and open to adopting new technologies.”

“As we live more of our lives online, the way we prove who we are is outdated. Yoti makes it faster, simpler and more secure for people and businesses to prove identities and know who they’re dealing with. We are helping them to fight back against everyday issues — such as identity fraud and online scams — which cost time, money and emotional distress,” he added.

India is one of the most susceptible market in Asia to online scams, with 48 per cent of consumers having experienced retail fraud directly or indirectly. “India is a key market for us in addition to the UK and the US. Consumers are increasingly aware of the relevance and impact of linking identity to access services and keen to protect misuse of their private information. We are making significant technology investments and have designed our product to work with multiple verification sources including Aadhaar, PAN and driving licence databases. We look forward to working closely with our business partners and the regulators to make digital interactions safer, simpler, more secure and in full control of our consumers,” said Madhu Nori, International Commercial Director of Yoti.

The app, available on iOS and Android, takes less than five minutes to set up. People take selfie and scan their passport with their smartphone, which then gets transformed into a digital identity.

In the coming months, Yoti will also support other Indian documents such as Aadhaar, driving licence and PAN.

Yoti uses advanced hybrid encryption to secure user details and puts individuals in control of their data — people know exactly what details they share and with who, instead of disclosing their full identity with a paper ID document. The passport scan at the time of verification is only used to verify details like name, date of birth and nationality; it is then deleted from Yoti’s systems. Only the individual can see their personal data – even Yoti can’t see it. Yoti has been designed in such a way that individuals aren’t tracked – Yoti cannot see how an individual uses their Yoti or what details they share with another person or business.

Yoti is aiming to reach two million downloads this year



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