IsItYou offers true face recognition on mobile, allowing institutions such as banks to authenticate users using only a selfie photo.


Authentication is just a matter of taking a selfie. Photos courtesy of IsItYou.

Everyone hates using passwords, especially on a mobile device. And everyone knows it’s not hard for a hacker to steal your password anyway.

When Israeli startup IsItYou  looked for an easier and more secure way to authenticate users, founder Benjamin Levy didn’t have to look farther than the mirror.

“The face is the strongest element that humans use in identifying one another, and each face is unique,” he tells ISRAEL21c shortly after the company’s official March launch at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

It only takes a selfie to set IsItYou’s face-recognition technology into motion, allowing users to authenticate themselves quickly without having to remember a password. The technology was designed with unique proprietary anti-spoofing technology to achieve low false-reject and false-acceptance rates.

At the company’s booth at the Microsoft Think Next  event last May in Tel Aviv, Levy demonstrated how even a lifelike face mask can’t fool the system. Banks in the Netherlands, United States and Japan are already using IsItYou to help stanch multibillion-dollar losses from sophisticated fraud.

“If you had told me our first class of customers was going to be banks I would have laughed,” Levy confides. “Banks are conservative and cautious, but banking is changing rapidly and they need to authenticate people who don’t come to the branch anymore. Though the teller may have known you in person, nobody knows if the person claiming to be you on a remote transaction is really you.”

In the crowded space of face-recognition technology, IsItYou took on the difficult challenge of mobile user authentication.

“Everybody has seen face recognition on TV and the movies. IsItYou doesn’t work like that,” says Levy. “The big guys like Google, Apple and Facebook all have some sort of face recognition. A lot of it is simply cataloguing and it’s really fun, but it’s not mission-critical. If they make a mistake and it’s not Joe but Jim, annoyance is the worst that can happen. If I make a mistake, money goes missing.”

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