Rob Leslie | CEO & Founder | Sedicii

Sedicii: Proving Identity, Digitally in Real-Time

Today when a person uses their credit or debit card to purchase something on the internet via mail order or telephone order, there is no efficient and convenient way for the merchant to confirm that the card is being used by its authorized owner. Additionally, the current methods offered by the card schemes, Verified by Visa and Mastercard 3D Secure, are almost universally disliked as the customer experience is also very poor.

“The future of Digital Identity is based on authoritative data, not documents.”

Sedicii has developed a smartphone-based service that addresses this problem. In an interview conducted between Insights Success and Rob Leslie – CEO & Founder of Sedicii, he told us that Sedicii provides a platform that enables organizations to benefit from world-class authentication solutions to deliver easy-to-use strong customer authentication. Below are the highlights of the interview:

What led to the inception of the company?

Sedicii was established in 2013 after I found myself a victim of fraud when purchasing a camera online. The ensuant resolution from the fraud quickly led me to believe that the internet, while being convenient, was not user friendly when it came to privacy and obtaining recompense. I sought restitution, failed, and quickly came to the realization that the internet had a major accountability issue when it came to the legal enforcement of contracts.

Describe the company and its extensive Intelligent Identity & Access Management Solutions which address all the needs of its customers.

Sedicii is building the technology to offer a federated, global identity verification network in collaboration with governments, banks, telecoms companies, and utilities that uses privacy-enhancing technologies at its core. The network allows for full privacy-preserving verification of individuals’ identity which is fully compliant with GDPR and other privacy laws. At the heart of Sedicii’s service is the Zero Knowledge Proof (ZKP) protocol.

As a security solutions provider company, what contribution has the company made in assisting its clients in achieving measurable goals?

Sedicii’s services primarily allow customers to deploy real-time, fully digital, KYC/AML compliant verification services for its customers, clients, and end-users. The services ensure that customers have cost-effective, fully compliant information whilst being privacy-preserving at all times. This safeguards our customers against regulatory sanctions, reputational damage and will also give end-customers confidence in their service provider.

What is your vision for the Sedicii? And what would be the best roadmap for getting there?

 Sedicii’s mission and vision is to create a global, federated identity verification network that has a very strong focus on privacy. The network will enable real-time identity verification whilst also complying with GDPR and other privacy laws. The network will be made up of trusted providers – including governments, financial institutions, utilities, telco’s, and many other organizations that need to verify their customers are genuine whilst acting in a bona fide manner with regard to their transactions. The key is to be able to verify identity without having to expose customer data in the process.

The development of the technology according to our roadmap is underway. As previously mentioned, we are currently working with a cohort of governments, financial institutions and organizations that will form part of the federated network by acting as authoritative sources of information. We are actively seeking more authoritative sources to join our network.

How do you sustain in the current unpredictable markets and hectic competition?

Strangely, in many ways, the Covid 19 pandemic has focused minds on the absolute need for digital solutions more firmly. Digital transformation in no longer optional; it is mandatory. People’s lives have been changed unrecognizably in many ways. Business and online transactions have skyrocketed. With this dramatic increase in digital interaction, the incidence of frauds and scams has also increased enormously. Consequently, people want, dare I say it, are demanding, better internet services without the fear of falling victim to fraud, impersonation, scamming, or the risk of loss of either financial or personal identity.

Since the beginning of the year, Sedicii has seen a significant acceleration in interest for our services. We are currently working with government agencies, tier-one financial institutions, and public service organizations to help them verify that their customers’ credentials are valid and true. The Sedicii team, which currently numbers 17 employees based in Ireland, Canary Islands, UK, Germany, and Belgium are committed to making the federated network a reality. Obviously, as with any start-up, development requires investment and we are happy to say that like-minded entrepreneurs have stepped up recognising Sedicii’s potential through their willingness to invest.

Give a detailed description of your influence over the company and the industry.

I am an Electronic Engineer having graduated from DCU in the 1980s. Being selected as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer has given me the opportunity to speak at Davos on cybersecurity, digital identity, and other technical issues affecting the world’s economies. I worked in Japan for the first 20 years of my career, including at Dell where I was part of the management team that grew the company to almost 300 employees in its first four years with a $300m turnover. Subsequently, I was a partner in PTS Japan which was sold having achieved a $33m valuation at exit within five years of its start.

After that, I returned to Ireland and co-founded Kyckr (ASX: KYK) in 2007 which is now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. As I previously said, Sedicii was set up in 2013 and for three years I spent a lot of time researching the ZKP protocol and experimenting with a lot of things in the authentication and identity verification areas.

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