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Biometrics and the London Insurance Market

 14th Dec 2016

FL Innovation Debate - Why Bother

This week, Future Leaders of the London Insurance Market participated in our for-fun forgery competition whilst considering the serious potential for biometric e-signature solutions in various London Markets processes. Fledgling forgers (a.k.a. market professionals) tried to beat our biometric handwritten signature recognition system. How did they do?


KPMG Future Leaders audience

With many people having multiple attempts at forging one or more signatures, approximately 100 attempts were made. Of these, just 12 people recorded any scores (i.e. above 0%) with the average personal best attempt of these scoring in the 30%-40% range, some with a little coaching and tips from co-conspirators.

Of course no-one came anywhere near the genuine signers’ 96%-99% scores, nor the specially lowered threshold of 85% for a Tablet-winning 'green light' surprise, but we did have two people with a best attempt above 50% - one of whom won with 58%.


Chaymae Lougmani

Freelance UX Design Specialist

receiving Wacom Bamboo Fineline 2

creative stylus pen prize from Icon UK

MD Chris Jones 

Chaymae Lougmani prizewinner 

There was a serious point to the light-hearted challenge, however! Addressing the requirement to modernise, technologies such as Icon UK's SIGNificant eSignature solution offer many possibilities for the improvement of workflows both within and attached to market processes. This advanced eSignature technology can also help drive security standards upwards through socially acceptable and non-invasive verification techniques.

We explore below a few of the issues arising.

Insurance First: Why is Change in the London Market Important?        Innovation - Why Bother 2 

The market is overdue a large change:

  • Costs across the market are far too high with some of the largest market players not covering their cost of capital.
  • Broker disintermediation is increasingly possible
  • Fraud levels are unacceptably high and risks are rising, particularly those which are cyber related

Despite huge efforts to educate the market and change these legacy processes, both paper and passwords are still entrenched. Paper is no longer necessary. We provide EVERYTHING that the current processes demand, from the ability to sign by hand in a 'wet ink' style as if on paper (or even actually on paper with an electronic sensor below) to customisable stamping and hand annotation. More than that, we can conduct collaborative document composition (contract or claim) within secure and auditable environments with face-to-face, secure, encrypted and recorded video interactions enhancing and speeding up a variety of processes across the insurance market.

Dynamic forms can be used so that only the relevant paragraphs are included in otherwise lengthy documents thereby reducing much of the mundane work that junior staff are expected to perform. Offering an intuitive solution to this process ensures that the millennials in these roles are not put off insurance as a career by starting with repetitive or boring work to do.

When it comes to security, password log-in's should be consigned to history. Everyone hates this insecure and inconvenient relic of twentieth century computing. Using the very latest in biometric e-signature solutions, we demonstrated just how secure biometric e-signatures are and how hard it is to copy a signature, even with the genuine signer's image right in front of you to copy. Whether one uses these for log-in (which might also be an alternative biometric), one should gain from the "2-for-1" benefit of biometric e-Signatures providing both strong legal proof of consent and embedded identity validation.

The London Market's participants know they need to embrace change, if only to avoid it's long-standing reputation becoming eroded and the prize taken by more innovative players with the scale and the will to disrupt.

Biometric eSignature Technology                                               The Power of a Signature in a Digital World

With sampling rates of every dimension up to 230 times per second, the unique profile built of one's signature allows the creation of a convenient means of security that is virtually fool-proof. Even you employ robot signers to replicate a signature 100% on all measured dimensions, the system will fail this attempt as it knows that it is unlikely we just encountered a one in a billion event, so will request a re-signing before referring to superiors or/and the security team.

Most people in real-life situations attempting forgery in front of another person (bank agent or insurance salesperson) do not have the benefit of a sample signature to copy sitting explicitly in front of them, nor do they have multiple attempts without rousing suspicion, let alone the possibility to observe and remember in detail how the genuine owner crafts their signature deposit. Thus it should be little surprise that the majority of real life fake attempts score close to 0% with our technology.

This also holds true if an expert forger can privately complete documentation with a signature sample to copy from. If there is an exact replica of the visual signature image, the deposited electronic signature will be impacted in timing and rhythm vectors. The X-Y axis 2D image only counts for 1% of the validation weighting in our algorithms.

As "dynamic biometrics", both signature and voice have an in-built security feature due to natural human variance but reliability that over time we have created a pattern of writing and speaking. Interestingly, biometric eSignatures work very well with alternative signatures such as non-Latin character sets (e.g. Japanese or Arabic) - and even with simplified forms of marking such as a well-practised set of initials or even a smiley face for less critical uses!

How Icon UK Can Support Your Business                                 Icon Roundel - Metal Sign on wall 1280x854

We sample multiple factors in the composition of the signature, including the shape, speed, stroke angle, pen pressure and timing information during the act of signing. Recording when you lift off the page to cross Ts or dot Is, for example, also adds to the composition of your biometric e-signature. As we discussed at the Future Leaders event, this is just one very easily demonstrable aspect of what Icon UK does for its clients.

We are experts in the use of innovative yet proven technologies like this to incorporate into business processes of all sorts - to make them faster, cheaper, easier, more secure and regulatory compliant. We also focus heavily on aspects like customer experience in B2C markets and understanding how the simple and intuitive become parts of a customer on-boarding or complaints process, for example. In the B2B world, we can incorporate digital e-signatures into business processes to ensure that someone signing is not only who they claim to be, but that they are authorised to sign off a £10M contract, for example.

We are also expert at tackling paper and online document challenges - reducing costs associated with the creation of them and improving the experience of those using both systems and output. We have Document Composition solutions in leading insurance clients across EMEA where we have been able to provide numerous, significant benefits, including:

  • Smart templates reducing the complexity of creating draft contracts and other structured documents
  • Reducing the time and mundane nature of creating similar documents repeatedly
  • Speeding up the process and reducing costs significantly
  • Increasing accuracy by ensuring that the right content is selected from an approved template library containing only the latest approved branding and collateral
  • Reducing the risk of mistakes and/or malfeasance
  • Ensuring compliance (internal and regulatory)
  • Ensuring contract certainty and strong evidential weight whilst improving user experience.

The benefit to many of these clients is not only a reduction in MS Word licenses but also in many cases a reduction in overall production costs in excess of 90%. That equates to massive cost savings as well as all of the benefits listed above.

No-one enjoys mundane tasks involved with market or regulated documentation. Our Document Composition Management solutions coupled to sophisticated biometric e-signature solutions, merge seamlessly to provide you with a new way of working that isn't just innovating but is also beneficially enhancing to current, out-dated processes.

What's Next in London Markets?                                  The Panel at the KPMG Future Leaders Innovation Event, where Icon UK presented its Biometric eSignature Forgery Challenge             

The Panel and TOM change leaders suggested some interesting innovation approaches. For us, we are actively engaging with the Innovation team at Lloyd's to look at how we can assist many of the TOM initiatives, as well as the market solutions such as PPL to help further enhance and improve them for the good of the market.

As a result of last night, we hope to be able to bring an enhanced showcase to the Lloyd's Building for a wider range of participants to test drive solution elements - and have fun seeing if they can gain higher scores!

We love meeting innovators and change agents within the market. There's plenty of introductory information on our websites to get a discussion started. Then contact us to arrange a meeting with one of our specialists to explore how we might be of help to you in your role - both in your firm and encouraging innovative and productive change in the market.



Man 2 Displays - Significant and Security pages (1280x823)


More from the event including FAQ, Competition Concepts Introduction and White Paper links, click here




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