08/23/2018  |  CODE_n18 Startup CONTEST, Digital Transformation, new.New Festival

Digital identity is probably one of the most significant technology trends nowadays. At the same time, it is equally important to come up with solutions that are secure, scalable and inclusive. The world is digitalizing at a fast pace and companies aim at delivering a seamless customer experience. Using artificial intelligence, our CODE_n CONTEST Finalist, Nect found the perfect solution for initiating the digital connection between companies and their customers. We spoke with Benny Bennet Jürgens, CEO of Nect, to find more about the unique technology the company developed to verify a user’s identity.

Iulia: What is Nect all about?

Benny: Nect is all about increasing conversion rates for regulated companies like insurers, banks, and telecommunication providers. Nect is like a good old-fashioned handshake supercharged with leading-edge technology, making onboarding new customers easy, trustworthy, and digital – all at the same time. And this brings us to the second thing we’re all about: technology. We are passionate about using the latest technology to overcome hurdles in everyday use cases. This lets us have a positive impact on the daily life of millions of people who want to get things done efficiently, not to mention all those regulated companies who would rather focus on building great products than spend time worrying about regulations and customer registrations. And we do it all using our minds, our determination, and a computer.

Iulia: How did you come up with the idea?

Benny: For more than 10 years I worked for one of the largest insurance companies in the world, where one of my responsibilities was app development. Back then, even though we had great feedback that we were really helping our customers with self-service apps, it was always extremely frustrating to see every second customer dropping out during the registration process. They never even got to the point where our app could help them. Instead, they frustratedly uninstalled the app and thought that their insurer is not able to offer them a digital channel all because registration for services from regulated companies is so complicated. You can see the same thing with bank accounts. Over 80% of people use online banking, but less than 10% actually open their accounts online. That’s because opening an account online is a mess. We knew there had to be a better solution for initiating the digital connection between companies and their customers.

Iulia: What are you trying to solve?

Benny: We’ve found that one of the main issues with onboarding processes in regulated industries is the step where you have to prove your identity. This is often required by law and is one of the biggest hurdles for any customer – and therefore a real conversion killer. There are many more good reasons to verify the user’s identity, so there’s a real and increasing demand. With that in mind we started looking into the main problems with the current solutions on the market. After that, we came up with a process that is as easy as taking a selfie and as secure as the biometric systems at border checkpoints. We’ve filed patents, which shows that we’ve not only developed a better, but also a new and unique way to verify a user’s identity. Our solution is based on cutting-edge technology, but we always keep the people using it in mind.

Iulia: How safe is Nect Ident? You claim that it is safer than the normal ID card; what makes it so secure? Also, how did you manage to convince big insurance companies to adopt your product?

Benny: We’re like the Apple packaging for insurance apps. Most other smartphone manufacturers underestimated the first impression, while Apple’s packaging is legendary. It’s not a nuisance; it’s a popular feature of every Apple product. But it’s also very protective. Have you ever seen someone open the packaging to find a broken iPhone? We wrap military-grade biometric security in a simple process that’s as fun and easy as taking a selfie. Users are amazed by how easy onboarding with Nect is and impressed when they learn about all the security details. And that’s how it should be – you shouldn’t have to worry about security, it should just be there for you.

You might call it luck: a combination of the right timing with a perfect team to match. There is a genuine demand for our product and we managed to deliver something unique. But besides that, with our background inside the industry we can deliver a product that’s tailored to industry needs. I think that really makes a difference. We speak the same language and can focus on looking forward – customers don’t have to waste time giving us background information. That’s a good way to start a relationship with a big insurance company: love your product, protect your customers, and look forward into the future together.

Iulia: Thanks a lot for the interview, Benny!

Meet Nect at the new.New Festival 2018 this fall, in Stuttgart!