Japan’s Toppan beefs up ID security with Taiwan developer purchase
TOKYO — Japan’s Toppan Printing has acquired software company iDGate, looking to use the Taiwanese target’s online identity verification technology to enhance security for its own ID cards.
Established in 2013, iDGate offers “electronic know your customer,” or eKYC, technology that can enable companies to verify a customer’s identity by analyzing a photo, for example. It provides security services to 15 or so financial institutions, including major Taiwanese lender CTBC Bank.
Toppan plans to integrate this technology with its ID card business, enabling applications for new cards to be handled entirely online while also cutting down on fraud.
The size of the acquisition, which was handled through a Singapore-based Toppan subsidiary, is undisclosed but is estimated to exceed $10 million.
Toppan markets ID cards to governments in emerging countries in such regions as Africa. As the coronavirus pandemic pushes developing nations to go digital for administrative procedures in areas such as social security and tax collection, identity theft is a growing concern. Toppan looks to win more orders by incorporating eKYC into its offerings to address this issue.
Back home, the Japanese company will start offering identity verification services to businesses and municipal governments. Demand for eKYC technology has grown here after fraudulent withdrawals forced wireless carrier NTT Docomo to halt signups for its electronic payment service in September.
Toppan sees annual eKYC-related revenue doubling in five years to 3 billion yen ($29 million).