How is NFC going to help our operators make EURO 2020 a success?

The UEFA EURO was about to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2020 with 3 million tickets and 5 billion global live viewers anticipated. The event initially was supposed to take place in June 2020, but due to the global COVID19 pandemic, it was moved to 2021.

For gaming operators, big sports events traditionally mean large spikes in user activity and especially new user registrations. More than ever, during this year’s EURO 2020, gaming operators are facing a high number of surges in new signups on a matchday. Unfortunately, with rising demand, there is an increase in fraud attempts coming along.

A new wave of sophisticated fraud

IDnow is constantly monitoring the fraud attacks on its customers to detect trends early and ultimately stay ahead of fraudsters. Recently IDnow has detected an increasing wave of highly sophisticated fraud attacks. These advanced fraud attacks were bypassing standard identity verification processes, making them very difficult to detect.

After investigating and analysing the sophisticated fraud attacks, IDnow discovered that fraudsters were utilising very well forged ID cards. The visual security features, like holograms and watermarks, were forged to perfection. In consequence, both humans and artificial intelligence were not able to visually detect fake ID cards.

If the ID cards were forged to perfection, how did IDnow spot them?

IDnow is not only looking at individual identity verification cases but is monitoring across all verifications, over long periods and across multiple customers with different use cases. This results in extensive data sets, allowing IDnow to detect fraud patterns and trends at scale.

This data enabled IDnow to detect two ident cases with two different identities, however the same person on appeared the biometric images. In other words, at least one or more likely both ID cards were fraudulent. After investigating the cases further and performing a manual review, the two used ID cards were proven fake by verifying the built-in electronic chip using NFC.

Below I highlighted some of the things that come up for my clients. The main question is how we ensure with NFC technology we reduce the increasing rate of fraud cases?

Sophisticated fraud attacks require more sophisticated identity verification solutions

When an ID document is forged to perfection, it requires verification solutions that look beyond visual security features. Today modern ID documents contain an NFC chip that stores a copy of the identity details. The information on the chip is secured and can be authenticated through an electronic certificate from the issuing government. Consequently, the NFC chip is far more complex to forge than visual security features, like holograms and watermarks. Validating the presence of a chip and the stored information using NFC offers an additional and more sophisticated security feature.

What’s NFC?

NFC stands for Near Field Communication, wireless communication technology for short ranges of 4 cm or less. Today NFC is well known through contactless credit cards and mobile payment solutions such as Apple- and Google Pay. Nowadays, most smartphones can read NFC ID documents, including both leading operating systems, Android and Apple iOS. As a result, you can scan your passport or ID card and identify yourself on your smartphone, just like you use to do at ePassport gates at airports. When scanning an identity document with NFC, the information gets read out automatically from the chip. Like at the airport, automatically scanning your passport is faster and more convenient than somebody visually checking your documents.

Read our Quick Guide: Do you want to how NFC offers security and convenience for your identity verification?

How is NFC going to help our operators make the EURO 2020 a success?

  1. Additional security layer: Validating an NFC chip adds a new form of physical security feature that goes beyond visual security marks. Further, the chip is highly complex to forge. Therefore NFC chips offer a higher level of security against fraudsters.
  2. Higher Automation: Scanning an NFC document is fast and easy and eliminates user error, such as blurry pictures or poor lighting conditions. Instead, the identity details and the biometric picture are read out automatically. In consequence, NFC authentication requires less human intervention, thus improving gross margins for the company and more convenience for the end-users.
  3. Regulatory Acceptance: More and more regulators have started evaluating and approving NFC-based ident methods. More recently, FINMA in Switzerland and ANSSI in France have approved NFC-based methods. Other regulators like in Portugal are considering it.

In summary, NFC offers a win-win for both gaming operators and football fans alike. For gaming operators, NFC presents an additional and more sophisticated security feature. At the same time, their customers get a fast and convenient onboarding process. That’s why we at IDnow believe that IDnow AutoIdent plus the new NFC feature provide the right combination of convenience and sophisticated security for the UEFA EURO 2020.

Read on for more insights in my next blog on “How to ensure a player-friendly ID verification during sports tournaments“.


How is NFC going to help our operators make EURO 2020 a success? 1

Razia Ali
Senior Account Manager Global Gambling
Connect with Razia on LinkedIn