Switzerland

Futurae - Creating the future of digital authentication

August 2, 2021

Futurae was part of the F10 Incubation program back in 2016 and since then has gone from strength to strength. The Swiss-born FinTech recently raised a 5m funding round and develops and manages an authentication platform extremely easy to deploy and use. Learn more about this F10 alumni startup.

What does Futurae do exactly?

Futurae develops and manages an authentication platform extremely easy to deploy and use. Futurae empowers any web-based, app-based, and IoT-based customer interaction to be authenticated easily and securely.

Every day, customers of over 100 banks and other organizations with users across the globe rely on Futurae to secure their logins and their transactions.

Why do you think Futurae found the success it has? What resonates with clients?

The modular authentication platform, based on a modern IT stack and managed architecture, allows fast design iterations and to address ever-changing Cyber threats and new requirements for innovation, a key enabler for financial institutions these days. Futurae is known to address processes in a variety of different ways to best possibly cater to customers needs (e.g. how to onboard a user or how to reactivate a users account when having a new smartphone). These are typically areas where customers have most support problems.

Since historically around 40 – 45% of all support problems that banks face are due to authentication and login problems, these are massive costs that can be reduced compared to more traditional authentication solutions and home-made ones.

Today’s customers benefit from Futurae’s authentication suite, by drastically reducing customer support costs by 50% during onboarding problems to 90% on average on a day-to-day basis, and a low cost of ownership. In addition, the seamless user experience, which is achieved through Futurae’s modular authentication, allows to considerably increase user adoption of new products (e.g. mobile banking, wallets, web banking, customer portals or smart home banking).

When and why did you decide to take the plunge and launch Futurae?

Futurae Technologies was founded in 2016 by Sandra Tobler, an experienced fintech entrepreneur, Nikos Karapanos and Claudio Marforio, two PHDs in security and usability from ETH Zurich. Claudio and Nikos met Sandra in the US while she was posted for S-GE in San Francisco.

Logging into web banking and other customer portals or confirming transactions securely are typically hurdles for users and generate massive customer support costs for banks, financial institutions, and other industries (including health institutions, universities and insurance companies). Futurae solves this with a comprehensive authentication platform which includes novel user authentication methods for web and mobile logins and PSD2 compliant transaction confirmation.

What has been your biggest challenge in building Futurae, and how have you overcome it?

It was not easy to start a Cybersecurity company. We were lucky we won some big names very early in our journey.

Generally in Europe many large financial institutions still tend to look over the ocean first and prefer large traditional vendors to solve security matters, although there is so much innovation happening right on their footstep or in their direct surroundings.

However, we have invested a lot of time in research and surveys to understand the pain points of our customers. We have solved exactly those and continuously added further added values. The constant communication and exchange with the industries has made us a relevant player in the market.  

Image credit: Futurae

Tell us a bit about your major milestones in the last 5 years that have led you to where you are today.

It was crucial to win large brands as customers in order to be credible in the market and to build trust and credibility in such a sensitive field as Cybersecurity. The strong ties Futurae has with some of the most renowned European Cybersecurity research institutes helped also kickstart the company and reputation. Additionally, numerous international accolades like Cool Vendor by Gartner Group, EFMA/Cap Gemini award and being repeatedly named amongst the most innovative 100 CyberTech companies of the world, have elevated us a great deal.

Futurae works with over 100 companies in many different industries like the SIX Group (the Swiss Stock Exchange), Santander ConsumerBank, Qonto, Scalable Capital, Swisscom, health institutions or global insurance companies and the strong growth in Europe continues.

Why did you decide to join F10?

Programs like F10 offer a number of added values. In addition to infrastructure, they provide know-how and an extensive network to tap in. For us, the anchoring in the financial services ecosystem was certainly one of the main reasons for the choice.


What impact did the Incubation Program have for you?

Throughout the program, we were able to shape our business model and build a great network in the financial services industry. F10's network of entrepreneurs and business leaders is extensive and always useful. The program allowed us to better understand the Financial ecosystem and specifically get in touch with stakeholders across different organizations and solidify our collaboration. With this know-how, we have strongly started and continued our expansion in the rest of Europe.

The cooperation with SIX Group has shaped the early stage of Futurae and cemented our conviction of focusing with our offering in the financial services. We were able to show that we can add great value to large companies with very complex IT landscapes and requirements.


What is something that you would love to see Futurae achieve in the future?

As more and more services are digitized and become available online, the need for secure and seamless authentication is ever growing. For us at Futurae, it is exciting to push boundaries and shape the future of the Cybersecurity industry.

How do you expect the market to evolve in the coming years?

Passwords will hopefully disappear in future, as they contain important security weaknesses. It’s not an easy task to replace them as everyone is so used to them. Nevertheless, we see the future in passwordless solutions, but also in risk adaptive methods.

For this purpose, a wide variety of privacy-preserving behaviors - and context-based signals are utilized to determine whether the user is accessing their online service from within a secure (low-risk) environment. This can enable increased usability and a seamless experience, by reducing user friction, but most importantly, will increasingly allow companies to react to constantly changing Cyber threats in real-time.

 

Futurae Team - Image credit: Futurae

 

Sign up for our newsletter
Receive the latest news about F10 innovation ecosystem and its programs