The ID Co.

Published: 09 April 2018

Edinburgh-based fintech company The ID Co. connects to around 5,500 banks across 32 countries, supporting roughly 30,000 account holder verifications a month.

Empowering consumers

The company started out with a consumer service – miiCard – a digital passport or identity service for consumers.

“We started seven years ago with the mission of empowering consumers with their online bank identity and data,” Varga explains. “Banks know us better than anyone else – they have already validated our identity, they know where we live, what we do and the type of person we are. We want to empower consumers with this value – to use this to provide the convenience we all want.”

Today this vision has been realised with the advent of ‘open banking’. Varga and his team were among the pioneers who worked with industry regulators to shape these new European Union regulations, which require banks, building societies and other financial providers to let customers easily and securely share their financial data – including transaction history and spending behaviour – with other banks and regulated third-party providers.

“Not only are we an early adopter of this movement, we have been campaigning for these changes for years,” Varga says. “Over the last two years we’ve doubled in revenue every year and we’re seeing annual compound growth in transactions of about 10% a year. So we’re seeing early stage growth – and now with open banking, it’s pretty exciting,”

Investor support

The Invest Edinburgh team has supported The ID Co. with coverage on its website and social media platforms, and through jobs events such as the Invest Edinburgh ‘Tech Jobs in Scotland’ talent fair in London and Silicon Milkroundabout Scotland jobs tech fair.

The ID Co. is used by major financial institutions in 32 countries with new customers and users every month.

“We try to engage as much as possible with the city and the local tech scene and have worked a lot with City of Edinburgh Council,” Varga explains. “The Invest team has helped us with awareness-raising and promotion. We’ve also taken part in talent attraction events in London over the years. It was through one of these London events that we hired a fairly junior developer who was new in their career, and moved them up to Edinburgh to be with the team.”

The company has 26 staff across its Edinburgh and London offices and is recruiting more across sales, engineering and data science roles.

“In the last two and a half years, we’ve gone from four or five staff to 26, and that should hit 30 to 35 by the end of the year, so we’re on a big recruitment drive just now,” says Varga.

Talent attraction is one of the city’s key selling points, with 10% of the population working for financial services.

Edinburgh ecosystem

“Edinburgh has a good ecosystem that understands early stage businesses,” he adds. “Especially in fintech, there’s a great mix of companies providing early stage funding. Edinburgh’s got a lot of talent coming out of the universities and it’s got a financial services pedigree with a lot of bank operations here. For example, there are fraud teams, risk teams and other operations in Edinburgh with a density which is pretty unusual in the UK, and probably anywhere outside of Luxembourg.”

Varga was born in Vancouver, but settled in Edinburgh when he met his future wife here.

“You’ve also got quality of life, so it’s a small city with a big city atmosphere,” Varga continues. “It’s a fairly prosperous city, so it has good schools, restaurants, festivals and lots of other good things. Most important for the people in our team, it’s walking distance – whether you live in Bonnington or Leith, most people cycle or walk to the office. At the same time, it’s commutable to places like London – so I can be in London for 8.30am if I need to be.”


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