Steve Ritter, CTO of Mitek, joins the show this week to share his story on fueling his passion for problem-solving with technology, how he thinks about creating safe digital environments to build trust, achieving the careful balance of friction and convenience in consumer fintech, the reality of defending against deep fakes, digital infrastructure priming the pump of inclusiveness…and rebuilding a 1972 Ford Bronco!
Mitek brings the future to business with patented solutions and intuitive technologies that bridge the physical and digital worlds. Mitek products power and protect millions of identity evaluations as well as mobile deposits every day, around the world.
Steve Ritter on his lifetime passion for technology: “I've been focused on technology from a very early age, and I grew up in an environment where technology was all around me in the Bay Area. I'm just continually inspired by the amount of good that technology has and can provide in our world.”
On the key lesson learned in the earliest days of his career: “I think it’s important for technology people to really understand what the market needs and then do whatever it takes to deliver the right solution to solve that problem. Regardless of whether the solution is really hard or really easy, just deliver the right solution for the right problem.”
On the differences between those financial services providers succeeding and those struggling with the massive shift to digital in the last 18 months: “I think it does boil down to how you're interacting with your customer and what you're doing specifically as a business to create that safe environment to build trust.”
On the balance of friction and convenience: “Whenever you're proposing a technology, that's going to increase security, you always have to be conscious about what type of friction you're adding. We spend a lot of time making sure that Mitek’s part of that onboarding flow is as frictionless as possible.”
On building trust with a positive experience: ”You want identity verification to be that seamless, almost magical experience. What we've seen is when our customers do a really good job of that, they actually turn that potentially negative friction into a positive aspect. Not only is it a neat, magical, technology experience that people enjoy, but they also recognize that you're going to the next level to protect their identity.”
On Mitek defending against the fast-moving world of deep fakes: “When you think about how an attacker would present a deep fake to a biometric system, they'd essentially have to hold their phone up to a screen. This is why It's so important to really understand how the bad guys do what they do. If you’re good at detecting images coming from screens, then that’s a very effective way to defend against deep fakes.”
On digital infrastructure priming the pump of inclusiveness: “We saw some of the lesser developed parts of the world jump ahead of the developed part of the world because they went immediately to the new technology. Maybe we’ll see something similar with SpaceX's Starlink service, where now you can get very good broadband quality internet, pretty much anywhere in the world for a reasonable amount of money.”
“If we go the next step and make sure that disadvantaged rural parts of our world have some form of subsidy, now we've made this digital infrastructure available to everybody, and on top of that, we can build incredibly inclusive solutions. That's the type of thing that keeps me going.”
Learn more about Mitek and why they're trusted the world over for digital identity verification on MitekSystems.com
Episode title inspired by Trust by Nas.
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