Airbnb Embraces Better KYC with Trooly Purchase

This may come as a surprise to some, but people who use Airbnb aren’t always on the up-and-up.

Despite the home-sharing marketplace’s efforts to keep fraudulent listings and other bad behavior off the site, scams still make headlines. The company is apparently hoping that technology can help.

According to a report in Bloomberg, Airbnb is purchasing background screening provider Trooly, which has already been working with Airbnb to help authenticate user identities for the past two years.

Airbnb will acquire Trooly’s intellectual property as well as its engineering team, the report said.

As we have reported previously in PaymentFacilitator.com, the evolution that has allowed marketplaces and payment facilitators to exist has enabled many more people to become business owners and connect with potential buyers of their products and services.

Effectively evaluating and monitoring this influx of new entrants to keep out the bad actors has required KYC and risk management practices to evolve at the same time. Digital tools have helped automate arduous processes and collect more relevant information as part of a robust underwriting and risk monitoring program.

Last year, Trooly went public with its Instant Trust feature, which uses machine learning and public data sources to rates individuals’ “trustworthiness.” It sorts through and analyzes the available data to verify the individual’s identity and arrive at a score.

Trooly’s process starts by gathering data that it is careful to say is “non-intrusive” and “permissible.” It runs the data through models that compare it to trust-related traits to come up with the rating.

On its web site, the company says its scoring is “more accurate, cost-effective, and free of bias than old school background checks, credit scores, and risk management tools.”

Sources told Bloomberg the deal was to close on Monday.

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