1. Business
  2. The future of sport
September 30, 2019

Ajax FC bolster defence with Mitek’s facial authentication technology

By Luke Christou

Eredivisie champions Ajax Football Club have turned to facial authentication technology in a bid to verify the identity of ticket buyers and improve security for their fan base.

Ajax previously kept paper copies of its fans ID documents to verify the identity of those purchasing tickets. This would help to catch fraudulent purchases and stop banned individuals from gaining access to the Johan Cruyff Arena. However, the club opted to switch to a technological solution after recognising the risks that this presented following the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Dutch football club has now implemented Mobile Verify, a verification system developed by digital security company Mitek.

Mobile Verify requires customers to submit a picture of their identification document as well as a selfie. The software then uses artificial intelligence to analyse the presented ID and ensure that it is an authentic document. Likewise, it uses biometric-comparison and liveness-detection algorithms to check that the ID presented is being used by its rightful owner.

By implementing Mobile Verify, Ajax can better protect its customers personal information and ensure that it is complying with privacy regulations such as GDPR.

“Our fans are the lifeblood of the Club,” Susan Lenderink, CFO for Ajax Football Club, said. “To improve our fans’ online experience and security in ticket sales, we knew the next stage was to deploy identity verification technology.

“We know that our online process will be improved through digital ID verification, transforming our fans’ experience and keeping them on-side even outside the 90 minutes of play.”

Mitek Mobile Verify: Improving the fan experience

As well as improving safety, Mitek’s technology will also help to improve the customer experience for fans by speeding up various processes. 

The technology can help Ajax to avoid identification backlogs and provide fans with confirmation of their purchase faster, for example. Likewise, it can reduce wait times to enter the stadium on matchdays by speeding up ticket checks.

“Football fans nowadays want the best online experience, and Ajax’s investment in the latest technology is making this a reality,” Rene Hendrikse, EMEA MD at Mitek, said. “With an identity verification process where AI is doing the heavy lifting, Ajax’s fans can get a consumer-friendly online experience.”


Read more: How Leatherhead FC is using IBM’s AI to up their game