A new dating app is using facial biometrics to make it more difficult for con artists to connect with victims on its platform. Blyss Dating is set to debut sometime in the summer, and is currently conducting a pre-registration drive for college students and young adults in the Washington, DC, area.
Of course, the trouble with any dating app is that its users seldom have any assurances about the people on the other side of the screen. The founders of Blyss Dating are trying to solve that problem, making facial recognition mandatory for all users to thwart those who try to upload someone else’s photos to create a fake account. In doing so, Blyss Dating is hoping to eliminate catfishing, and to increase trust between users who can be assured that the person they are messaging is in fact the person they claim to be.
In that regard, the founders noted that catfishing can lead to devastating financial consequences, citing the recent Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler as a worst-case scenario for online daters. That documentary details the activities of Simon Leviev (aka Shimon Hayut), who conned victims into giving him as much as $10 million under false pretenses.
“News of The Tinder Swindler was a real wake-up call for the industry, and the film exposed vulnerabilities across existing dating platforms,” said Blyss Co-founder Stanford Maison. “User safety is our highest priority, and Blyss demonstrates this through numerous features to ensure protection, confidentiality, and integrity.”
Blyss is also planning to offer a slew of non-biometric features to improve user safety. Most notably, the “trusted friend” feature will encourage users to tell a trusted contact where they will be before going on a date, while the “safe-word” feature will connect users to Blyss employees for real-time support in the event of an emergency. Finally, the company will partner with local vendors to recommend date venues to make people feel more comfortable.
In the meantime, Blyss is not the first dating platform to implement some form of identity verification. The Indian dating app Jeevansathi is onboarding new users with Onfido, while Yoti has provided identity services for Fluttr and DateID. The Meet Group has also partnered with Yoti and FaceTec to verify the ages and identities of its customers.