As more businesses and consumers move online, the need for an effective electronic identity verification (eIDV) process has never been more important.
This is especially true for businesses operating within industries subject to anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) laws and regulations, as well as other industries at risk of experiencing fraud — such as online marketplaces, social media platforms, online dating sites, telehealth services, and digital learning platforms.
But eIDV doesn’t just help you mitigate fraud. It also empowers you to meet your customers and users where they are — online — so you can better meet their expectations and, hopefully, delight them in the process.
Below, we take a look at what eIDV is, how it can benefit your business, and the different ways you may choose to implement it.
What is electronic identity verification (eIDV)?
Electronic identity verification (eIDV) is the act of verifying a person’s identity digitally or electronically — whether through a computer or a mobile device. As such, eIDV is an essential part of KYC and AML compliance, as well as other anti-fraud measures.
eIDV employs many of the same strategies as manual, in-person identity verification, such as the collection and analysis of a government-issued ID. But eIDV also allows you to collect a wide swath of additional details and risk signals that are difficult (or impossible) to collect through manual IDV — such as a device or browser fingerprint, IP address, and behavioral or passive signals — empowering you to make a more informed decision at the end of the day.
Electronic IDV also makes it possible to embrace automation to streamline your verification and onboarding processes without introducing undue risk into your processes.
How to verify identities electronically
Just as traditional identity verification can be completed through a variety of different means, eIDV can be completed using a number of different technologies and methods. Depending on your business and who you work with, you might choose to use one or more of the following processes:
Government ID verification
Government ID verification requires customers to upload or take a photo of their passport, driver’s license, state ID, or other government-issued ID. The system then extracts information from the ID and verifies whether or not the ID is legitimate via a series of automated heuristic checks.
Document verification requires a user to upload one or multiple documents that can be used to verify various details about their identity. Birth certificates, Social Security cards, bank statements, tax returns, and utility bills are all common examples.
Once a customer provides a document, it’s scanned to check for signs of tampering, inaccurate data, or other issues that could indicate falsified information.
Database verification involves checking the information provided by a user against publicly and privately available databases. This can include issuing databases (such as the DMV and IRS) as well as authoritative, trusted third-party databases.
Selfie verification requires a user to take one or more pictures of themselves. This selfie is then compared against previous selfies taken by the user or the portrait on an ID. Selfie verification is often paired with government ID verification as a form of liveness detection to protect against spoofing.
How electronic identity verification can benefit your business
Electronic identity verification provides businesses with a number of benefits.
Most obviously, it makes it possible for businesses in the financial space to comply with AML and KYC regulations digitally. This empowers you to meet your customers where they are and provide a better user experience — and may also make it easier to grow and scale your operations over time.
Beyond this, implementing eIDV can also have a significant impact on your business operations:
- eIDV provides access to more signals. Electronic verification allows you to look at additional device and behavioral signals that can indicate a high risk of fraud. A person’s IP address, location, and online behavior are just some examples of the signals that can help you catch bad actors.
- eIDV can reduce human errors. If employees are manually checking documents or IDs for an extended period of time, they may make a mistake and grant access to a fraudster. Similarly, a tired employee might wrongfully reject a legitimate customer.
- eIDV enables a faster processing time. Manual verification processes require employees to collect, analyze, and verify a lot of information. Automated electronic verification helps avoid bottlenecks, as it can verify users in seconds rather than hours or days.
- eIDV is scalable. Because eIDV makes automation possible, it can be an effective means of scaling your fraud and compliance teams without adding additional labor costs. You might, for example, leverage automated eIDV for the bulk of your verifications, only pulling in a human worker to investigate edge cases or other tricky situations. Likewise, verifications aren’t reliant on human schedules and can take place 24/7.
- eIDV can increase conversion rates. The technology that powers electronic identity verification is extremely sophisticated. This means verification can often be completed in seconds, helping you reduce friction compared to manual methods and making it more likely for customers to successfully onboard.
- eIDV improves privacy. A lot of the information required for customer verification is highly private. Fewer humans are exposed to this data if verification is automated, which increases customers’ privacy.
Persona’s eIDV solution
Electronic identity verification should look different for every business. The strategies and processes you’ll need will depend on your industry, risk tolerance, customers, and more.
Persona’s Verifications solution makes it easier than ever to design and implement a flexible and customizable eIDV strategy for your business.
Choose the verification methods that make sense for your business while ignoring the rest. Take advantage of progressive risk segmentation to tailor the eIDV process for users depending on the level of risk present each and every time. Enrich your verification and onboarding flows with additional risk reports. Use Workflows to automate as much or as little of the process as makes sense for you.