Global ID verification: How to get it right with Persona

Global ID verification is not one size fits all. Learn what to look for in a global IDV partner.

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⚡ Key takeaways
  • While it can be tempting to vet global ID verification (IDV) vendors based on metrics like coverage and pass rates, the numbers they provide may not be applicable to your business.
  • The more you can share with potential IDV providers about what you are trying to do and for whom and why, the more specific these companies can be about how they can meet your needs.
  • Persona can help you scale with a highly customizable global IDV solution that automates manual processes and can be configured to match regional regulations and use cases.

You may be looking for global ID verification (IDV), whether your business is entering new regions and needs to adapt its model to a global scale, or you're already operating internationally and looking to comply with new regulations, like DAC7 in the EU. 

However, as you search for a global solution for your platform, you might encounter roadblocks:

  • An inability to expand into new countries due to your current IDV provider's lack of coverage in those regions
  • Challenges in meeting regional compliance regulations, like the INFORM Consumers Act in the U.S.
  • Uncertainty about which types of identity checks to use and how much data you should collect from users across different regions to remain compliant with local standards
  • Increasing demands on your developers, trust and safety teams, and compliance teams to build and maintain verification flows, especially if you manage multiple IDV vendors

Whether you already know your global IDV requirements or you’re about to launch in a new country and need a regionally relevant solution, you want to understand what to look for in a global IDV provider, why global IDV is not one size fits all, and how you can simplify your expansion plans with Persona's global IDV solution. 

Looking for an experienced global ID verification provider? Persona provides a unified identity verification system with a full suite of products for Brex, Coursera, Lime, and other global businesses. Contact us to learn more.  

What to look for in a global ID verification provider

When searching for an international identity verification service, you might first look at global coverage and pass rates and even be tempted to whittle down your initial selection of providers based on those two factors.

However, your users are more complex than two metrics. They require a deeper understanding for you to know which additional measures you need to take into account to achieve more verified conversions while reducing fraud.  

The more specific you can be about your users and global business needs, the more specific the providers you are talking to can get about how they can meet your needs. 

With this in mind, here are the key aspects to consider when choosing a global IDV provider:

Know what global coverage really means (and entails)

Global coverage means more than just being able to verify one type of ID in a certain country. 

You need to know which ID would work best for your users in each geographical area you scale to and ensure a global IDV provider can accept those IDs and guarantee accuracy. 

Let's say you have six types of ID that are acceptable from a verification standpoint in the country you're about to launch in. You find one vendor that can accept two IDs with accurate data extraction and has the other four IDs on their road map. Another vendor can accept all six, but can't extract information accurately, which might clog your manual review queue. Which one do you choose?

Once you understand the nuances of global coverage, look at each provider's approach to country and region-specific verification. 

See how verifications are performed

Different countries may require different pieces of information in order to validate users, which can be burdensome to compliance teams. Many global IDV solutions have a lightweight Know Your Customer (KYC) process for international users because of a lack of coverage with the right databases.

That’s why it’s important to understand how the IDV provider performs verifications against the ID types your target audiences are most likely to have. 

Look for a provider that can verify the right types of IDs for your target demographics against trusted regional data sources. This way you can more systematically vet vendors and gauge whether they can not only verify users in a compliant, accurate manner, but also prevent downstream fraud impact and increase operational efficiency — additional benefits that will be attractive to your cross-functional partners.

Understand how pass rate is calculated

An IDV solution’s pass rate is also important, but it’s a metric that is highly misunderstood because it gives you a limited view. Pass rates measure the successful attempts at ID verification, but they do not measure the IDV system's accuracy. 

It's also crucial to not take these rates at face value. For example, a pass rate that a provider shares with you may be specific to a certain industry or region, which means it may not apply to your business model or expansion plans. 

Together with pass rates, you also need to take other factors into account, such as how the provider mitigates and manages sophisticated types of fraud that are prevalent in your industry and how it prevents users exhibiting this behavior from onboarding.

Want to learn more about factors that affect pass rates and data accuracy? Check out our buyer’s guide to IDV solutions.

Find flows you can easily build and manage 

Some global IDV providers offer off-the-shelf solutions that might give you an initial advantage in launching quickly in a new market. This rigidity may become burdensome without the ability to customize subsequent flows to match new business needs and compliance requirements.

Look for a provider that offers the ease of integration without compromising the configurability of its solution. While many global IDV providers may be justly proud of their low- or no-code integrations, few offer this quick-start benefit and the flexibility to easily change verification flows without having to tap developer, engineering, or IT resources.

Look for partnership potential 

If you already have an IDV stack that works for your current business needs, look for a global provider that is compatible with your existing data partnerships and vendors. You want an experienced integration partner so you don’t have to figure out how to make different ecosystems work together by yourself. The best providers can also offer guidance on the different pathways available to you to meet the new requirements needed in the countries you want to scale to. 

The bottom line? The more specific you can be about your users and global business needs, the more detailed providers you are talking to can be about how they can meet your needs and support you in your global expansion. Taking a detailed, tailored approach can help create a unique and successful global IDV solution for your company. 

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Why global ID verification is not one size fits all 

Your global IDV needs are unique. They depend on your industry, business model, the locations you're scaling to, the IDs you can accept, and the local requirements you need to meet in each region. When you also consider the ever-evolving world of identity fraud, new compliance regulations worldwide, and technical advancements, it's easy to see that a ready-made solution may not be the best fit. 

Here are a few key points to bear in mind as you evaluate potential global IDV partners: 

Global coverage and pass rates can be misleading

Don’t limit yourself to looking only at certain metrics, such as global coverage and pass rates. 

Even if a solution covers the countries you're expanding to, it may only provide limited types of ID checks, and pass rates will not reveal the level of ID accuracy a provider can give you.

For example, the data you need may exist but may not be available off-the-shelf. Since every country has different data sources, work with a provider that directly plugs into the authoritative databases of the country you're scaling to. If you're launching in the U.S., you may want to find a provider that integrates with more than just the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) database, which may not suffice as a single source of truth since states like California don't contribute data there for consumer user cases.

To go beyond global coverage, ask potential providers about how often they update their ID types and integrate with new databases, and how they comply with new regulations. This will give you insight into their business strategy and whether or not they’ll be able to scale along with you. 

Data availability and requirements vary by country

As data availability and regional requirements vary by country, so will risk signals. You need to localize your approach to fraud prevention and risk mitigation just as much as your IDV because they are interlinked. 

Remember that identity fraud is continuously changing, as are regulations, compliance requirements, and even identity types. We live in an incredible time where paper-based identification documents and near field communication (NFC) passports coexist and are used every day around the world to prove people are who they say they are. Investing in a flexible solution today can pay dividends now and into the future. 

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See how Taskrabbit navigated diverse requirements during global expansion

Your current resources may not match an “ideal” identity stack

Multiple providers may seem preferable for staying on top of local regulations, but they can also increase your manual review workload.

Using multiple providers can work if you're a large enterprise and have a well-staffed team for manual review. However, over time, you may be adding undue burden to your team to connect disparate data and ensure clean audit trails.

Ideally, you want to find solutions that work well together and can easily integrate so you can keep your manual reviews to a minimum.

At Persona, like many providers, we say we serve a number of regions and serve users in multiple languages — 200+ countries and regions in 20+ languages. But we also back up the work we do in each language and country with the ability to integrate with existing systems and tech stacks.

How Persona helps you verify global IDs

As a unified identity platform, Persona can help you onboard your users in real time by offering you a suite of products and solutions to verify identities around the world. 

However, we also know there is no single way to verify identities globally. This is why we provide you with “building blocks” that enable you to create workflows that best match your operations, business model, and different user groups around the world.

Many of the international companies we work with are models for our tailored approach to global verifications. A few examples include:

  • Coursera. We help scale its international user base and maintain its academic integrity.
  • Brex. We automate ID verification in over 100 countries.
  • Sonder. We verify guests worldwide and protect and store data securely and compliantly.

Here are just a few of the ways Persona can help you get started with global ID verification:

Cover 200+ countries and 20+ languages and access 40+ international databases

With Persona, you can convert more users while meeting regional regulatory compliance requirements.

Persona provides international coverage in over 200 countries and 20 languages so you can meet your business and compliance requirements around the world. In addition to high coverage of U.S. authoritative and issuing databases, we also offer access to 40+ data sources worldwide to allow businesses to verify and onboard more users at higher fidelity. Our global coverage allows you to maintain conversion rates as you grow and expand into new territories, while preventing fraud. 

If you have a demo account or are one of our customers (hello!), you can use our interactive map to see the countries we cover, the IDs supported, and the databases available.

For example, the Brazilian fintech Zro Bank uses Persona’s integration with Serpro, which connects it to the Brazilian government’s database that issues driver’s licenses to Brazilian residents. By leveraging our direct integration with Serpro during onboarding, Zro Bank is better able to understand who its users really are, preventing fraud and helping it adhere to strict compliance regulations.

Summing up Persona, it’s a very useful, all-around tool kit that allows us to automate our decisioning without having to build the tool ourselves. Our staff has full control over it, and it makes their job easier, especially for the manual review team.
Sergio Massa
COO at Zro Bank

Want to know more about our regional database integrations? Contact us today

Configure verification flows fast without tapping engineering or design resources

Whether you have a development team in place or not, you can still use Persona’s no-code platform for digital ID verification.

Choose from our hosted flow (no code) or embedded flow (low code) integrations to quickly set up your workflows. With Persona’s verification software, you don’t need to build out an entire infrastructure because you have access to:

  • A sandbox to play in. Test-drive our tech for free. You can also check out our documentation, API guides, and uptime.
  • A modular ecosystem. Our drag-and-drop features help you set up your workflows quickly. You can personalize your ID verification process to match your use cases and country requirements. 
  • Templates. Clone our templates as they are or adapt them to each specific use case and country. 
  • Customization. Add your branding, colors, and logos to make your verification flow feel native to your platform and gain user trust. 
  • An unlimited amount of flows. Use as many flows as you need — you can start with one, then add more as you scale to new countries.

Our intuitive approach makes it easy for you to implement your global verification workflows in days, not months, and without troubling your engineering or design teams.

Determine your own pass rate by creating the right flow

Ready-made identity verification solutions can compromise efficiency and conversions. With Persona's customization, you're in charge of your pass rate. We make it easy to add or remove friction so you can find the verification flow that works for you while keeping your onboarding experience easy to use. 

For example, with our Dynamic Flow product, you can remove or add friction depending on specific user signals, while remaining compliant. You can also create entire workflows via triggers from a specific event, as well as set up if/then/else paths. For instance, if there’s a signal for suspected identity theft, you can automate the flow to ask the user to take a selfie, which Persona will then analyze for liveness detection and cross-check against the submitted ID. 

With Persona, you can ensure users are legitimate by adding enough friction when it matters to avoid drop offs of good users and prevent fraudsters from getting through.

Leverage automation tools to reduce the burden of manual review efforts 

With Verifications, you can automate your flows to verify users quickly and decrease manual reviews. We also offer complex retry logic to ensure you’re not losing good users due to common user errors like typos.

By setting the amount of friction needed for each individual verification, you can decrease your manual review queue and ensure your team stays focused on edge cases. Rest assured that you can configure automated redaction policies so that only the individuals within your organization who need access to PII have access to it.

Bring your own data and tools 

If you're already working with other vendors and have your own data sources, you can plug them into Persona.

We make it easy for you to integrate your data and tools with our platform through our marketplace approach

For example, if we don’t provide coverage to a particular database that your organization has access to and you want to incorporate it into the decision-making process, you can bring your data into Persona. 

Together with Persona's automation capabilities, the integration of your data can be incredibly powerful to ensure greater coverage and accuracy.

Get expert support

With Persona, you'll get access to our expertise in a wide range of identities and global requirements and compliance. 

If you’re ever unsure which types of IDs to ask your customers for, our team can provide guidance based on the local compliance laws in each region. We can also offer recommendations on how to best meet global compliance obligations and local requirements, such as how much data to store and how to store it. 

For example, Discogs, the popular music marketplace, came to us because it had to comply with DAC7 in the EU and the INFORM Consumers Act in the U.S. to verify its global sellers. We helped Discogs create different flows depending on the type of seller (individual vs. business) and the local requirements. The marketplace could also apply or reduce friction automatically based on user risk signals. With Persona, Discogs could meet its compliance requirements and create a customized Know Your Seller verification in two important regions.

Discover why companies like Discogs, Lime, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Branch rely on our global support. Contact us today to learn how we can help you scale internationally.

How Coursera verifies its global users with Persona

Coursera is an online education platform that caters to a wide range of global users, from hobbyists to academics. To maintain integrity, Coursera must keep its academic standards high across the world. 

In 2020, Coursera experienced high user growth due to COVID-19. That’s when its team noticed high drop offs during the onboarding process. To fix this, they knew they needed a new global IDV platform that would offer a good user experience while still maintaining their academic standards. They turned to Persona.

Persona worked with Coursera’s trust and safety and compliance teams to learn about the company’s needs and provide the proper guidance. 

For example, as an edutech that works with accredited academic partners worldwide, Coursera needs to adhere to multiple regulations, such as GDPR, CCPA, and more. It also had country-specific requirements to meet around data handling and storage. 

After studying Coursera’s needs and metrics, Persona helped the platform by:

  • Providing guidance on how to improve pass rates while reducing fraud 
  • Personalizing verification flows for each of its use cases and groups of learners
  • Offering recommendations to meet compliance requirements across the globe
  • Customizing metrics to better monitor success
  • Integrating via an API connection to match Coursera’s technical sophistication, large volumes, and scalability as the platform grows
Persona has helped automate our verification system, allowing us to focus on what matters most: creating a world-class online learning experience.
Shravan Goli
Chief Product Officer at Coursera

As Coursera carries out its mission of opening the doors of education to people across the globe, Persona is by its side, helping to verify more users every day. 

Interested in learning more about how Coursera scaled their global IDV with Persona? Read the full case study here.

Use Persona to verify your users worldwide

We know global expansion is an exciting milestone for any company. Many international companies of all sizes and industries, from Preply and AngelList to Remote and Discogs, enter new markets and comply with new regulations thanks to Persona. 

Start your global ID verification today with Persona. Contact us to learn how we can help you scale and compliantly verify your users worldwide. 

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