Identity verification (IDV)

Identity verification (IDV) is the process of confirming that an individual or business is who they say they are — usually before doing business with them.

Frequently asked questions

What is identity verification?

Identity verification is the process of confirming an individual or business’s identity. Common identity verification types include documentary verifications such as government IDs, selfies, and database verifications from authoritative and issuing sources like the IRS.

What is the best method to validate online identity?

There is no one best method to validate online identity, as it can vary depending on the industry, business, use case, and customer. To increase overall identity verification accuracy and reduce total risk, it can help to take into account multiple signals, such as:

  • Active signals: Signals provided by the individual, such as their name, SSN, government ID, selfie, and identifying documents
  • Passive signals: Data pulled in about the individual, such as their IP address and device or browser fingerprint
  • Behavioral data: Signals such as hesitation detection, distraction events, and whether the individual uses developer tools, copy/paste, or autofill
  • Third-party data: Signals pulled in the background from official lists, such as watchlists, phone risk reports, adverse media reports, and PEP lists

Why is identity verification needed?

Identity verification helps build trust between users and businesses. For businesses, complete and accurate IDV helps them comply with regulations such as KYC and AML, detect, deter, and deny fraud, and be confident that users conducting transactions or making purchases are who they say they are. For customers, robust IDV makes it clear that companies prioritize privacy and security.

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