How to do identity verification right in a connected world

12 March 2019 | 3516 Shares

In today’s internet-enabled and connected world, consumers don’t want to wait for anything; not to receive fast, secure access to their finances nor to verify their identity when applying for said financial accounts, loans or other services.

Delays just won’t do – but neither will inadequate security and privacy protections. Consumers want processes to be efficient enough to fit into their super-busy lives but also adequately secure to protect themselves against fraud and identity theft. On the flipside, businesses must adhere to strict identity and anti-money laundering laws & regulations, or risk hefty fines and reputational damage.

So arises a common problem for online insurers, banking providers and any other company offering a product or service that requires unequivocal identity verification: how to quickly and confidently verify a customer’s identity, meeting all necessary and often stringent regulations, without the process being unnecessarily burdensome for customers?

There lies a delicate balance between the veracity of verification and speed. Research published by the Digital Banking Report shows the amount of time taken for a customer to open an account online significantly affects abandonment rates – 40 percent of customers abandon an application once they have spent 30 minutes on it.

Historically, proving one’s identity meant face-to-face meetings with a bank or company officials. However, if businesses can provide a frictionless, intuitive – and entirely online – user experience they will see higher conversion rates and happier customers.

Fortunately, there are some cutting edge ID verification platforms available that offer a range of excellent services designed to manage this core and common problem.

Solutions come in either fully managed or software-as-a-service platforms, that can be embedded seamlessly into a company’s onboarding process, whether this is through an app or web browser.

Many, and arguably the best, use state of the art technology solutions such as artificial intelligence and facial recognition software for IDsnapping – aka identification via selfie – using a camera phone for face and likeness checks against ID documentation. Customers take a picture of their ID document, and a selfie, and upload it to the platform for real-time verification.

For example, an AI powered-platform will often automatically detect the type of document being provided by the customer, match the facial image with their live one, and even adequately detect document holograms with simple movements of a phone camera!

If face-to-face verification is necessary, video ID can be incorporated into the service. This allows customers to legitimize their identity within a couple of minutes via a quick video call. All they need is internet access, a device with a camera and their valid identity document.

Good solutions will also incorporate state-of-the-art eSigning to avoid delays caused by electronic documents being printed, signed and sent by post. Moreover, don’t forget the need for an omnichannel experience: it’s essential to ensure all steps of the onboarding process can be done seamlessly whether on the web, mobile or tablet.

Depending on the country, most if not all applications are approved according to strictures like Know Your Customer, Right to Work and Modern Slavery regulations. Digital identity verification is also suitable for Initial Coin Offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, fintech firms, banks and more.

Also, importantly for your business, digital identity verification platforms can help save hundreds of weekly staff hours and associated costs. A Reuters study has shown how concerning this is becoming for banks, as more stringent regulations increase compliance overheads. For example, a lack of sufficient human resources and the volume of regulatory change were highlighted as a top concern among nearly 800 financial institutions for a Thomson Reuters survey.

The advantages of digitizing online ID verification processes for your businesses are abundantly clear: they provide faster, more efficient methods that can increase the speed of onboarding, scale to handle large volumes, reduce employee workload and paperwork and meet the demands of complex regulations.

Furthermore, digital ID verification is a market that is set to grow and be used more widely, for many different applications: unlocking autonomous cars and building access for members of staff, even for so-called ‘gated marketing’ for specific populations, such as medical staff, or armed service personnel. Companies that invest now will be ahead of the game later.

However, before digitizing ID verification processes, companies must consider which solution is best for them, which offers longevity and adaptability to the fast-moving pace of technology’s advancements.

The onboarding process need not be the stage at which companies see potential customers give up, but the step that proves the company’s accessibility and ease of use.

Here at Tech HQ, we think that if you are looking to invest in a comprehensive and secure digital identification verification solution, you might consider the following companies.


IDnow offers cutting-edge AI-powered identity verification technology that works with identity documents in 193 countries, including passports and many other documents to meet necessary security requirements.

Located in Germany, which has some of the most stringent Know-Your-Customer and identity regulation in the world, the company makes onboarding faster but also highly secure, without compromising on compliance or user-friendliness.

IDnow products ensure no “media discontinuity”, meaning users don’t need to go into other apps to take a video or picture, but can do everything within the same application for faster and more seamless onboarding. It relies on automation in the capture and readout of documents and automated verification of security features such as the detection of holograms. The technology, which can be embedded in a company’s app or platform, offers what IDnow terms the ‘industry’s first combined automated and video identification platform’. This combines a video chat session for facial recognition with an agent to identify the applicant, and document scanning and automation, all on an SaaS platform. IDnow’s products are delivered from a common platform, which means different business units within an enterprise can leverage them with a central identity repository.

IDnow technology uses artificial intelligence to verify that all security features are present on the identity document and is therefore able to reliably detect forged documents. Its AutoIdent product can finish up the identification process 24/7 in 90 seconds or less.

IDnow is suitable for companies across industries such as Financial Services, Telecommunications, Mobility, Insurance, and Gaming. Age verification on social platforms is another potential use case for the company’s products.


Online payments and verification platform Jumio offers an ‘AI-powered Trusted Identity as a Service’ solution that connects with a business’s product, app or service to verify customers’ real-world identities.

The company, which has verified over 160 million identities and counting, incorporates ID scan and real-time selfie identification. It also offers augmented intelligence, with real-time human review, so customers aren’t frequently redirected to manual processes for verifications that fall in the “maybe” zone. This can reduce lost conversions and save businesses time and money often wasted on manual review.

Jumio’s solution is omnichannel and, according to the company, hopes to cast the widest possible net, including accommodating some older people who may not be comfortable with new technology. Therefore, it offers blur detection to alert customers when the image is fuzzy or has too much glare so that they can retake the picture and correct mid-process.

The company also offers standard services such as biometric facial recognition and liveness detection.


Gemalto has clients in 180 countries to whom it offers trusted and secure digital services. The company focuses on two core technologies – Digital Identification and Data Protection – to counter the two root causes of cyber attacks: identity theft and unencrypted data.

Its Digital Identity and Data Protection across the entire digital service lifecycle are used by 30,000 organizations to verify the identities of people and things, and to allow access to services, to protect the growing amount of data these services generate.

For example, Gemalto’s Ezio solutions offer banks a layered approach to implementing protections at multiple points in their online services, so they can apply the appropriate level of security to the transaction being performed, and optimize safety, reducing barriers for customers found in traditional onboarding processes.

Its SafeNet Trusted Access offers identity-as-a-service, combining the convenience of cloud-based single sign-on with granular access security. By validating identities, enforcing access policies and applying cloud SSO, organizations can ensure secure, convenient access to numerous cloud applications from one easy-to-navigate console.

Gemalto offers cloud-based or server-based management platforms, advanced development tools, and the broadest range of authenticators, but is also probably less specialized in pure digital online identification verification than some others.

*Some of the companies featured on this article are commercial partners of TechHQ