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May 11, 2020

What is identity verification and how it works

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What is identity verification and how it works

Identity verification is a necessary process that ensures a person’s identity matches the one that is supposed to be

Identity is the attribute of identical, the correspondence of one thing with another when compared. It is the set of unique traits and characteristics associated with a unique and irreplaceable individual. This becomes essential when we talk about people and especially within the online environment, where identity theft is a more common phenomenon than we think. 

Identity verification is an essential requirement in most processes and procedures, both online and offline, in all kinds of situations, from opening a bank account to completing tax procedures electronically. 

In banking (and in many industries), the identity verification process is known as the KYC (Know Your Customer) process.

What does it mean to verify identity? 

Identity verification ensures that there is a real person behind a process and proves that the one is who he or she claims to be, preventing both a person from carrying out a process on our behalf without authorization, and creating false identities or commit fraud.

There are various methods and systems for identity verification services. The identity verification process can be carried out in different ways, depending on the channel and the way the verification is carried out.

In the traditional face-to-face process, an individual personifies himself in a company (store, branch, commercial office …), institution (tax agency, employment service) or organization and delivers his identity document (ID, passport or equivalent) at the same time that the agent can verify that the photograph corresponds to the person who is delivering the document. A photocopy of the document is made, a form is filled out and checks are made, being ready to proceed with the pertinent steps by the identified user.

In the online field the process is different since there is no place with schedules or a person in a physical place who can check the validity of an identity document and cross it with the person who delivers it:

How identity verification process works online

It is important to understand that different types of identity verification methods have been developed for the online channel. However, not all of them meet the necessary characteristics for the process to be carried out safely and reliably.

One of the methods that does not comply with the appropriate security standards to verify the identity of people remotely is the use of images and selfies. It is a process that is usually used to identify at low-risk operations, although it is unreliable and secure.

However, streaming-video identity verification is secure and meets the needs for guarantees and legal requirements of remote identity verification regulations. Some solutions such as VideoID make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer total reliability.

The eKYC process consists of verifying the identity of people in the distance in a digital and online way. You only need a device with a camera (computer, tablet, mobile …) and internet connection. The process works as follows:

  1. The user who wishes to register visits the website, app or platform of the company, organization or institution.
  2. Accepts the use of the camera and microphone to verify identity.
  3. He is asked to show the ID document on both sides and it is recognized and verified.
  4. Subsequently, the user shows his face, smiling at the camera
  5. If necessary, a team of qualified agents validates the video in a separate process.
  6. The identity has been verified and the person’s credentials, as well as the recorded video with the person’s identity document and face and the validation of the email and telephone serve as proof that the user is who he says he is. The user then is registered by the company or organization.

Request a free demo now and learn first-hand about the identity verification process.

Electronic signature and face authentication methods are also identity verification services running different processes for different uses. Both can work with streaming-video identification, the most secure and reliable technique for verifying identity.

The regulations and standards in identity verification

AML5 (or 5AMLD, Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive) and eIDAS (electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services) are the regulations that set standards and norms regarding the use and forms of online identity verification. 

AML5 responds to the need to fight fraud and identity forgery, money laundering and terrorist financing, while eIDAS rules all aspects related to electronic signature, trust services and electronic transactions online. 

These European regulations are strict and complete, providing the identity verification processes that comply with them with guaranteed security and reliability support. They are the reference for the international regulatory framework in all countries regarding the processes to verify identity remotely.

Download here the complete guide on these regulations and the benefits they bring in the identification processes.

Uses and applications in which it is necessary to verify identity

This process is necessary and provides complete security in the following cases and situations:

  • Banking and finance: Bank account opening, banking and financial procedures of any kind or online sales and purchases.
  • Telecommunications and insurance industries: procurement of products and services as well as making representations
  • Apps and platforms: log-in process at web or apps, second-factor authentication, access to facilities and buildings, tourism check-in, customer and user registration, etc.
  • Government and administration: To renew or issue electronic certificates, renew ID documents, identification processes to create electronic government credentials or medical applications and procedures related to health or drugs prescription.

eID, identity verification services partner

Electronic IDentification, eID, offers complete identity verification services for customer onboarding and citizens through its three main products:

  • VideoID, a unique identification solution by real-time video based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, which complies with AML5 and eIDAS, being equivalent to face-to-face identification.
  • SmileID, facial biometrics service for high-security authentication.
  • SignatureID, a definitive simple, advanced and qualified electronic signature solution for all types of documents and contracting or digital signature needs.

Contact us for more information on highly secure digital identity solutions.

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