The faces of IDV – Identity Verification 101

Whether we know it or not, Identity Verification (“IDV”) touches virtually every part of our lives every day. From our morning coffee runs to our most important banking transactions.

First developed to help companies comply with Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) and Know Your Customer (“KYC”) rules, IDV is now a vital component to the transaction ecosystems of ecommerce companies, financial institutions, online gaming, and even social media. Wherever risk needs to be determined and then mitigated, IDV is at play.

Here, we’ll talk briefly about the basic methods of IDV; what they look like and how they function today, their applications, benefits and drawbacks, and how they will evolve in the not-too-distant future.

Data-based IDV

Data-based IDV offers the lowest friction IDV process currently available. Contact data, perhaps captured from a web form, is submitted and matched to one or more officially-sourced databases in real-time, and the results returned in seconds. The returned payload should include a confidence score which, depending on the offer, might be enough to confirm identity. In other cases, the result will be used to determine what further action will be necessary to determine identity. This “first-layer” IDV is the most cost-effective solution available, and is gaining popularity as companies try to reduce user effort or “friction.”

Data-based IDV is not without its challenges. Finding reliable data outside of the U.S. is a difficult task, often negotiating with individual countries. Further, ensuring the ongoing quality of global reference data requires extensive resources to monitor.

The faces of IDV - Identity Verification 101

Biometric IDV

Biometric is perhaps the most precise method of IDV. Static biometrics, the technique most prevalent today, is the science of recognizing individuals based on their unique biological traits; fingerprinting and retinal scanning are two such methods. Static biometrics are great for unlocking your phone, or entering your place of work, but not as applicable if someone is interested in opening a bank account while sitting in front of a laptop at home – where more of us want to conduct this type of business.

Still, biometrics are evolving and will likely break through the obstacles of remote biometric IDV very soon. Behavioral biometrics is a dynamic process employing real-time machine learning to measure, store, and constantly update behaviors such as finger pressure on a screen, or the angles at which a device is held. Behavioral and static biometrics, when used together, are gaining attention as a reliable means of remote IDV.

Official Document Scanning

Less precise than biometric techniques, but meeting most of the compliance needs of IDV is official document scanning. The process is simple: necessary official documents (perhaps a driver’s license, or government issued ID) are scanned, via a mobile device or other, and the information is digitally transmitted for further review and authentication. The issue here is friction and time. Scanning personal documents, perhaps accompanied by a selfie, is a cumbersome process. Then, depending on the process, confirmation of identity could take several hours, or even longer. The result is higher rates of cart abandonment.


IDMERIT is a global consumer and business verification portal. We help customers across industries and government sectors predict, assess, and manage risks by combining next-generation risk management and anti-fraud services. Our warehouse of unique data and advanced analytics tools to address evolving client needs can help you automate decision making while upholding the highest standards of security and privacy.

We work closely with world-class niche organizations offering data warehousing and validity of contact data solutions to ensure they are compliant with the Foreign Nationals Employment Act, the Compulsory Identification Act, Counter-Terrorism Act, and the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Our company powers the global identity ecosystem for customers.

For more information on IDMERIT’s identity verification services, you can drop us a line through the Contact Us page or call us at (888)-378-9283.

Jerry Kee
Jerry Kee

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