How Photo ID Verification Can Impact Your Business
By Leor Melamedov
Companies that process high-stakes financial interactions are often eager to try new technologies that make the process of ID verification easier and more accurate. Photo ID verification is one type of solution that allows businesses to digitally validate a customer’s ID by matching their selfie with a snapshot of their photo ID. The benefits for a business are wide-reaching, from improved NPS, faster turnaround times, and lower abandonment rates. Here, we’ll discuss some of the many ways photo ID verification can impact businesses.
What characterizes ID verification?
ID verification is a validation procedure that compares a person’s claimed identity to data that shows or refutes a match. It is often used as part of broader KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) measures to prevent bad actors, money launderers, and international terrorist organizations from misusing the financial institution for nefarious purposes.
Legally accepted forms of ID include social security cards, driver’s licenses, state IDs, and birth certificates (only some of these can be used for photo ID verification since not all ID includes a photo). As identity theft continues to become increasingly complex, it’s all the more important to carefully check and accurately determine whether these documents are legitimately held by the customer or not.
Government and other official databases are often used to this end. Secret password questions and answers are also a common, albeit imperfect method of verifying a person’s identity — often over the phone.
The evolution of ID verification
In recent years, technological solutions including single sign-on (SSO) have gained larger roles, especially when it comes to logging into company apps and websites.
Unfortunately, bad actors just keep trying to outsmart the institutions they exploit, leading companies to start implementing solutions that don’t just prevent hackers but actively prevent fraudsters from opening an account at all. With schemes like synthetic fraud and convincing front companies on the rise, it’s more important than ever that companies take a proactive, hi-tech approach to catching the bad guys.
Another reason for this influx in interest in better ID verification is the growing stringency of AML and KYC banking regulations. This can be traced back to September 11th and the Patriot Act that followed the attacks, which includes a section that mandates banks to authenticate their consumers’ identity and report suspicious activity to the authorities. More advanced ID verification takes care of the first part of this equation while preventing the likelihood of suspicious activity bubbling up in the first place.
In his environment, a number of companies have started offering advanced ID verification solutions, and those that make use of photo ID scans are particularly promising.
What characterizes photo ID verification?
While many types of ID and documents can be used as legal proof of a customer’s identity, performing a technological verification obviously requires the customer to present the bank with a photo ID. This can include a state driver’s license, state ID card, or passport. Social security cards, birth certificates, and similar documents are typically accepted as valid forms of ID, but aren’t useful when it comes to performing a photo ID verification process.
The most advanced photo ID verification solutions enable financial institutions to authenticate their customers’ ID by comparing it to a live photo snapped of their faces. The verification process requires no manual work or interpretation from the agent, allowing banks to validate the photo ID instantaneously without any risk to security or customer privacy.
The photo ID verification process works as follows
A call center representative sends an SMS containing a link to the customer’s mobile phone.
The customer opens the link, taking them to a safe mobile environment.
The customer takes a picture of their government-issued ID that contains a photo of them.
The customer snaps a selfie using the live mode, which is uploaded and automatically matched with their ID card’s photo.
Once the customer’s selfie image and ID image are verified to be one and the same person, the customer passes the ID verification stage.
How does using photo ID verification impact businesses?
Banks that use a photo ID verification tool are able to verify customers’ identities more accurately and quickly. These are some of the many benefits this straightforward tool can have on financial institutions:
Makes remote banking easier and faster: No part of the onboarding or servicing side of banking should have to be done from within a bank branch. With photo ID, agents can easily verify ID without requiring customers to take time out of their day to come to a physical bank location. All customers need is a mobile phone available, which is usually a simple ask.
Comfortable to use: Customers hate having to track down equipment, such as printers and scanners, to do things like scan ID. They frequently don’t have ready access to such equipment, and it can be cumbersome to use. In contrast, mobile-optimized photo ID requires no extra effort on customers’ or agents’ part. All they have to do is tap the screen of the instrument they’re most at ease with: their phone.
Guided by agents: Call center agents can augment the process of getting photo ID verified by not just sending the text message link to the customer containing the mobile session, but also guiding them through the ID verification process itself. This is completely optional but can be useful in some circumstances.
Highest level of security: Manual ID verification can sometimes be imperfect. On the other hand, photo ID verification is based on Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) and One-Time Password (OTP) technologies, which add even more frictionless layers of security.
The bottom line
Banks now have an expanded set of tools when they are buckling down on KYC and AML regulations. Instead of piling on more paperwork requirements, financial institutions can rely on technologies like photo ID verification to ensure they stay compliant with the latest banking regulations without sacrificing productivity and efficiency.
To learn the details of Lightico’s ID verification and associated technologies, including eSignatures, eForms, and digital payments, visit Lightico.com.
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