At a simple level, identity verification is the process of checking that a person is really who they say they are, to prevent imposters from committing fraud. This process can be as quick and simple as handing over a passport before boarding a plane or showing a driver’s license when buying an age-restricted product like a bottle of wine.
In many cases, government-issued identity documents are used to provide proof of name, age or address, and are verified by comparing a person’s likeness to an official photograph. In other cases, consumers may be required to verify their identity by using a secret password, such as a PIN code when paying with a debit or credit card.
However, as identity fraud becomes more sophisticated and a growing number of transactions take place online, digital identity verification is rapidly evolving to keep consumers and businesses safe. Many organisations now use digital identity verification services to examine a broader range of data. This can help to reduce the risk and cost of fraud, as well as ensure compliance with anti-money laundering regulation when processing financial transactions online or handling personal data.
What is Digital Identity Verification?
Digital identity verification solutions process data from a range of different sources to check and verify an individual’s identity. As well as ID documents, this can include contextual data, such as phone numbers and IP addresses, or third-party data, such as voter registration information. By consulting multiple data sets, organisations can significantly reduce the risk of identity fraud.
There are several important moments when organisations may need to verify someone’s identity such as customer onboarding. Some of the most common include when consumers are opening an account, making a high-value purchase, or accessing age-restricted services like online gambling.
In many of these moments, consumers may be asked to provide proof of identity. This could be by typing in a unique code sent to a mobile device or e-mail address, using a card reader, or uploading a photo of an official ID document along with a photo or video of themselves to show the likeness.
Yet, while identity checks can help to reduce fraud and build trust, consumers expect to be able to create and use accounts easily with minimal friction. Organisations must strike a balance between enhancing the customer experience and protecting profits, but that can be easier said than done.
Why is Digital Identity Verification Important?
As more transactions take place online, fraudsters are increasingly using false or stolen identities to commit crimes or launder money. Some of the most common threats that organisations are facing today include payment card fraud, phishing attacks and electronic transfer fraud. While a growing number of fraudsters are using account takeovers to impersonate real customers for financial gain.
This, in turn, is damaging trust and impacting growth, as consumers feel less safe transacting online. A third of consumers believe their personal information is available for sale, while two in five people are concerned their personal information could be exposed when transacting online, according to the GBG State of Digital Identity 2020 report.
In the fight against fraud, digital identity verification is an important part of organisations’ arsenal, providing the information needed to quickly spot and stop fraudsters at scale, while simultaneously delivering the seamless and secure experience that customers expect when transacting online.
Combating the Evolving Threat of Digital Identity Fraud
Fraudsters are deploying a wider range of increasingly advanced tactics, leaving organisations feeling unprepared and exposed. In a recent study, we found that many organisations are deeply concerned by their ability to stop fast-growing threats like IP theft and piracy, social engineering, and synthetic identity fraud - a method that combines real and fake customer information to build a new identity.
To ensure that customers and transactions are always protected, organisations must evolve their approach. Access to dependable, real-time data can help organisations stay alert to the risks posed by false or stolen identities, first or third-party fraud, application fraud and money laundering.