Blog

3 things to consider when choosing acceptable forms of ID

Published: Tuesday July 23, 2019

Staying a step ahead of fraudsters is always difficult. They’re always coming up with new and clever ways to circumvent electronic document checks. Of course, it’s not easy to predict the techniques that criminals will use, and often it’s only when you come across a new type of fraud that you become aware.

We work in partnership with our customers to help them to identify identity document fraud. When we identify new ways that criminals are forging documents, we update our customers so they’re aware of the risks, and we improve our technology to be able to better detect the new technique.

It’s a complex and rapidly changing landscape, but we often find that our customers can best protect themselves by carefully selecting up front the forms of identification document they will accept.

Here are our top 3 things to consider when deciding whether or not to accept a form of ID:

1. How easy is the ID to copy?

Some types of ID are much easier to counterfeit than others, for example short form UK birth certificates. By limiting the type of IDs you accept to those that are centrally and digitally produced, you automatically limit your exposure to fraud.

TIP: Choose to accept identification that has special markings, features, holograms, codes and symbols – all of which are difficult to copy.

2. How easy is the ID to change?

Whilst some IDs are easy to copy, others are easy to change, especially when part of a digital journey. For example manipulating the text or changing the name or the photo. Some forms of ID document have features which are much more difficult to amend, and simple validation checks will highlight discrepancies on amended documents.

TIP: Choose to accept identification that has check sums, MRZ codes, barcodes and electronic chips built in.

3. How robust is the ID registration process?

Some IDs require very little identity verification when you apply for them, so for example, a Student Union card can be obtained without any other identification checks in place. Once you have fraudulently applied for and received a valid form of identification, it’s much easier to get the next, and over time build a set of legitimate documents that prove you are someone else.

TIP: Choose to accept identity documentation that has a rigorous process in place to obtain it.


At GBG IDscan, we know documents.

Not only do we provide the technology to help customers validate identity documents, we can also provide the expertise to help customers understand how to put the most compliant identity checking processes in place.

To find out more, book a meeting with one of our experts


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