Identity verification software enables organizations to verify or authenticate users’ identities remotely, by validating their personal information and documents. It can be used to verify employees’ identities before granting them access to corporate systems and applications, or to verify customers’ identities before onboarding them or granting them access to a service or platform. Implementing an identity verification solution can help businesses prevent data breaches and fraud, streamline customer onboarding, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements like Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It enables them to achieve this whilst building user trust and streamlining the end user verification experience.
In order to achieve all this, identity verification software typically employs multiple verification methods to establish users’ identities, including ID document verification, biometric identification, and liveness detection. The strongest solutions also offer reporting of user login and verification activity as well as offering robust security features (such as encryption) to ensure the security and integrity of sensitive user data.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 identity verification software designed to help you onboard users, secure access to systems and services, and mitigate identity cyberattacks and fraud. We’ll highlight the key use cases and features of each solution, including supported verification methods, compliance support, additional security features, and end user experience.
Everything You Need To Know About Identity Verification Software (FAQs)
What Is Identity Verification Software?
Identity verification (also known as identity authentication) is the process of ensuring that someone is who they say they are, at the time they’re saying it. There are two main scenarios where a business might want to verify someone’s identity:
- They need to verify the identity of their employees before granting those employees access to company data to help prevent data breaches.
- They want to verify the identity of a customer before onboarding them or granting them access to a service or platform to help prevent fraud or money laundering and to prove compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
Identity verification software enables businesses to validate their customers’ or employees’ identities remotely, without those users having to travel to be verified on-site or send verification documents (such as a copy of a driver’s license or passport) in the post. This not only helps organizations to ensure the security of their data and their customers’ data and to achieve compliance with data privacy regulations, but it also helps them to speed up the verification process, freeing up security resource for other tasks. Finally, implementing digital identity verification software can also help organizations to improve their customer acquisition and retention rates: firstly, by streamlining the verification process and making it more user-friendly for the user being verified; and secondly, by showing customers that you take their data security seriously.
How Does Identity Verification Software Work?
Identity verification software collects personal information from the user, then compares the presented information with a trusted database containing the same information to ensure it’s real and legitimate. For example, it could ask the user to present a face scan, then compare that scan to a biometric record stored on the user’s phone, or to a government-held database of passport data. If the presented data matches the data in the trusted database, the user is granted access.
There are various methods that can be used for identity verification, and each of those use a different type of information to verify the user. Let’s take a look at the most common methods.
ID Document Verification
ID document verification asks users to scan an official ID document such as a passport, driver’s license, or ID card, then checks that the presented document is legitimate. Because this method of verification often involves the use of government-issued documents, it’s considered very reliable. It’s also an accepted method for achieving KYC and AML compliance. This makes ID document verification well-suited to the financial industry, where organizations need to check users’ ID before allowing them to open a bank account, onboarding them, and during financial agreement processes. However, it isn’t the most user-friendly verification method as it requires the user to scan and upload their document.
Biometric verification asks the user to present biometric information, then compares that scan to a record in a trusted database. There are two main types of biometrics that the user could present:
- Physiological biometrics, i.e., a measurement of the user’s physical characteristics, such as a fingerprint or face scan
- Behavioral biometrics, i.e., a measurement of how the user acts, such as a typing or gait pattern or voice recognition
Biometric verification is considered one of the most secure methods of identity verification, as it’s incredibly difficult for an attacker to steal or replicate someone’s biometric information. However, it can be more complex to set up biometric verification initially, and it’s critical that your organization stores users’ biometric data securely.
One way in which cybercriminals may try to evade biometric authenticators is by spoofing a user’s ID using a mask or photograph, to get around a facial recognition scan. Liveness detection is a method of identity verification that helps to prevent ID spoofing in this way. Liveness detection checks whether a person’s physical characteristics and measurements match those of an ID document that they’ve presented. However, liveness detection tools require the user to prove that they’re actually there, in real time, for example by asking them to film a series of head movements. Some more sophisticated methods exist too, such as thermal imaging and 3D recognition, but these require specialist hardware and aren’t generally suitable for everyday commercial applications.
One-Time Passcode (OTP) Verification
One-time passcodes are a common method of identity verification that many users will be familiar with. This method of verification transmits a single-use code to the user via SMS, email, or an authentication app during the verification process. They are then asked to input that code, proving that they have access to certain devices or accounts associated with their identity. While users are likely to be familiar with this method of verification, it does have some drawbacks. Firstly, it’s not very intuitive, as it requires the user to use multiple devices or applications to verify themselves. Secondly, it’s relatively easy for a cybercriminal to re-direct SMS or email OTPs to their own phone or email account. The best way to prevent this is by enforcing the use of authentication apps, which require the user to have physical access to a device to sign in. They also place a limit (usually 30-60 seconds) on how long a user has to input the code.
Knowledge-based verification requires the user to answer questions correctly in order to be granted access to an account. These might be questions chosen by the user when they created the account, or they might be questions based on information in the user’s account. For example, if someone wants to transfer a large amount of money, their bank may wish to verify their ID first by asking them questions about their recent transactions.
Database verification, also known as digital footprint verification, pulls data from other databases, such as social media, to verify information presented by the user. It’s a quick verification method and can often be done in real-time, and it doesn’t require the user to provide any extra information about themselves, making it user-friendly. However, it relies on the other databases being up-to-date and secure. Because of this, we don’t recommend using database verification as a standalone verification method.
What Features Should You Look For In Identity Verification Solution?
There are a few key features that you should look for when comparing identity verification solutions:
- Support for multiple verification methods. The most secure way to verify users’ identities is by layering multiple authentication methods. Additionally, choosing a solution that supports a few different methods enables you to give your users a choice as to which method they’d prefer to use, helping to streamline the verification process for them.
- Global document support. If your company is operating in multiple markets, is looking to scale internationally, or has employees or customers in different countries, you need to make sure that your chosen solution is able to verify a wide range of global ID documents, regardless of the country of origin.
- Guided user feedback. This is something that you might not think about at first, but it’s essential to ensuring your end users have a positive verification experience. Providing them with guided feedback (such as suggesting they move closer to their camera or adjust their angle) can help streamline the whole process, ensuring it goes quickly and smoothly.
- Data encryption. Your chosen identity verification provider needs to store and process sensitive data securely; all identity-related data should be encrypted at the point of capture, during transit, and in storage.
- Your chosen solution should offer built-in compliance checks and strong reporting templates to help you ensure and prove compliance with any relevant data protection and privacy regulations. You also need to check that your chosen provider’s data retention policies are aligned with your compliance requirements.
- Integration with your existing environment. You need to make sure that your chosen solution is compatible with your existing environment and offers integrations, usually ASPI-based, with the other technologies you’re using, such as payment gateways, data analytics tools, and CRMs. This will make initial deployment easier, as well as helping you keep better track of your data in the long-term.