Our consumption patterns have changed. In one click, we order, we subscribe, we read, we create… This new economic environment is an opportunity for companies to digitise their offer and simplify remote access to their goods and services. The Covid-19 health crisis reinforced demand and indeed accelerated the digital transformation in many industries.
If you offer, or wish to offer your customer, the possibility to subscribe to your services through the internet, verifying their identity can become a real concern. At the same time, you want to know your customers better, in order to build a trusting relationship with them, you need to comply with regulations within your industry, and you want to fight against identity fraud.
Thanks to an automated identity verification service, you can meet these needs while optimising and digitising your internal processes. Choosing the right identity verification service can be difficult, especially in a fast-growing market. That is why we have detailed 5 key components to help you find the solution that best fits your company.
1. Processing time and user experience
One of the main challenges of identity verification is to simplify your customers’ onboarding process. KYC (Know Your Customer), a common expression these days, refers to the process that allows you to know the identity of your customers and to ensure their integrity. This process, composed of several steps, includes the verification of identity documents, and can go as far as offering a live identity verification of the users. This way, you can make sure that the person subscribing to your offer is who he/she claims to be.
In order to deliver a friendly user experience, your onboarding process has to be intuitive, fluid and instantaneous. The more the journey is optimised, the more likely your customers will be to get to the next step, significantly increasing your conversion rate.
To analyse the process proposed by the different identity verification service providers, you need to ask yourself the right questions:
- How is the identity document captured? Which is a fundamental element to ensure the quality and relevance of the verification.
- Is the user guided with messages during the capture?
- Is there an automated document recognition, without needing to specify the nationality or type? What is the conversion rate of documents that are recognised?
- Is the document data extracted automatically, without needing the user to fill it in manually?
- How is the document analysed? With deep learning, manual processing, hybrid?
- What is the duration of the document analysis?
- Does the solution support facial recognition?
- Is it possible to personalise the interface with your brand image (white label)?
- What system is being used for biometric analysis?
- Is it possible to develop the journey in different languages?
These points play an essential role in the user experience. The more the identity verification service is optimised, the faster the onboarding process will be. If, for example, the document classification is automated, one to two steps will be removed from the journey on the users’ side, significantly reducing the time allocated to the onboarding process. This can also be applied to the automated document capture as well as to its analysis.
We could observe a processing time divided by 20 compared to a manual identity document verification.
Regarding the biometric analysis solution, it is important to mention that facial recognition by video is far more efficient against frauds than facial recognition from selfie. The video certainly takes a bit longer to complete, but allows you to strengthen your identity control.
All in all, the shorter the user journey is, the better for you in terms of conversion rate.
2. Document and geographic coverage
The identity documents to process are also important to consider in your choice of identity verification service.
They need to fit your needs, which depend on your geographic presence and your industry. What documents do you need? Which geographic areas are they covering? Identity card, passport, driving license, residence permit, health card, there are a multitude of documents around the world to prove one’s identity, and these documents differ from one country to another.
In order to ensure that the identity verification service meets your needs, it is necessary to study the document coverage it offers. The coverage varies according to the number of identity documents recognised, their different versions, their format, as well as their country of origin. The larger the document coverage is, the more it will respond to your local and international needs. Equally, the number of languages available in the user journey will be crucial, if you want to address your customers internationally.
Another important aspect, that can be a real advantage, is the verification of supporting documents (qualified as “non-identity”). Proof of address, pay slip, bank details or tax assessment, are documents that could be interesting, and are sometimes necessary to include in the KYC process.
If the solution provider does not support all the desired documents, feel free to ask about its flexibility to add new documents. It should be possible for them to enlarge their document coverage within a certain period of time.
3. Technologies and integration modes
If we examine the solutions from a technical standpoint, we need to consider the selected technologies, as well as the methods of integration to your application. This analysis does not require a lot of technical knowledge, but helps to understand if the identity verification service meets your expectations and can easily be implemented in your infrastructure.
Is the capture technology developed internally? Is it compatible with all devices? Does it offer a large variety of formats (videos, photos…)? Is the answer instantaneous? By offering these features, the solution allows you to perform high quality controls that facilitate the user experience.
Regarding the identity control service: different biometric recognition technologies exist, making sure that the person subscribing to the offer is who he/she claims to be. The verification can either be done by video or with a selfie.
The facial recognition process with a selfie is simple. The user takes a selfie that is cross compared with the picture extracted from the identity document. This is nowadays called, face match. The verification duration varies according to the provider.
As for the video, it allows us to go further in the identity control process, ensuring that the person is actually behind the device. The user takes a video in which he/she has to perform a challenge after which a cross comparison is made with the identity document. The liveness detection process is then based on the analysis of the movements between the shots.
Other technologies, like NFC chip reading, may also make it possible for you to verify the authenticity of electronic documents. Bringing together these three steps will ensure a complete and reliable KYC process.
Technologies available within the solutions are important, however their quality is even more important. The more efficient the technology is, the better the customer experience and the more effective it is fighting document fraud.
To ensure the solution’s technologies are reliable you can carry out internal tests. You just need to request access to the supplier’s test solutions in order to submit the documents of your choice, authentic or fraudulent. This will allow you to define a fraud detection rate with which you can compare the effectiveness of the solutions. By carrying out these tests, you can also get an extraction rate, which ensures that the solution correctly extracts the data present on the identity document.
In addition to the different technologies being used, it is important to take into account the integration possibilities for each solution. In fact, if you deliver an access to your service through a website or an application, it is essential to be able to directly integrate the identity verification service to it. The cost and implementation duration are also factors to take into consideration.
4. Compliance with regulations, certifications and personal data protection
For compliance and certifications, make sure the solutions meet the various market regulatory requirements. Your decision should be driven by a specific focus on the regulations you are subject to.
The AML (Anti-Money Laundering) directive is nowadays required in many industries and complying to the AML can be a real advantage to create trusting relationships with your future customers. Initially targeting money laundering, it progressively started to include tax fraud and terrorism financing. Make sure the identity verification service meets the different measures required by the directive.
The eIDAS regulation aims to improve and secure digital exchanges. Its ambition is to establish a common basis for electronic interactions between people, companies and public institutions. The regulation applies to electronic identification, trusted services and electronic documents. It ensures interoperability between countries. Make sure to ask for the certification level of the authentication process for each of the solutions you want to consider.
We also encourage you to look at the certifications delivered nationally by governmental agencies. We refer to the ANSSI in France, the CCN in Spain, the BSI in Germany, the NASK in Poland and the OCSI in Italy. Each country provides recommendation levels and establishes guidelines in terms of level of security for the acquisition or the use of product and services.
In addition, there are also challenges regarding data protection, and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This regulation requires companies to protect personal data and the private lives of individuals in the European Union. It comprises data relative to identity, but also biometric data collected during the identification processes.
It is essential for the identity verification service to be entirely GDPR compliant. We also encourage you to focus on confidentiality and protection of the analysis processes as well as on information collection and storage. Indeed, in terms of data protection it is relevant to favour companies who store their data in the European Union.
5. Customer service
Preferences towards solutions may already emerge after analysing the key points previously mentioned. However, one last criteria may help you in making your final choice: customer service. We are not talking about the service offered once the solution has been bought, but about real support from the qualification of your needs to the resolution of technical problems (Well, we are in the technology industry, there will always be problems ?).
During your first discussions with the provider, it is important to qualify your needs properly with each of the representatives. They have to guide you in the choice of solution to deploy but also during the selection of modules to integrate during the entire sale process.
It is essential to receive proper support once the modules are selected, during the implementation phase, as well as after. Make sure you can easily reach out to your main contact (more commonly known as Customer Success Manager), to get help using the tool or with technical issue resolution. The right level of support will allow you to make the best of the solution and to feel supported during the project.
Choosing your identity verification service is not a small task. Take your company’s needs into consideration, think about your users, as well as the time you can allocate to work with the tool. There is no good or bad identity verification solution. The best one is the one that will meet the needs and criterias you established. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We would be more than happy to help you with your project.