Identity document authentication

KYC: Identity document verification in detail

Identity document verification lets one confirm the legitimacy of an ID, such as a passport, national identity card or driver’s license, through automatic or manual checks on the document’s authenticity. In particular, this process verifies various security elements within the documents.

To be effective, ID document verification must be performed by individuals trained in techniques to detect false documents.


The process can be performed:

  • On the ID itself: This approach should be favored when possible, as it allows more precise checks and the use of specialized tools (UV light, etc.).
  • On one or more images of the document: This is the principal approach when verification must be done remotely (online verification) or when verification is delegated to a specialized, centralized team.

Identity document verification is not a recent practice. For decades, companies have used ad hoc procedures to collect IDs to have them photocopied, scanned, faxed and verified. But these procedures differ widely in practice –  in customer experience and in expertise and capacity to effectively detect false documents – from those offered by specialized companies, and in particular IDCHECK.IO.

How it works

When a document is sent to a verification service, a series of automatic processes takes place:

  • Classifying: The document type may be recognized automatically. If not, the type must be indicated to the service before verification can start.
  • Extracting: Information on the document and its bearer is extracted from the source.
  • Verifying: This is the actual verification. Checks on the document’s security elements are performed by the service.
  • Responding: A verification report is produced, with results of the analysis returned to the client.

Why use identity document verification?

While most online businesses are not legally required to check their clients’ identity, they may want to do so to fight fraud more effectively.

Some businesses are, in fact, compelled by regulation – for example financial services, online gaming, and any activity that needs to check its users’ ages.

Checking identity documents allows businesses to confirm information essential to the demands of Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Politically Exposed Person (PEP) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) guidelines.

Points to remember when choosing an ID document authentication service

Major differences exist between automatic ID document authentication services offered online. Be sure to choose the one that meets your needs. IDCHECK.IO is committed to providing you with an effective, continually improving service.


  • Does the service respond in a satisfactory timeframe? IDCHECK.IO performs its automatic document check in a few seconds, so you can integrate it into your own processes without having to rewrite them.
  • Is the service available 24/7? IDCHECK.IO is available all day and night.
  • Does the service cover the different identity documents (passports, visas, national ID cards, etc.) as well as the geographic area you need? IDCHECK.IO covers 208 countries and organizations, and its database contains several thousand examples.
  • Does the service process images of identity documents, or does it merely analyze text data (bearer, document number, etc.)? IDCHECK.IO works from images of the documents provided, without other typing information.
  • Does the service provide a mobile capture SDK to optimize client mobile experience? SMARTSDK for IDCHECK.IO allows optimized capture of the identity document. Preliminary processing takes place on the mobile platform and can display a result in 1 second.
  • Can the service use infrared or ultraviolet images of documents? IDCHECK.IO is capable of analyzing different images of a single document taken under different light for a more thorough verification.
  • Can the service make use of the electronic chip in certain documents? SMARTSDK for IDCHECK.IO will soon be able to read chips on ID documents containing them.
  • Does the service provide a verification certificate that can be saved? IDCHECK.IO provides a verification report that can be used by your applications, as well as a PDF certificate that you can save as proof of the verification.
  • Can the service keep this proof of verification for a client? By default, IDCHECK.IO does not retain any trace of personal data you submit. However, upon your request, the data can be saved for your sole use.