The CTOs Buyer’s Guide to ID Verification ProvidersNovember 8, 2023
The top priority for any CTO is to keep their business safe from scammers while simultaneously ensuring compliance. The challenge, however, is to achieve these critical goals without sacrificing a seamless user experience. Fortunately, CTOs and other high-level decision-makers can easily accomplish all this and more by partnering with the right identity verification provider.
ID verification plays a crucial role in protecting sensitive data, preventing fraud, and maintaining user trust. Think of it like a superhero that swoops in to save the day, consistently protecting your clients and keeping your business secure. But with so many ID verification providers out there, it can be a challenge to choose the right one for your company’s individual needs.
That’s where we come in. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you navigate the complex landscape of ID verification and highlight the key considerations you should keep in mind when selecting a provider. Ultimately, our goal is to help you make informed decisions that will keep your business and users safe.
What are the benefits of working with an ID verification provider?
Let’s start with a question. Are you tired of constantly worrying about the security of your business and your customers’ personal information? If so, trust us, you’re not alone—hackers are running rampant, and companies are struggling to keep up.
In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission, there were almost 560,000 reported cases of identity theft in the US during the first half of 2023. This means Americans will likely be subject to more than 1 million identity theft-related crimes this year alone, greatly surpassing any other pre-pandemic year on record going back to 2001. With this ever-increasing risk of online fraud and identity theft, it’s no wonder CTOs are up at night worrying about the online safety of their companies.
After all, we both know it’s not a pleasant scenario to consider—your customer data gets compromised. You can imagine what comes next. Your company suffers significant financial losses, severe damage to its reputation, and extensive legal problems. As for your customers, they may very well experience substantial emotional distress and potentially devastating financial troubles because of the identity theft.
Thankfully, there is a solution that can help combat these threats while also improving your customer’s overall experience: identify verification.
By using advanced technology like artificial intelligence, ID verification providers can help you avoid all the aforementioned issues—stopping fraud in its tracks while also streamlining your verification process and enhancing the customer experience.
That said, let’s review how identity verification can help in two vital sectors: financial services and eCommerce/retail.
Given that financial institutions handle people’s money, these entities must put world-class security measures in place to protect their customer data—perhaps more than any other industry.
Banks and other financial companies should establish an ID verification process that swiftly and seamlessly authenticates new customer identities so clients feel confident that their identities and financial information are safe. This confidence typically translates into more customer acquisitions and higher retention rates.
ID verification, fortunately, lowers the risk of cyber fraud, money laundering, and other nefarious acts by scammers. However, financial companies must carefully implement these measures to comply with stringent and ever-evolving regulations and global privacy and data laws so they avoid legal repercussions. For example, entities in the financial services industry must abide by know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) standards and guidelines or risk incurring steep fines, a loss of consumer trust, and an increased chance of fraud.
In essence, identity verification tools allow financial organizations to provide reliable and secure services to their customers. ID verification improves security, lowers operational costs, and streamlines customer onboarding processes. It also allows financial entities to more easily personalize their services.
Retail and eCommerce
Retailers and eCommerce businesses also benefit tremendously from establishing strong identity verification processes. Put simply, these identity checks make online transactions more secure, which is incredibly important nowadays as bad actors increasingly target companies and their consumers with phishing, ransomware, and identity theft attacks. Identity verification software confirms customers are who they claim to be, reducing fraud and unauthorized transactions.
This is especially important for age-restricted delivery purchases. With the help of age verification, only eligible individuals receive products such as alcohol or tobacco. Retailers benefit from this by remaining legally compliant and maintaining their services’ integrity.
Overall, as eCommerce increases in popularity, ID verification contributes to a robust security infrastructure that protects sensitive data and reinforces trust in digital interactions. It’s an indispensable asset for modern retailers seeking to thrive in the digital age—helping to mitigate the growing threat of online fraud and identity theft, rising trends in recent years.
Key considerations for CTOs
Now that we’ve established why it’s in the best interest of all online businesses to partner with an ID verification provider let’s talk through several of the factors CTOs and other technology decision-makers should consider as they select one.
Compliance and security
If the provider you’re considering doesn’t demonstrate a strong commitment to protecting your customer data and complying with regulatory requirements, it’s time to move on quickly. More than anything, your company needs to find an ID verification provider to work with that will ensure the security of its customers’ sensitive information.
Be sure to clarify exactly how your customer data will be stored and managed (for how long and by whom?). These are critical questions to ask, especially nowadays, since this identifiable information often includes biometrics and other private documents.
A top-tier vendor will give your end users the ability to manage who receives access to their data. It will also provide your company with storage and management options that fit its data requirements and risk tolerance while also meeting relevant compliance objectives.
Another aspect to consider? How easily the provider’s software will integrate with your company’s existing systems and workflows. In addition, look for out-of-the-box functionality so you can get things up and running quickly.
Another tip is to seek out ID verification software that offers pre-configured reports and templates but is still customizable as needed. Furthermore, you’ll want the solution you choose to be API-friendly (with plenty of API documentation and workflow design tools) so you can easily incorporate it into your current processes and automate it in the future.
Finally, keep in mind that an ID verification provider offering an easy-to-implement software development kit (SDK) can significantly streamline the integration process, reducing development time and costs while ensuring a smooth and secure user verification process within your ecosystem.
Scalability should also be a key consideration when choosing an ID verification provider. It’s crucial to find an ID verification solution that will grow with your company. The software must be able to accommodate an ever-increasing volume of user verifications, thus preventing bottlenecks and maintaining a positive customer experience while also supporting business growth.
Also, as a side note, don’t forget to look for providers that accept a vast library of domestic and international documents (e.g., passports, local identity cards, driver’s licenses, and more), especially if your user base is global.
Accuracy and reliability
Another important factor to take under consideration is how accurate the software is at preventing fraud in the first place. Does the identity verification provider you’re interested in verify both the user’s documents and their biometrics, as recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)? Can its software detect fake identities, discrepancies, and liveness? Be sure to ask all of these questions because the more accurate the solution you pick, the lower your costs will be and the fewer manual reviews that will need to be carried out.
To determine how accurate and reliable an ID verification provider’s services will be, consider its methods (how innovative are they?), whether it uses biometrics or not, and how it authenticates documents. If it accepts PDF uploads, browser workflows, or webcam image captures, it may be wise to question the security and accuracy of the solution. Look for the use of cutting-edge technology instead, like AI, machine learning, smartphone 3D cameras, and app-based captures.
Cost and pricing models
Finally, CTOs must consider the cost of the service before making a decision. Naturally, this will directly impact their company’s budget and the partnership’s long-term viability.
Different pricing structures, such as per-user licensing, transaction-based fees, and tiered subscription models, can significantly affect the total cost of ownership. Understanding these structures and their implications will help ensure the chosen provider aligns with your company’s financial objectives, scalability requirements, and growth strategy. It’s important to balance both cost efficiency and service quality.
Many ID verification providers offer a transaction-based fee structure with different tiers based on transaction volume. If this is the case with the vendor you’re considering, you should be able to estimate the cost (consider both current and anticipated future volume). On the other hand, you may prefer an unlimited-use billing model if you expect your users to need verification repetitively (e.g., they make a lot of purchases or frequently get locked out of their accounts).
Important features to consider when sourcing a provider
Beyond the considerations above, CTOs must determine which features an identity verification provider brings to the table. Below, we discuss some of the most important identity verification software features in more detail.
One feature you should expect in your identity verification solution is the immediate and accurate authentication of user identities (also known as real-time verification).
Businesses in finance, healthcare, and eCommerce count on this real-time capability to help achieve a positive customer experience—if their verification processes are too slow, they’ll likely frustrate and lose customers. Real-time verification also helps them comply with regulatory requirements like KYC and AML.
When comparing vendors, consider the average response time of their API, whether their API supports batch processing or not, and if there are any rate limits.
Ultimately, real-time verification minimizes the risks associated with fraudulent activities and allows organizations to make timely decisions, safeguarding their reputation and customer trust.
Another important feature is ID document verification, which guarantees the authenticity of submitted identity documents like passports and driver’s licenses. Document verification software, coupled with real-time data enrichment and digital footprint analysis, ensures the accuracy and completeness of customer information, bolstering AML efforts by detecting suspicious activities more effectively.
Additional identity verification features CTOs might consider include:
- Biometric identification: The use of unique physical features to verify identities
- Data enrichment: When personal details (name, address, date of birth, etc.) are cross-referenced with external databases and sources to confirm identities
- ID selfie video verification: Involves recording a video of oneself while holding up a government-issued ID document to achieve identity verification
- Business video verification: The use of video calls or recorded video to verify the identity of individuals involved in transactions or business deals
By integrating advanced identity verification features like these, businesses can alleviate risks, maintain regulatory compliance, and protect themselves (and their customers) from financial crimes, which is essential in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.
Evaluating criteria for selecting a good ID verification provider
At this point, you can see why working with an ID verification provider at the forefront of new technological advancements is critical. We’ve covered key considerations and notable features. Now, it’s time to walk through the steps CTOs should take as they make this important decision for their organization.
Research and shortlisting
Like any other important decision, a good place to start is by conducting research. Next, narrow down all the options into a shortlist of your favorites.
To do this, start by defining the specific technical requirements and compliance standards needed by your organization. Then, evaluate potential providers based on their ability to meet this list of criteria, considering factors such as technology stack compatibility, scalability, and reputation within the industry.
Demos and proof of concepts (POCs)
To determine the accuracy and reliability of the identity verification provider’s technology, watch product demonstrations and view proof of concepts. Confirm the provider’s software can effectively and quickly verify the authenticity of various types of identity documents to detect potentially fraudulent activity.
Additionally, check that the provider’s scalability and integration capabilities will fit with your company’s future growth needs and existing systems.
Compliance with globally recognized standards
Whatever you do, make sure the ID verification provider you choose strictly adheres to established industry practices and standards like KYC and AML to lower your company’s risk of legal and regulatory issues.
The vendor should also be able to adapt quickly since regulatory requirements are constantly in flux. Moreover, look for one that is well-versed in all the various regulations since they can vary widely between countries and regions.
Ultimately, selecting an ID verification provider that complies with global regulations will help ensure that your business is protected legally and that your customer’s sensitive data is safe.
Due diligence and references
Don’t move forward with a provider without first checking its references and doing your due diligence. Find out if current and former customers have good things to say about their experience with the company and if they recommend it. If they don’t, consider this a red flag that requires further investigation.
Beyond former and existing clients, you may be able to find valuable insights about different identity verification providers in analyst and industry reports. Notably, these documents usually pinpoint market leaders and discuss product capabilities.
It can also be helpful to ask your network for referrals.
Request for proposals (RFPs)
When evaluating multiple providers, issuing RFPs can help guarantee a structured, standardized, and transparent vendor selection process.
In the RFP, clearly outline your organization’s requirements, timelines, and evaluation criteria, focusing on factors like data security, compliance with regulations, scalability, integration capabilities, and pricing models so you can effectively assess and compare provider responses.
Finally, don’t forget to review each provider’s Github so you can get an idea of how easily your developers will be able to share code files and collaborate with others. Plus, some ID verification providers like Microblink offer a free trial, so you can try all their SDKs and APIs to see how well they work for you as you explore your options.
What are the top ID verification providers?
Fortunately, there are multiple identity verification providers to choose from these days, although some are much more innovative, accurate, and responsive than others. Let’s take a look at several of the current top contenders so we can identify the best identity verification software on the market today.
More than 450 companies worldwide already count on Microblink and its AI-powered ID scanning software to simplify user onboarding and authentication workflows. Five times faster than any alternatives, its industry-leading interface, BlinkID, requires zero user interaction, ensuring a seamless customer experience with reduced user drop-off rates, and is easily integrated into existing infrastructures. Secure and fully compliant, it’s built with developers in mind.
Microblink accepts a vast array of identity documents, including passports, driver’s licenses, and global ID cards (2,500+ documents from 150+ countries!). It offers real-time identity verification, precise data extraction, and frictionless ID captures that provide immediate feedback via AI. Microblink’s advanced identity verification solution, BlinkID, is incredibly accurate, compliant with all regulatory requirements, and the perfect way to protect your users and all their sensitive data.
Another company offering identity verification software is Ekata, part of Mastercard. The company boasts a proprietary database that connects information to customer identities. It also uses data to predict fraudulent transactions.
Then there’s SEON, a business that provides identity verification tools that help organizations cut costs related to fraud. It uses device fingerprinting, machine learning, and predictive scoring to authenticate identities for clients and runs KYC and AML checks.
Jumio bills itself as an “online mobile payments and identity verification company that provides card and ID scanning and validation products for mobile and web transactions.” In business for over 10 years, Jumio’s identity verification software solutions utilize face-based biometrics, AI, liveness detection, and more.
Founded in 2012, Onfido uses photo documents, selfies, and AI algorithms to authenticate identities. Its Real Identity platform presents customers with a suite of identity verifications and signals, including document, biometric, and data.
Founded and headquartered in Estonia, Veriff assists companies globally with mitigating fraud and complying with regulatory requirements. Impressively, Veriff covers 11,000+ government-issued IDs. It also offers AML screening, KYC onboarding, biometric authentication, age verification/estimation, and more.
The integral role of ID verification service providers
Despite all the benefits of living in a highly digital world, there are some notable downsides—like identity theft. Companies must find ways to combat this scourge or suffer from increased costs, erosion of customer trust, reputational harm, legal implications, and more.
Thankfully, well-established and reputable identity verification providers are standing by, willing, and able to authenticate identities in real-time using machine learning, AI, biometrics, and identity documentation so online businesses can meet regulatory standards, streamline onboarding processes, protect their users’ sensitive data, and prevent fraud.
Armed with the information above, you can move forward in confidence to find and hire the best ID verification provider for your company and its particular circumstances. Don’t wait—too many bad actors are lurking out there, searching for ways to defraud and harm your business and its customers. Having the right identity verification solution in place will provide you with peace of mind and help you sleep better at night.
The future of ID verification
Microblink exists to help its clients build better onboarding and payment verification workflows, so they save both time and money. Using AI-powered document scanning and real-time verification to actively fight fraud, Microblink’s industry-leading BlinkID product allows companies across the globe to provide their users with a fast, efficient, and secure user experience that drives loyalty and engagement. Its platform is flexible, scalable, and 100% compliant with evolving industry regulations, so it can continue to meet your business needs for years to come, even as your company grows. Contact Microblink today with any questions or try it for yourself!