The Complete Guide to Identity Verification APIsSeptember 29, 2023
As businesses and transactions migrate online, securing identity data has moved from a nice-to-have to a must-have. Not having a proper identity verification process in place can have a significant financial impact and result in fines. This is because it can lead to fraud and money laundering, which are serious crimes that can harm businesses and society as a whole. This isn’t just about keeping out the bad actors—it’s about fostering trust, facilitating user engagement, and complying with a growing list of regulations.
But how can you do that without putting your user experience at risk?
Here’s your complete guide so you can unlock this tool’s powers.
What is an API for identity verification?
An Identity Verification API is essentially a set of rules and protocols that lets applications communicate with each other. In layman’s terms, it enables a swift, secure, and automated method for verifying a person’s identity online.
How is identity verification done?
Verifying someone’s identity online may seem like a walk in the park. Still, there’s quite a bit going on under the hood. Let’s break down this process into bite-sized pieces.
The process behind Identity Verification API
A secure and easy remote ID process involves a few steps, including document verification, biometric scans, and even questions. These steps ensure the person trying to access the system is who they say they are.
Step 1: Image capture
First things first—image capture. Whether it’s identity documents or biometric data, this step lays the groundwork for the entire process. A good system can help make the best first impression by being user-friendly and quick, minimizing the risk of user drop-offs, and maximizing engagement.
Take BlinkID Capture, for instance. AI-powered ID scanning software allows you to acquire high-quality document images automatically without glare, blur, or obstructions.
Step 2: Data extraction
Before moving on to data extraction, liveness detection comes into play to ensure the user is, in fact, a real live human being. Users may be prompted to perform simple actions like blinking or smiling, confirming their live presence.
Once the image is captured, the system automatically extracts relevant information from it. This is where the magic happens.
The technology identifies specific fields—name, age, identification numbers, etc.—and pulls them out for verification. Automating this process eliminates human error and saves time, streamlining the experience for the business and the user.
Step 3: Data verification
After data extraction comes the crucial verification phase. As part of our verification process, we conduct fraud checks to ensure the provided ID is authentic and not fraudulent.
This is a double-check to ensure all the extracted details are valid. This step is critical for building trust, and it’s where you can weed out any fraudulent activity.
Depending on your industry—whether it’s finance, healthcare, or eCommerce—there may be extra layers of verification to be added. These could be KYC or AML checks. A customizable verification API can incorporate these requirements effortlessly, ensuring you remain compliant without sacrificing efficiency or user experience.
What are the three most common methods used to verify identity?
In the world of customer identity verification software, three methods stand out for their efficacy and widespread use: Document Verification, Biometric Verification, and Knowledge-Based Verification.
Each method has unique strengths, often working best when used in tandem. Let’s dig into each of them.
Document Verification APIs
This method is often seen as the cornerstone of identity verification, especially for institutions that are highly regulated, such as:
- Online banking: To comply with KYC and AML regulations, online banks require rigorous ID verification.
- eCommerce: For high-value transactions, confirming the customer’s identity can prevent fraudulent activities.
- Healthcare: Ensuring the right individual is gaining access to medical records is critical for protecting patient data.
Biometric Verification APIs
Biometric verification has been rapidly adopted thanks to smartphone technology advances, which often include facial recognition and fingerprint scanners as standard features. Biometric Verification APIs capture and analyze unique biological traits of individuals—such as face, fingerprint, or voice—to securely verify their identity. This method adds an extra layer of security and is often used for quick yet secure mobile logins.
Integrating facial recognition and fingerprint sensors in smartphones has made biometric verification more accessible than ever. It’s a fast and frictionless way to verify user identities.
Knowledge-Based Verification APIs
Knowledge-based verification adds another layer of identity confirmation by asking users to answer questions that should be known only to them, like the name of their first pet or the street they grew up on. While effective, this method also raises security concerns because this kind of personal information can sometimes be guessed or unearthed through social engineering tactics.
While knowledge-based verification can be effective, it comes with a caveat: you rely on the user to supply their personal information.
A recent report has shown that seven out of ten consumers feel more comfortable using a payment method that doesn’t require sharing their financial details with merchants. But that doesn’t mean they will deal with a slow and cumbersome identification process.
Plus, organizations that use this method must adhere to stringent data protection policies to ensure the user’s personal information remains confidential.
Advantages of using Identity Verification API
The integration of an ID Verification API offers advantages beyond the obvious benefit of accurate identification. These APIs are becoming essential tools for businesses prioritizing security, user experience, and compliance. Let’s explore these advantages in more detail.
Enhancing online security
The first and foremost advantage is heightened online security. With real-time verification of IDs, you can ensure your users’ authenticity and proof of identification.
By cross-referencing extracted information with authoritative databases, identity verification APIs act as an initial barrier to detect fraud, protecting businesses and end-users from harm.
Enhanced user experience
The customer journey is often laden with necessary but cumbersome verification steps that may discourage continued engagement. The easy integration of an ID Verification API streamlines this process, making it faster and more user-friendly for new customers.
Ensuring KYC and AML compliance
Navigating the extensive regulations of KYC and AML is complex and can be resource-draining when handled manually. Identity Verification APIs are a game-changer in this context.
They automate multiple layers of verification checks, thereby streamlining compliance workflows. What used to take hours—or even days—can now be completed in a fraction of the time, with far less room for human error.
The APIs can cross-reference identity documents against authoritative global databases, instantly flagging inconsistencies or potential risks. As a result, organizations, especially in heavily regulated sectors like financial services, can focus their human resources on more strategic tasks, confident their automated systems are maintaining compliance efficiently.
Impact on the bottom line
When it comes to the bottom line, every operational improvement has a ripple effect. Automating the identity verification process is no exception.
Firstly, it lowers the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). When the verification process is fast and smooth, more users are likely to complete their account setup, which means a lower spend per customer acquired.
Furthermore, an intuitive and quick verification process not only drives initial user engagement but also fosters long-term customer loyalty. People are more likely to return to platforms that offer a hassle-free experience.
These aren’t just user-centric advantages—they translate directly into increased revenue. By automating identity verification, businesses position themselves for scalability, better financial performance, and long-term growth.
The increasing role of Identity Verification APIs in business
However, it’s important to stay current on the latest trends and advancements. As new threats emerge, businesses must adapt and evolve their security measures to stay ahead of the curve. Keep an eye on trends and consider taking the next step to implement identity verification solutions for more secure business operations.
How Microblink can help
We understand the landscape, and we’ve built solutions that seamlessly integrate into your existing platforms. Don’t just take our word for it—our proof lies in our easy integration and the level of authenticity and protection we bring to the table.
Get in touch today to start your risk-free trial.