Article 4 min

How to Use Biometric Verification for Identity Proofing

Biometric Identity Verification

July 12, 2023  

Biometric verification is a security process that uses unique biological characteristics to help confirm a person’s identity. 

The process offers advantages over traditional identification methods, such as passwords or ID cards, because biometric traits are difficult to replicate or steal. Biometrics also can be convenient and efficient because people don’t have to remember passwords or carry physical tokens. When combined with other identity verification capabilities, biometric verification is a powerful fraud prevention tool.

But biometric verification also requires strict adherence to privacy, use and storage standards. For example, the state of Illinois enacted the Biometric Information Privacy Act, which requires organizations obtain written consent to collect a person’s biometric information. Companies can minimize their risk by working with a trusted verification partner that understands the complex regulatory environment around biometrics.

The Biometric Verification Process

Biometric verification relies on capturing and analyzing biometric data. That can be done by using identity documents as a reference and a live selfie as a biometric capture to enable quick, accurate remote onboarding.

The process typically involves the following steps.

Image Capture
During verification, the person’s biometric image information is captured using a camera.

The captured biometric data is processed to extract the unique features or patterns relevant for identification. That involves converting the raw data into a mathematical representation, often referred to as a biometric template.

The biometric template is then compared to the person’s image on the document. Additionally, the selfie image can be analyzed for liveness detection. It’s vital that face algorithms are trained on diverse data sets to avoid bias.

If there is a match, the individual’s identity is confirmed. 

Biometrics for Remote Identity Proofing

It’s vital to understand the various trade-offs among security, risk, accuracy, customer experience and cost when implementing biometric verification for compliance and fraud prevention. A risk-based approach to remote identity verification, paired with the right technology, can help organizations strike the right balance among those factors by setting risk thresholds for different use cases and regions around the world. 

Image capture is a key element of that technology when verifying identity documents and biometrics. A sophisticated software-development kit can optimize that process, but real-world environments still could include poor lighting, older mobile devices or user error.

Guided capture can help the user navigate the process to create higher-quality images. Passive liveness detection also helps in creating a low-friction experience because user movements are not required.

Biometrics can add confidence to the verification process. Facial biometric checks aren’t infallible, but they establish a more powerful defense against fraud, particularly when the technology has iBeta certification showing it has met globally recognized performance standards for presentation attack detection and biometric recognition performance.

When that technology operates smoothly, it can have a significant effect on the customer onboarding experience as well as conversion, abandonment and fraud rates. How fast is the experience? How many transactions are verified automatically versus manually? How many good customers are unnecessarily slowed down or rejected? How many fraudsters gain access?

How to Choose a Biometric Verification Partner

Biometric verification systems require advanced software development, integration, data science and user interface capabilities.

The technology also needs the agility to quickly adjust to emerging fraud attacks and evolving regulations around the world. That often requires large data sets to optimize AI and machine learning models and keep pace with shifting markets.

Beyond technology, expertise in local markets helps drive performance. Partners that understand different market audiences and regulations can help organizations enhance customer onboarding, compliance and fraud prevention.

Biometric checks are only one element in robust onboarding and identity verification. By combining multiple verification tools, organizations can achieve the highest assurance level.

It’s critical that a partner knows how to layer biometrics in onboarding workflows so the technology works in harmony with other verification methods. If those systems don’t work well together, it can have a negative effect on cost, conversions and risk mitigation.

Biometric verification is a powerful technology for companies that operate in multiple markets and require remote identity proofing. A trusted verification partner that understands the complex regulatory environment around biometrics and has a full suite of onboarding capabilities can position organizations to expand confidently anywhere in the world.

Identity Document Verification

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