Organizations investigating digital identity capabilities first face the challenge of untangling the complexities of different use cases, technologies and partners.
The identity verification solution market is complicated, with a broad range of capabilities. The Liminal Digital Identity Landscape 2023 report, for instance, lists 32 different identity verification market segments.
Companies can position themselves to find the right partner if they first have a clear understanding of their identity verification needs.
Identity Verification and Identity Access Management
Customer verification and employee access management are two distinct digital identity use cases.
Digital identity verification is the process of confirming digital identities represent real people and they are who they say they are. It also involves evaluating those identities for fraud risk and to ensure compliance.
Identity and access management (IAM) is a framework for maintaining all digital account identities in a particular system. IAM answers the question: “Are you allowed to access this system?”
IAM allows administrators to set access rules to help legitimate users get in and keep unauthorized users out.
Both use cases rely on smooth, quick experiences and ensuring security. But the user groups, purpose and techniques are different.
Digital Identity and Identity Document Verification
There’s also a distinction between digital identity verification and identity document verification.
The first approach involves checking a person’s identity data – name, address, phone number, birthdate – against data sources such as electoral records, credit bureaus and census information.
The other method involves analyzing digital images of identity documents, usually captured with a mobile phone camera, to determine if an ID is authentic. The image is then compared to a selfie for liveness detection to determine if the ID matches the person presenting it.
Different use cases, market requirements and risk thresholds can determine which technique a company uses. But it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Layered identity verification helps balance security and speed to fortify a customer base.
Individual and Business Verification
While the number of providers offering individual verification services has multiplied in recent years, there are fewer that provide business verification services.
Business verification is significantly more complicated than verifying people for a variety of reasons. First, there are no uniform standards for business records across countries and regions. Second, there is a wide range of siloed data sources, including government registries, credit data and public records. There are also different languages, regulations, documentation requirements and business practices.
Business entities and due diligence requirements vary widely. Some regulations might require verification of only a company’s surface details, while others call for a deep dive into investors and subsidiaries or screening company officials against global watchlists.
If an organization needs individual and business verification, it’s important to evaluate how they integrate and interact in an onboarding workflow.
How to Evaluate Digital Verification Capabilities
The evaluation starts with an inventory of where the business operates and which identity verification services can best meet the requirements in those regions. A partner with market knowledge and expertise in those countries can help companies optimize verification performance.
The market coverage in those countries helps determine the type of verification. If, for instance, local data sources lack deep penetration in a country’s population, identity document verification might be the more reliable method.
Once a company finds a partner with the right verification capabilities, it’s important to go deeper in vetting.
That step involves questions around integration and deployment. How much development time is required to set systems up and optimize performance? Is there an integration option that suits the business’s needs?
Information security and adherence to data privacy laws are crucial. How does the partner collect and store customer information? What data standards are in place, and how are they enforced?
Product teams will want to know how well a partner can scale its verification capabilities while still providing fast, secure customer onboarding. Can the partner enable the business to quickly enter new markets?? Will the service be able to handle fluctuations in volume?
There also will be questions around contracting and pricing. Are there multiple contracts based on country and service, or is there one global contract? What is the overall cost per customer acquisition?
It’s also important to assess line of sight into match results and the flexibility of verification workflows. How easy is it to build, launch and adjust workflows? What analytics are available, and how easy is it to optimize performance?
Evaluation, though, continues after a business selects a verification partner. Is there ongoing support? Does the partner continually communicate about best practices and optimizing performance? Is it a collaborative partnership?
A true partner can deliver holistic capabilities that address the priorities of teams across the business. Organizations that take time to find the right partner with the right capabilities can grow confidently anywhere in the world.
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