Blog 04 Apr 2024
How to Streamline Customer Onboarding with Photo ID Verification

How to Streamline Customer Onboarding with Photo ID Verification

Author: teresa_myers | 04 Apr 2024

Imagine a long queue in front of the immigration desk at the airport. Your passport and other identity documents are in your hand and you are in a hurry to board your flight. When you reach the desk, the immigration officer finds a Mismatch in your passport identity picture, other ID documents, and yourself. Astounded you, called your family and informed them, missed your flight in the bustle, and faced issues.

Finally, it was found out that your Photo ID was outdated in the passport and other documents as you took them nearly 9 years ago. Now you grow a beard, and have wrinkles and other visible facial feature changes. Also, the passport’s main page containing your identity information was worn out. These issues are common and need to be addressed where an impeccable and swift transition to newer ways of verifying user identities is becoming the need of the time.

Today we will provide a comprehensive knowledge builder on customer onboarding through photo ID verification, its future implications, and trends.

Key Takeaways

  • Photo ID Verification is a means of verifying user identity through intelligent face matching from selfies and identity document photograph
  • With multiple use cases, Photo ID Verification can verify a person’s claim on a certain identity online.
  • NIST provides insightful guidelines and benchmarks for facial recognition solutions to enhance their Photo ID verification capabilities.
  • Apart from the 2 aspects of Liveness Detection photo ID verification distinctively checks the fakeness of ID documents, and the ownership of 

Overview of Photo ID Verification

The photo ID Verification process is implemented to verify the user’s identity by matching the facial photograph or actual real face with the photo of a government-issued Identity document containing a photograph. This identity document can be a driver’s license, a National Identity card, or a passport.

Elements of Photo ID Verification include:

  • A Government-Issued Identity document having a person’s photo
  • A Facial photograph or the real person
  • A Facial recognition solution 

Photo ID Verification is required in multiple scenarios such as:

Age Verification

Some businesses such as bars, clubs, and casinos require age verification. These businesses use on-premises age verification by obligating the entrants of the establishment to provide a photo ID document and match it with the ID document holder’s face. Online Age verification also requires users to upload their valid ID document and use a selfie camera for Photo ID matching. Recently the US state of Tennessee made progress in implementing photo ID checks for verifying the age of visitors of explicit content platforms. Read the news report here

Online Banking

Banks require photo ID Verification for large amounts of transactions carried out during online banking. While opening bank accounts, making high-value purchases online, or using other online banking services may require proof of identity through a Photo Identity document.

Access and Control

Many businesses, organizations, and institutions use photo ID verification to restrict access to their premises. For this purpose, they sometimes issue their photo ID Document to the users and only allow them access if they produce that specific ID document, for example, an organization card at the entrance.

KYC Identity Verification

KYC (Know Your Customer) also utilizes photo ID Documents as proof of identity for customer onboarding. Mostly, done in financial institutions and other fintech companies, businesses require to know their customers and ensure that no bad actor is trying to enter the system. For this purpose, the KYC process utilizes photo ID verification via selfie cameras in which the bank or an FI asks the customer to hold the ID document alongside his face for face matching.

Photo ID Verification Process Explained

Imagine a long queue in front of the immigration desk at the airport. Your passport and other identity documents are in your hand and you are in a hurry to board your flight. When you reach the desk, the immigration officer finds a Mismatch in your passport identity picture, other ID documents, and yourself. Astounded you, called your family and informed them, missed your flight in the bustle, and faced issues. Finally, it was found out that your Photo ID was outdated in the passport and other documents as you took them nearly 9 years ago. Now you grow a beard, and have wrinkles and other visible facial feature changes. Also, the passport’s main page containing your identity information was worn out. These issues are common and need to be addressed where an impeccable and swift transition to newer ways of verifying user identities is becoming the need of the time.

Today we will provide a comprehensive knowledge builder on customer onboarding through photo ID verification, its future implications, and trends.

Key Takeaways

  • Photo ID Verification is a means of verifying user identity through intelligent face matching from selfies and identity document photograph
  • With multiple use cases, Photo ID Verification can verify a person’s claim on a certain identity online.
  • NIST provides insightful guidelines and benchmarks for facial recognition solutions to enhance their Photo ID verification capabilities.
  • Apart from the 2 aspects of Liveness Detection photo ID verification distinctively checks the fakeness of ID documents, and the ownership of 

Overview of Photo ID Verification

The photo ID Verification process is implemented to verify the user’s identity by matching the facial photograph or actual real face with the photo of a government-issued Identity document containing a photograph. This identity document can be a driver’s license, a National Identity card, or a passport.

Elements of Photo ID Verification include:

  • A Government-Issued Identity document having a person’s photo
  • A Facial photograph or the real person
  • A Facial recognition solution 

Photo ID Verification is required in multiple scenarios such as:

Age Verification

Some businesses such as bars, clubs, and casinos require age verification. These businesses use on-premises age verification by obligating the entrants of the establishment to provide a photo ID document and match it with the ID document holder’s face. Online Age verification also requires users to upload their valid ID document and use a selfie camera for Photo ID matching. Recently the US state of Tennessee made progress in implementing photo ID checks for verifying the age of visitors of explicit content platforms. Read the news report here

Online Banking

Banks require photo ID Verification for large amounts of transactions carried out during online banking. While opening bank accounts, making high-value purchases online, or using other online banking services may require proof of identity through a Photo Identity document.

Access and Control

Many businesses, organizations, and institutions use photo ID verification to restrict access to their premises. For this purpose, they sometimes issue their photo ID Document to the users and only allow them access if they produce that specific ID document, for example an organization card at the entrance.

KYC Identity Verification

KYC (Know Your Customer) also utilizes photo ID Documents as proof of identity for customer onboarding. Mostly, done in financial institutions and other fintech companies, businesses require to know their customers and ensure that no bad actor is trying to enter the system. For this purpose, the KYC process utilizes photo ID verification via selfie cameras in which the bank or an FI asks the customer to hold the ID document alongside his face for face matching.

Photo ID Verification Process Explained

Photo ID Verification Process Flow
  • Photo is captured through a high-res camera for example a mobile selfie camera. The person is asked to hold his ID document alongside his face.
  • The captured photo of both the human face and photo ID document is processed at the back end by a facial identity verification solution.
  • Intelligent face detection mechanism detects the faces from the photo. Both the human face and the facial photo from the ID document are detected.
  • Face matching algorithms compare both faces and verify if there’s a match between the human face and the photo ID document.
  • Document verification algorithms and system verifies the security features of the identity document including watermarks, holograms, barcodes, etc.
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) readers extract the personal information from the identity document by reading the code printed.
  • External APIs and Database queries help in verifying the extracted data against the government databases.

NIST’s Identity Verifying Evidence- An Insightful Discussion

Apart from the discussion above the Photo ID Verification process is required to follow a certain standard in verifying identities through photos. For this purpose, the National Institute of Standards & Technology has published a document categorizing different identity verification methods based on their efficiency and effectiveness. NIST has benchmarked the identity verification process in its report as follows:

  • NIST has categorized identity verification evidence under strength levels as Unacceptable, Weak, Fair, Strong, and Superior
  • An applicant whose identity is being verified needs to prove the ownership of his identity by physical comparison including photo ID match using appropriate technologies.
  • The second method of proving identity ownership is using biometric comparison with the strongest identity evidence means provided that shall also adhere to the requirements mentioned in [SP 800-63B, Section 5.2.3.]
  • Solutions using Photo ID Verification lie in the category of ‘Strong’ and can be enhanced to ‘Superior’ if they implement biometric identity proofing.

From the above NIST research brief, it is evident that facial recognition software must incorporate both photo ID matching and facial biometrics to enhance their IDV solutions to ensure robust customer onboarding and digital security to users.

Photo ID Matching vs Liveness Detection – A Perspective

Liveness Detection has two main aspects namely; Active Liveness & Passive Liveness. These 

In facial recognition, Active and Passive liveness checks ensure that a real and living person is sitting in front of the camera whereas Photo ID verification can only confirm the actual ownership of the photo ID document or the element of fakeness of the photo ID document. Moreover, photo ID verification works on the 1:1 identification model whereas Liveness Detection is an entirely different parameter to confirm a user’s liveness.

However, when the 2 technologies combine under one solution like Facia, the facial recognition system becomes stronger against threat vectors of identity spoofing including deepfake attacks of ID document forgery or counterfeit.

How Facia Helps in Streamlining Customer Onboarding with Photo ID Matching?

Facia is a cutting-edge AI-driven facial recognition solution that is backed by unique 3D face mapping technology that analyses the 3-Dimensional facial features from a user’s selfie and photo ID. The match is determined through a confidence score that facia gives to both pictures.

Facia also ensures a high level of compliance with regulations and standards in the facial biometric identity verification industry. It has achieved certifications from NIST, iBeta, KJM & SOC.

Facia maintains the reputation of being the world’s fastest Facial IDV solution which is your swift and accurate security measure for seamless customer onboarding. KYC providers can easily integrate Facia with their existing systems and enhance their client satisfaction levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is photo ID verification?

Photo ID verification is a digital process that confirms a user's identity by combining document scanning and facial recognition technology. It ensures a user's live selfie matches the photo on their government-issued ID (e.g., driver's license, passport). Liveness detection adds an extra layer of security by verifying that the user presenting the ID is a real person, not a photograph.

How does photo verification work?

Photo ID verification typically involves these steps:

  1. User captures a clear photo of their government-issued ID using a smartphone or webcam.
  2. The system scans the ID document to extract data like name, date of birth, and photo.
  3. Facial recognition technology compares the user's live selfie with the photo on the ID.
  4. The system checks the extracted data against official databases or internal records for verification.

Why verify customers before onboarding?

Customer verification is crucial, especially for Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance. Businesses in finance, age-restricted industries, and those handling sensitive data need to verify customer identities to:

  • Prevent identity theft and fraudulent account creation.
  • Mitigate the risk of money laundering and other illegal activities.
  • Comply with KYC regulations that require businesses to verify customer identities.

How photo verification strengthens remote identity verification?

Traditional methods of verifying IDs often involve manual checks and in-person visits, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient. Photo ID verification offers a secure and efficient alternative for remote onboarding:

  • Automates the verification process, significantly reducing processing times.
  • Enables secure onboarding from anywhere with a smartphone or webcam.

Do I need any special equipment for ID verification?

The beauty of photo ID verification lies in its simplicity. Most solutions, including Facia's, are cloud-based. This means:

  • You don't need additional scanners or equipment. Users simply need a smartphone or webcam to capture photos.
  • Cloud-based solutions are easily scalable and accessible from any device with an internet connection.

How Facia can help in photo verification?

At Facia, we offer a robust photo ID verification solution designed to streamline your customer onboarding process. We provide:

  • Our advanced OCR and facial recognition technology ensures accurate and reliable verification.
  • Our solution integrates easily with your existing onboarding workflows.
  • Tailor the verification process to your specific needs (e.g., document types accepted).
  • We prioritize data security and adhere to industry standards like PCI DSS and GDPR.
  • Enhance security further by ensuring the user presenting the ID is a real person (liveness detection).