What Is an Online ID Check?

An online ID check allows individuals to verify their identity online, by presenting identity documents issued by the government. In some cases, businesses may require more thorough ID checks when they deliver online services to customers or hire new employees. 

A few examples of business scenarios that require identity verification are:

  • A telecommunications provider signs up new customers to an ongoing service, such as a mobile phone plan
  • A bank opens a new account, changes an existing customer’s account information or processes mortgage applications
  • A realtor finalizes a rental agreement
  • An insurer issues a new insurance policy
  • A business hires a new remote worker

While traditional identification typically happens in person, an online ID check enables remote verification of a person’s identity, which saves time and streamlines application processes. Customers can sign up for services securely from their home or office.

In this article, you will learn:

Benefits of Online ID Verification

Offload Security Burden

Having physical or email copies of personally identifiable documents puts your business at great risk. This is because these copies are not encrypted, and are likely to be exposed to others. By offloading tasks such as file upload, processing, and storage to identity verification services, you entrust them with the hard work of maintaining strict security and encryption standards. 

Reduce Administrative Overhead

It is a huge waste of time for employees to manually request and process ID documents. You can avoid this manual process entirely by creating a direct link from your website to an online identity verification service. 

If you try to implement remote ID verification manually, it will take a lot of time and effort to go over documents that may be incorrectly formatted, and verification will be prone to human error. If the user uploads the document directly to an ID verification service, it will be validated immediately. If the format is wrong, the user is notified immediately and tries again.

Less Friction for Better Customer Experience

With ID verification services, a user visiting your website can be prompted to enter their ID information, and this can happen seamlessly as part of their browsing experience. There are no interruptions or delays in the process and the burden on users is minimal.

Online Identity Verification Methods

There are a number of methods for verifying identity online. It should be noted that not all verification methods meet safety and reliability requirements.

Selfie identity verification

One method that is considered to have lower security standards, and is also less reliable, is the use of images or selfies to verify a person’s identity remotely. This process is typically used for lower-risk identity verification.

Video stream identity verification

A more secure method, which may seem similar at first but does in fact meet most regulatory requirements for remote identity verification, is video streaming. Verification technologies can use artificial intelligence algorithms to reliably verify a person’s identity using a live video stream. 

Electronic Know Your Customer Procedures

Another method is the eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) process, which involves digitally verifying a person’s identity using government-issued documents. This can be done from any device with a camera and an internet connection, and follows this process:

  1. Prospective customers visit the website or application of an organization to register for a service
  2. They provide permission for the site or app to use their camera
  3. They present both sides of their ID document, and show their face to the camera
  4. Video data is processed, typically by an automated process
  5. In some cases, email or phone validation is carried out as well
  6. The customer’s identity is verified and they are registered for the service, with their credentials, recorded video, identity document and face and email or phone validation providing proof that the individual is who they claim to be

Related content: learn more in our guide to photo ID verification

What Is the Future of Online Identity Verification?

It is exciting to consider what the future may have in store for online identity verification. 

Fingerprints and Facial Recognition

Biometric technology appears to be the main driving force for future identity verification tools. Companies like Apple and Samsung are already using facial recognition and fingerprint scans on mobile devices. Biometrics offer a significant security advantage and will likely remain the most secure method of verifying electronic signatures. We are likely to see more and more businesses adopting this method in the near future.

Mobile Growth

According to Statista, 54% of internet traffic worldwide originates from mobile devices, which are now the primary way of accessing the internet. This has profound implications for online ID verification, given that fraud on mobile devices is on the rise. 

There is a growing need for businesses to consider the threats from malware that infect mobile devices to steal personal information or intercept communications. It is a challenge to provide a positive, simple customer experience while ensuring that consumer data is protected.

Near-Field Communication (NFC)

NFC is a set of protocols that enables two electronic devices to communicate over a short physical distance (4cm). There are many uses for NFC in areas like social networking commerce, banking and gaming. In the future, it is likely to be used for digital ID verification as well.

For example, NFC allows organizations to validate ePassports with iOS and Android devices. The device reads the data directly from the chip in the ePassport, providing highly reliable verification. Most passports today have chips, making this technology widely applicable. According to Technavio, the global ePassport market will grow to $23.93 billion by 2023. Other types of ID documents are increasingly incorporating chips and will join the trend. 

Tightening KYC/AML Regulations

In recent years, know your customer (KYC) and anti money laundering (AML) regulations have been tightened both locally and globally for a majority of businesses. Regulatory authorities have sought to deal with the enormous increase in online fraud and illegal activity by enforcing stricter rules. 

For example, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), with over 200 participating countries, has widened the scope of reporting, and asked member states to require businesses such as art sellers, online financial dealers, and legal advisers, to screen customers according to AML regulations.

In the EU, the Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD) aims to fight more diligently against digital crime. The European Commission is evaluating a framework for electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS). These and other regulations are making due diligence protocols stricter for all types of businesses. 

ID Check Online with BlueCheck

BlueCheck’s industry leading identity verification infrastructure enables merchants to grow their business faster. Serving a wide variety of industries, our solutions are custom tailored to the unique needs of our customers, including PACT Act and eCommerce compliant offerings. 

Schedule a call with a BlueCheck specialist to learn more about our Age & ID Verification solutions. Ask about price savings when bundled with Payment Processing services.