There has been a huge rise in the number of services using identity verification over the past few years. According to industry reports, the market is expected to grow to 12.8 billion USD by 2024. Consumers have become increasingly comfortable with submitting document scans for ID verification or taking a video selfie to create accounts, whether it’s for a dating app, flat rentals, or online bank accounts.
That said, the identity verification process can still feel intimidating if users aren’t expecting it and don’t understand why you need all this data. Educating your users on why the data is necessary, how it protects their identities and accounts, and how you will handle will improve customer buy in, conversion rates, and retention.
We will share the top three questions that businesses need to answer for the end users they are doing identity verification for. These questions can be easily answered by adding an FAQ document on your website and message prompts in your app before you begin the identity verification process. You can build trust with customers through transparent communication even before user onboarding begins.
As an example, you can include a demo video of the verification process for users. Below is a recording of a verification with Passbase that is completed in under a minute:
1. Why do users need to verify their identity?
Now that consumers are equally dependent and skeptical of online services, explaining why and how their information is collected helps build trust. You can explain why identity verification is necessary in the following ways:
- customer protection against identity theft and fraud
- customer convenience of not having to rely on complex passwords
- regulatory requirements for financial transactions online
Although customers are used to longer, more complex, passwords for greater security, they are also aware that these complex passwords are difficult to remember and also vulernable to hacks. In short, a password is not actually identity verification. Explain to a customer that identity verification provides customer protection and convenience combined. Explain that you are helping them prove who they are when onboarding and every time they access their account. The first time a user performs a video selfie and ID verification, their facial information is matched between the document and the video to confirm they are who they say they are (rather than just someone using a stolen document). This information becomes a convenient way for them to perform biometric authentication to login and that this is faster for them, and also much more difficult (nearly impossible) for imposters to fake.
In addition to this, you can share with customers regulatory requirements that are designed to protect them, such as AML regulatory requirements and customer due diligence required for financial institutions. Even if your business is not in the financial industry, doing customer due diligence helps protect both your business and your customers from fraud.
When a customer is empowered to understand how technology works, they can also make better assessments for which services are legitimate and secure.
2. Why do users need to take a selfie and show ID?
Of course, users will wonder if a facial scan is the only biometric way to verify their identity. Other biometric data can include fingerprint scans and iris scans, but there are benefits to facial scans.
If you are using Passbase, then biometric authentication in the form of a facial scan is a video selfie (instead of just a photo). A selfie video and official photo ID document (which can be a specific list of accepted documents for your business) will help your end users in the following way:
- Liveness detection: prove that they are a real person and not a bot
- Document verification: a submitted document can be checked for authenticity and validity (and not forged)
- Matching biometric information in the selfie video with the ID document to ensure that the person is who they claim to be (so stolen information cannot be used)
Currently, not many people understand how biometric authentication (such as facial scans to unlock smartphones) work and what data is collected. You can explain to them how their facial data is captured and that it is likely stored as code rather than a raw image to verify features against images from official documents scans (such as an ID card photo).
3. How do you keep my identity data safe?
The identity verification process has privacy and security directly baked into its infrastructure. Where possible, provide a brief explanation on how data is stored and what security measure you take. For example, the EU has GDPR requirements for privacy and data handling and identity verification must also adhere to these regulations.
As an example of security, Passbase uses zero-knowledge architecture, which means that only the owner knows what is stored and no-one else (such as an admin) can see the contents. In addition, Passbase collects and stores the minimum amount of personal information needed to legally verify your users’ identities and backs that up with intelligence backed security monitoring.
Furthermore, data should only be transfered with its owner’s explicit consent. This should be communicated in plain English that is easy for a user to understand. You can check Passbase’s policies as a reference.
You can learn more about how identity verification can be built into UX considerations and used to increase your conversions here.