Identity verification service guide: how to choose the right IDV software

Important criteria to keep in mind when choosing the right identity software for your business

Choosing the right identification technology for your business is no small feat. We know. Two years ago we were so frustrated with the solutions on the market that we decided to build our own. Since then, we’ve supported hundreds of companies in establishing, running, and scaling their user identification processes.

What follows is an identity verification service guide to share what we’ve learnt along the way. Hopefully it will prove helpful on your journey as well.

Before you start

Identity verification is about much more than regulatory compliance and combating financial crime. User identification is the foundation for building trust with and between your users. It’s a strong deterrent against fraud, an investment in safety, and an important regulatory hurdle to clear.

The cost of neglecting user identification can be extremely high, as we’ve seen with the case of Uber in London and Revolut’s KYC debacle

On the flip side, it is important to recognise that adding security checks to your onboarding funnel will impact conversion along with reducing fraud. For that reason, strong identity verification isn’t for everyone. Especially if you operate in a lightly regulated market with little to no fraud.

That said, strong identification solutions like Passbase are highly recommended for businesses that are highly regulated, targets of fraud, or need to take user safety seriously.

We’ve included several categories in our identity verification service guide to help you find a solution that fits your specific needs. Let’s start with the easy stuff.


If you’ve decided for a strong identity verification software, you should start by selecting a partner that can verify individuals quickly, with a high degree of accuracy. There are statistics and credentials that can help distinguish high quality solutions from the rest.


Speed: Look for a vendor that can verify people quickly–but not too quickly. As appealing as they might seem, fully automated systems have proven to be significantly less reliable and are oftentimes not in line with regulatory requirements. At Passbase, we use a hybrid system.

Computers do the heavy lifting before verification specialists make the final evaluation, yielding high quality results shortly after submission.


Accuracy: At the end of the day, who you allow or don’t allow on your platform will determine the success of your business. Don’t settle for high false positive rates and choose a partner who can be trusted. We’re not claiming to be perfect.

Our software still faces an error rate of roughly 1.2%. However, we’re working strenuously each day to bring that number as close to zero as possible.


Industry benchmarks, like those compiled by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), allow you to compare the effectiveness of different technologies. You should always ask a potential partner about these benchmark studies so you know what you’re getting.

For example, you can find details about Passbase’s one-to-one facial comparison technology on the NIST website under Imperial-002 and more on our anti-spoofing technology in this report.

Conversion rates

Verification software shouldn’t drag on your conversion rate. In fact, if done right, verification can be a major selling point, helping you transform visitors into dedicated users and paying customers. Here’s what we’ve found that matters when it comes to conversion.


When a user arrives on your website or mobile app, they expect things to work. Period. On any device, browser, and operating system. Turning people away can be very harmful to conversion so make sure your partner can handle users no matter how they find you.

Always read through a potential identity verification partner’s documentation and test the experience on multiple devices and platforms before you buy.


Giving users real-time feedback while they move through the verification flow stops errors before they happen and makes onboarding seamless. This feature has helped Passbase clients deliver pass rates as high as 88%. Passbase uses machine learning to detect flaws in photos such as poor lighting or unreadable ID text, then automatically coaches users to fix them in real time.

User Education

When asked to scan their face and ID, some users can be a little skittish. That’s why a great way to increase conversions is to prepare users for the identity verification process with user driven educational material.

This can be anything from an explanatory website with supporting information to personalized emails explaining the necessity of the process. A little education can go a long way!

Market Coverage

When choosing an identity verification software it’s important to make sure your markets are covered. This means accounting for identity documents, language, and compliance with local regulations.

Document Coverage

There are over 10,000 different identity documents in circulation today. Whether you plan to go global or stay close to home, you want a partner that won’t hold you back. Luckily, Passbase supports over 6,000 government issued IDs, including passports, drivers licenses, and national IDs from 190 countries.

Language Localization

In today’s borderless world, it’s important that your service can communicate with customers in their own language. That’s why we’ve invested in translations for 16 different languages and are adding more every week. Don’t settle for less! 不要满足于减少 ¡No te conformes con menos! Ärge leppige vähemaga!

Regulatory Localization

Data privacy laws are making waves which is why it’s important for you to select a partner that can help you navigate. You don’t have time to learn and build around every specific local law from data residency to the right to be forgotten. That’s our job. We’ve invested in robust legal and regulatory infrastructure so you don’t have to!

Scalability and customization

No two businesses are the same, we know that. That’s why your verification process needs to be completely adaptable, from visuals to content. If you work in financial services, pair our identity verification engine with AML and watchlist checks.

If you’re building a digital notary, why not leverage our solution in combination with an e-signature provider? Simple!

Cross platform support

It’s 2020. Users expect to be able to access your service around the world, across all major computing platforms. Your verification partner shouldn’t hold you back. Passbase can help accelerate your development timelines from months to days with customizable mobile SDKs for iOS and Android, API, and web integration options.

Transparent and flexible pricing

It’s especially hard to make a well informed decision when you have a high-pressure sales team pushing you to sign a contract. At Passbase, we aim for transparency-no strings attached. Here are our pricing plans. You can upgrade or cancel at any time and your first 50 verifications are on us.

Privacy and security

This one should go without saying. Work with a partner who takes privacy and security very seriously. You’re dealing with extremely sensitive personal details so your partner needs to be heavily invested in this area.

Uncompromising compliance

When it comes to processing sensitive data, compliance and information security are non-negotiable. Look for certifications like SOC2, ISO270001, and ask for information about GDPR compliance.

Passbase is in the process of acquiring both SOC2 and ISO270001 certifications and has built out its information security infrastructure from scratch. Just ask!

Secure data storage

Storing sensitive data comes with risks. You need to think very carefully about the threats associated with storing identity documents and biometrics. With Passbase’s zero-knowledge architecture and privacy-focused approach, you can verify an individual’s identity without storing users’ sensitive personal data or sharing extraneous details.

Identity verification with benefits

Finding the right identity verification partner is critical for building user trust, reducing fraud, and staying compliant. We hope that our identity verification service guide will help you on your journey and we hope to see you on the Passbase platform soon!

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Passbase is an identity verification solution that makes facial recognition, liveness detection, ID verification and KYC and AML compliance accessible through a suite of flexible developer tools. A zero-knowledge architecture ensures that companies using Passbase can securely verify users from over 190 countries without having to store their data. Built for developers, it can be integrated with just a few lines of code on iOS, Android, and Web.