It’s no secret that blockchain technology provides both significant opportunity for legitimate investors, and a natural target for fraudulent actors. Therefore, it is crucial for companies operating on the web and for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) in particular to know their customers. One way to do this alongside submission of documents is having users provide selfies holding ID cards.
Why Do I Need To Take a Selfie Holding My ID Card?
To answer this question, let’s first look at what the ID verification process looked like in the past. Only a decade ago, the procedure used to be complicated as in most cases, customers had to visit offices in person to submit identity documents, so an agent could ensure the person and their documents did, in fact, match. Alternatively, they could upload photos or scans of their documents online. However, the cameras in earlier generation smartphones did not provide the needed quality of an image and not every household was equipped with a scanner. Some who had scanners at hand found it difficult to use them.
Now that practically every smartphone comes with a front-facing camera with HD or better quality, identification with a selfie holding an ID card represents the simplest method for businesses to collect information about their customers. All that a user needs to do is to take a selfie holding an ID next to their face and share the picture. Such an approach reduces friction, improves the success rate, and helps businesses onboard more happy customers easily. For example, NatWest, a UK-based bank, enabled its customers to pass verification via selfie holding their IDs in 2019, which resulted in them onboarding more than 60k new clients.
Businesses dealing with digital assets are similarly adopting this approach. Due to the lack of a consistent regulatory framework, cryptocurrencies were perceived as an ideal tool for money laundering and other illicit activities. To address this challenge, VASPs have been requesting their customers to authenticate their identities by taking a selfie holding their IDs.
How To Take a Good Verification Photo With an ID Card?
Here is a list of tips on how to conduct selfie ID verification that companies can accept for their site, product or service.
1. Good light is essential
Ensure that the room where you take your selfie photo for verification has enough light. Also, make sure that the light shines on you from the front rather than from behind or shining onto the front camera.
2. Be yourself and be steady
The fewer extra elements you wear during selfie identification, the better. Remove glasses, hats, extra cosmetics, or anything else that makes you look different, hold still, and don’t make faces. Try not to sweat or frown as the selfie might get rejected.
3. Use a smartphone instead of a web camera
In most cases, modern smartphones are equipped with cameras of much higher quality than their web or PC alternatives. Using a smartphone will help you get an image of proper quality and pass selfie verification faster.
4. Use a neutral background
An ideal background to take a selfie with an ID card is white, of course. If there is none anywhere close to you, try to find at least a neutral background with non-contrasting colors to get your selfie with your ID - except for when the website asks for a different background color.
5. Make sure that you are the only one in the photo
When passing identity verification, you must be alone in the photo. Keep your ID next to your face and exclude anyone else who may be hanging out nearby.
ID Card Alternatives
Asides a travel passport, there are other documents that can serve as ID card alternatives. For example, national ID cards, voter’s cards and other government-issued ID cards. One can also take a selfie holding a driver’s license, and it would serve for verification purposes. In Estonia for instance, a country with one of the most favorable conditions for blockchain services, having an identity card is compulsory by law, but there’s no penalty if you don’t have one. While in Montenegro, another haven for crypto enthusiasts, citizens with permanent residence can get either a passport, a driver’s license, or a refugee ID card. This further explains that the requirements could differ from country to country, site to site and acceptable alternatives.
It’s not only new customers that enjoy an easier onboarding process via verification selfie with ID card. For returning customers, this method may help them seamlessly pass re-authentication and prove their identity too.
Passbase provides a convenient way for crypto businesses to perform KYC and AML checks through identity verification. You can integrate Passbase into your platform via the Passbase API or with SDKs for iOS, Android, and web.