What Is Identity Verification?

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Identity is a set of unique claims to describe an individual. Verification is the process of checking if something is true, or if it even exists.  Identity verification is therefore the process of validating that a person is who he claims to be.   How does it work, both online and offline? Let’s explore:

How identity verification works

There are different methods and systems for verifying identity.


The traditional method is face-to-face. An individual presents herself in a physical bank, store, or agency, for example, and delivers her identity documents.

The verifying agent can confirm if the details in the identification documents, such as the photo and fingerprints, match those of the individual presenting them.  Once the agent confirms the individual’s identity, he or she might make a copy of the identifying document, fill out a form, and make other steps.


Digital identity verification works in a completely different way.  Here, there is no physical place where you can meet with people, check the validity of their documents, and verify that they are who they claim to be.  Here, computer technology is applied in the verification process.

There are quite a number of identity verification methods invented for digital channels.   However, many of these do not meet the required standards needed to carry out digital identity verification safely.

One such method is the use of selfies or images. Although used to verify identities in low–risk operations, this method is insecure and unreliable.

Streaming video identity verification is better. Some video streaming verification methods even make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to enhance reliability.  However, streaming video identity verification is not often feasible, due to time and technical constraints.

Additionally, other methods of identity verification include face authentication and electronic signature..


Identity verification is necessary and offers security in the following cases:

Government and administration

Governments verify identity for issuing or renewing official documents. These include passports, driving licenses and visas, as well as electronic certificates, medical applications, and drug prescriptions.

Telecommunications, and insurance industries

These industries require verify identity for the procurement of goods and services.

Banking and finance

Banks require ID verification for online sales representation, opening bank accounts, and in banking and financial transactions.

Apps and platforms

Users have to verify their identity when logging in to online platforms. This includes two-factor authentication, and customer and user registration.

Final word

The shift to digital has changed the way we verify identity. Digital means to verify people’s identity have become increasingly important. Verifying identity is vital for the world, from banks to businesses, from visas to border checkpoints.



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