Ensuring users are who they claim to be is without a doubt, one of the most critical steps to implement within your online services, be it at onboarding or checkout. Why is this so important, you may ask? Because without the reassurance that comes with having legitimate, verified users, your platform and clients could be left exposed to potential security threats.
Now, Identity Verification (IDV) is not a solution for every business. However, if you’re running a fintech or a sharing economy platform, you should probably consider it if you aren’t already. The tips below should help you determine which IDV solution is the right one for you.
Disclaimer: Yes, we’re an IDV platform, so you might be questioning our intentions here 🙂 . However the following tips are based on our expertise in the market. Not all solutions are equal, and understanding what sets them apart can be challenging if you’re not familiar with key concepts of the industry. These questions also happen to be frequently asked by our clients and prospects, so I guess it would be a great idea to add them to your “to-ask-list” when searching for a provider.
That being said, let’s begin:
- What types of checks does your Identity verification solution run?
Let’s start off with this question, which to me, might be the most important one. Here’s why: depending on the nature of your business and where you are operating, you might find that some checks such as KYC/AML (Know Your Client and Anti Money Laundering) are mandatory. These checks have been established to deal with major threats such as money laundering, corruption, and fraud. So if your business falls within the financial sector, you know that compliance is non-optional. At the minimum, most regulators ask for basic KYC/AML, such as:
- Making sure your user provides an authentic document to verify their identity;
- Ensure it’s the same person as the one on the document provided;
- Confirm users aren’t listed on international anti-money laundering watchlists or blacklists.
So before choosing an identity verification provider, make sure that their product’s features are consistent with what you need to comply with regulations. Some countries’ laws might require you to perform advanced checks, such as government database investigations (i.e.verifying your user is actually a registered citizen in the country). So the same advice applies here: make sure your provider has access to these databases – otherwise, you could see your operations banned in the country.
If your niche is not in this spectrum, but you would still like to verify who is on the other side of your screen (e-commerce, service providers), you should also examine the lists of checks available. Truth is, adding a basic KYC layer to your account creation process can be the first step to securing your product. Now, if your objective is to reduce fraud attempts, you might want more advanced inspections such as IP or email checks. These will help you deny entry to questionable users; email address was created yesterday? Hmm, seems suspicious, Sherlock. User is coming from a neighborhood where you have witnessed a lot of fraudulent attempts? Let’s not take any risks, Watson.
So what should you look for when acquiring an ID verification service? I suggest one that supplies the most amounts of checks for you to operate safely. Choose a provider that will be your ally and match your needs, one you can rely on to meet your requirements as you grow and your business becomes more complex.
- What types of documents can you read?
Another essential thing to keep in mind is the types of documents that can be read by the provider’s solution. Logically, you want to maximize the number of identification types your users can choose from. If potential clients have more options to identify themselves, they will be more likely to complete the verification process rather than “making a u-turn” at the last minute because they were given a limited choice of identity documents. This is precisely why Mati supports over 18,000 documents across the world in over 165 countries. So if you’re planning on expanding your business into new countries, make sure your IDV provider can support you and actually read those documents instead of becoming a bottleneck.
- How will my conversion rates as well as my cost of consumer acquisition be affected after implementing an id verification service?
Okay, this might be a big question in your mind, and I get it. You are worried about losing potential clients by implementing an extra onboarding step and increasing churn or your cost of customer acquisition (CAC)? Take a look at this article. You’ll find that with the right service, you’ll actually maintain if not improve the health of your business long term. Your onboarding rates will only drop if the service you integrate is unsatisfactory for your customers, so it’s important that your provider’s workflow has a great UX. As for your CAC, you’re probably wondering: won’t this increase the cost? The generic answer here is: yes, but you’ll be thrilled about it. Of course, you have to pay to verify your users, so CAC will increase, but you know what will decrease? The amount of money lost to fraud! Quality over quantity is what you should strive for.
- What will my workflow look like?
When it comes to identity verification, the same “medicine” will not alleviate all conditions. This is why it’s crucial to be able to customize your workflow for a specific context. When choosing an IDV service, remember to check if their design is up to your standards. A good workflow is simple, customizable, and easily accessible. It should be painless for you to find the information you need when you need it, be adaptable to your specific needs, and track all your onboarding information in an organized and convenient way. It should also be straightforward to integrate across all the interfaces and platforms you use, be it web or mobile.
- How is this super-sensitive information protected? Won’t my clients feel nervous?
You are right to believe that asking users to disclose personal information is something that will make them feel alarmed, and by this, you might think your onboarding rates could suffer. As we mentioned earlier, implementing an extra onboarding step only speaks highly of your brand, which is why tracking and security should be one of the biggest priorities provided by your IDV. When it comes to privacy and security, you should aim for a provider that stores information through an advanced encryption algorithm i.e.AES256, protected in a secure server only accessible through VPN (Virtual Private Network) in which your user’s information stays only as long as you decide. If you choose a high-quality IDV, with all the attributes described in this article, this will not be a problem. You will notice, most top-of-the-line providers focus primarily on protection, and, after all, isn’t this one of the main reasons you are looking into this service?
Finally, no IDV provider checklist would be complete without pricing and commercial terms. Most IDV companies have strict contracts with extra fees for every additional check. However, verification doesn’t need to be such an expensive process. Pay for completed verifications, and not per check. If you are on the market for an IDV, there is no substitute to testing out providers’ products (ideally through free trials) and determining first hand whether they meet your requirements and the criteria we’ve outlined above. Finding the best suitor for you should be a “no-strings-attached” search, find a provider who is willing to support you and your needs. If you want to see what a best-in-class solution looks like, try Mati.