Trends in Identity Verification

Verifying a person’s identity doesn’t seem like an area that, on the surface, would be prone to innovation. You would be wrong if you believed that, however. Identity verification has become increasingly important in the wake of multiple high-profile breaches of secure networks. Simply reciting the last four digits of a social security number is not enough to verify identity.

To help with ensuring that customer access to their information remains secure, multiple trends have emerged in the realm of identity verification. To help you remain on the cutting edge, we’ve gone over several of these new trends.

Multi-Factor Authentication

This is probably one of the biggest new trends – multi-factor authentication. Passwords on online accounts can be broken, and as a consequence new methods are required to guarantee security in access. Many businesses are moving towards multi-factor authentication processes, which require a person to not only give a password, but also use other methods such as two-step authentication and biometrics.

Companies such as Cognito make it easier than ever to pull up customer information and allow you to implement multi-factor authentication strategies.

Know-Your-Customer Compliance with Smartphones

Due to a combination of business concern and government regulation, many services demand documents to verify the identity of a customer. These documents include items such as insurance, birth certificates, drivers license, and more. Requiring customers to show up at a branch of service center location is cumbersome and likely to increase customer signup abandonments. People are busy after all, and most of them do not want to sacrifice precious free time going to a building to stand in line and present documentation.

Smartphones have changed the dynamic, allowing companies to receive images of required documents and use those to verify identity. What is important, after all, is the information on the document rather than the document itself. A selfie combined with photo ID allows for you to be certain that the person who sent the information is who they say they are.

Behavior Recognition

This is still in its infancy, and is primarily based on social media posts. Behavior recognition allows a profile to be built from what somebody says or does online, and how other people interact with them on the internet. This sort of behavior recognition can be useful in comparing the patterns of the customer interacting with your business to what they do online. Subtle cues can give away fraudsters without risking false positives.

This technology is still early in development (Facebook only recently announced it is testing suicide prevention algorithms – more complex behavior recognition is likely years away), but it promises to move identity verification to a new age.


Touched on briefly in the earlier remark about multi-factor authentication, the use of biometrics is growing for identity verification. The most common form of biometrics is fingerprint identification, though the use of selfies for identification purposes is started to take hold. Heartbeat patterns, eyeblinks, breathing patterns, anything that a smartphone can detect which is unique to an individual is being experimented with for proper identification of customers.

Know Who You Are Talking To

All of these trends point to an increasing importance on knowing exactly who it is you’re talking to at any given time. When somebody calls into your place of business or attempts an online signup, anybody could be on the other side of the device. Making use of innovative solutions to identity verification allows businesses a degree of certainty they never had before. As technology advances and news about data breaches increases the need for verification, we will soon reach an age where a business will never have to worry about whether or not they’ve just enabled a criminal. They will know they are talking to the right person.


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