There are over 7 billion people all across the world, with each person having identification that’s unique to them.
Whether it is a major financial transaction or a simple process such as a driver’s license application, you need to have proof of identity. Given how important one’s identity is, cases of identity theft have risen over the years. Therefore, it is vital for businesses and governmental institutions to require identity confirmation so that they may serve people better.
What Is Identity Verification?
Your identity is the eccentric features that tell you apart from the rest of the population. You cannot share your identity with another individual because that will be committing identity fraud which is a serious offense.
If you take another person’s identity, claiming to be your own, the government will charge you with identity theft. Similarly, if you assume an identity that is not your own during a transaction, you are answerable for creating a false identity.
These cases are common in the online space where it can be easy for fraudsters to impersonate another user. Depending on the platform, the fraudster may input certain information such as their birth date or SSN number to access a victim’s account.
As such, there is a strong need to ensure that each person uses their identity to curb such incidents. Through identity verification, you can better secure your affairs from unauthorized access.
It is an essential process that can help you perform financial transactions or communicate certain information and will block out unauthorized users from accessing your data.
How Does Identity Proofing Work?
Various laid-out procedures for identity verification are dependent on an institution’s policies and its preferred methods.
Before modern technology took the world by storm, physical identity verification used to be the norm where an individual would have to submit their documents for identity proofing. This process was vital to ensure that the face displayed was the same as the holder’s face.
They would also check age, nationality, and other relevant personal information. These methods were tedious, unlike the current system which can be done very fast through the internet.
Currently, there are no people in charge of physical cross-checking; all the work is now automated. The process is rather fast, and it depends on the institution in question. You may be asked to submit a recent picture of yourself or of your ID or passport that you can take from your phone or webcam.
The system will then scan both documents to confirm that it’s a match. Some companies may go a step further to ask you for a video or voice verification:
Is Identity Verification Necessary?
Some people equate identity verification to a lack of trust. However, it is a necessary process that is crucial for your safety and that of the institution in question. You will find that as you gradually interact with various institutions, they will require you to provide proof of identity before you can do any transaction with them.
Most institutions have tried to make it an easier process by automating the whole system for your convenience. Some of these establishments include governmental bodies, banking, insurance, telecommunications, computer applications, and digital platforms.
Now that you perform most of your activities and undertakings online, you may need to prove your identity every once in a while. Doing so will ensure that only you will take charge of your accounts and that no one can impersonate you. You will also be helping the institution to curb fraud cases as they will protect you as their client.
Benefits of Identity Proofing
People interact and transact with online strangers every day. For this reason, it is easy for you to come across a fraudulent and dishonest individual. The world is rapidly going online, making it crucial to ascertain that you are dealing with the right people.
Let’s take a look at some benefits you can enjoy from identity proofing.
Maintains an Institution’s Reputation
Trust is the foundation of any business as it relies on client loyalty. The company needs to maintain a clear reputation otherwise it will lose its customers. Naturally, unless you get the product or the service you want, you will not settle for one provider since there are plenty of online businesses you can give your money to.
One way for businesses to improve their reputation among clients as a brand is by gaining their trust and what better way to do that than by creating a safe space for business. People don’t want to work with companies that are likely to experience a data breach. A company with strict identity proofing policies will create a good reputation of trust.
Helps Reduce Cases of Fraud
Over the years, a lot of people have become victims of identity theft and other cybercrimes. As such, many institutions make it their priority to eliminate fraud cases, especially from their online operations.
This reduces the likelihood of cybercrime because any online activity within an account can only be done by the respective account owner. No sane client would proceed to commit online fraud under their own identities.
It can be said that fraudsters tend to target sites with lenient transaction rules and will shy away from those with stronger barriers. Because of this, an institution must create stringent measures for its safety as well as that of its clients. Some companies have introduced two-step verification on their sites which increases system security and shuts out unauthorized access.
Help Reduce Chargebacks
Plenty of customers use credit cards for their online purchases, making it easy for malicious buyers to defraud them or the banks where they keep their money.
Unauthorized users are known to use another person’s card to buy from an online shop. These activities can be a big liability to the company since they will have to pay back the card owner. This money is known as a chargeback.
To stop this, companies have become strict with their credit card users by requiring the card owner to show proof of identity before making the purchase. This helps them to effectively curb fraud and prevent costly chargebacks.
Maintains Data Accuracy
Institutions rely on accurate information from their users. When you are prompted to prove your identity, you will have to give them accurate details about you such as your age or year of birth.
It is also common to find a single user with multiple accounts on the same site. For these reasons, account verification is an essential feature for any organization, especially sensitive institutions like government bodies.
Ensures Regulatory Compliance
Governments across the world have various laws, policies, and structures concerning the use of a citizen’s identity before people can access certain buildings, locations, and even services.
For instance, buyers may have to prove that they are of legal age before they can buy some age-restricted products or services. You can use a driver’s license, state ID card, or passport to verify any claims about your identity.
Better Customer Service
Clients expect to have the best customer experience when they do business. Therefore, it falls upon businesses to ensure that they provide the best service to their clients.
One such way they can do that is by using a rigorous identity verification system. When automated, these systems help smoothen business operations so that customers won’t have to queue or wait for days to receive service.
What Does the Future Hold for Identity Verification?
With new innovations in technology appearing almost every day, institutions will shift their operations online and adopt ‘paperless’ offices. Big businesses will have to protect their information as well as that of their clients.
With more people becoming tech-savvy, companies and government institutions will be more exposed to cybercrimes. Because of this, there’s so much promise for the advancement of identity verification systems.
However, the need for cybersecurity will create an industry with a highly marketable skill set. In the near future, it’s expected that most companies will embrace machine learning to automate the entire verification process. It will be more accurate, detailed, and a lot faster.
Trust, but Verify First
The world is gradually embracing modern technology, especially with millions of people now doing business online. Sadly, fraudsters are taking advantage of this to commit cybercrimes. Data breaches are becoming a lot more frequent with cyberattacks increasing by nearly 90% over the last five years.
As such, it is vital for companies and institutions to implement certain measures to deter cyberattacks and prevent unauthorized access. One such measure is tightening the process of identity verification. This makes it easy for government offices and businesses to efficiently validate transactions.
Identity fraud can be very detrimental to a person’s reputation, let alone their status as a civilian. For this reason, data breaches on client information are a very serious incident. Businesses can lose a significant portion of their revenue since clients will no longer trust them with their information. There’s also the brand’s reputation that’s at stake.
Investing more in your cybersecurity and identity verification systems will help you prevent many threats in the long-term.
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