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Long gone are the days when establishing an account with a business, such as a bank, retailer, or health care provider, required a visit to a brick-and-mortar location. With the advent of web-based registration systems, and more recently smartphone use, this mundane task has moved largely online.

The appetite for consumers to move transactions online has been a boon to those institutions that can harness the power of the Internet to grow and serve their customer base. However, this convenience comes with a price. Safely onboarding customers means verifying identities in an online environment. This creates opportunity for fraudsters, because it is far easier to pass an identity verification check online than in a face-to-face environment.

Fraudsters have become adept at circumventing popular online identity verification systems such as knowledge-based authentication, or KBA. Although KBA is largely considered an outdated approach to identity verification, many organizations continue to rely on KBA which requires end users to respond to questions conjured from publicly available personal information. Much of this information has been made widely available by large-scale data breaches and social media, and can be used by fraudsters to correctly respond to KBA questions.

Far more sophisticated identity verification systems have been developed that can make accurate assessments as to the validity and true owner of an identity, and the risk involved with converting them to a customer.

Identity Verification Basics

At its core, identity verification is intended to accurately and quickly determine that the person asserting an identity to open or access an account is who they say they are. Depending on the institution, this may also include an assessment about whether or not you should do business with this person. The goal is to minimize successful third-party or synthetic fraud attacks and the associated losses.

In general, identity verification seeks to answer the following questions:

  • Does this person exist?
  • Should I do business with them?
  • Are they who they say they are?

Depending on the nature of the account and sensitivity of the data involved, various levels of identity verification are available. At one end of the spectrum we have ecommerce accounts which may simply require a basic check that meets “know your customer” (KYC) standards for compliance purposes and an address check. On the other end of the spectrum is banking which requires checks into fraud associated with a complete set of personally identifiable information (PII), anti-money laundering, watch lists for known criminals, and government issued document verification.

Whatever level of identity verification your organization requires, it is important to consider that a high percentage of people asserting an identity are good customers and should not be penalized with a cumbersome identification process that introduces an unacceptable level of friction. At the very least, friction causes frustration and damage to the brand, and at worst causes a would-be customer to click to a competitor’s site.

The Socure Solution

Powered by AI/ML, the Socure’s identity verification platform uses trusted online and offline data to make quick and accurate assessments that meet the identity verification requirements for any type of organization. An initial fraud check is accomplished passively in the background, with no impact to the end user’s experience. If an end-user fails the initial passive assessment, they can be stepped up to identity document verification, or DocV. DocV seamlessly guides a user through a quick image capture of a government-issued ID and verification experience, with minimal friction.

Socure powers identity verification systems for more than 350 customers including four of the top five banks, eight of the top 10 card issuers, and over 100 of the largest fintech companies.

Actual customer results include:

  • Top 10 digital lender lowered fraud by 95%
  • Top 5 digital only bank reduced the need for KBA by 60%
  • Top 3 international money exchange reduced manual reviews by 70%

Our customers rely on the Socure ID+ platform to reduce identity and synthetic fraud, verify documents and meet compliance requirements, including KYC/AML, using trusted online, offline, and social media data.

To learn more about how Socure can improve your identity verification program, contact us at or request a demo.

Emma Cross
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Emma Cross

Emma Cross

Emma is an enthusiastic marketing professional with deep expertise in media production, campaign management, and communications. In addition to her experience in film & television production, she is a certified teacher and professional Irish dancer who toured the world with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.