In the old world—before smartphones, high-speed internet access, and a pandemic shifted the world digital—banking, financial services, and other industries who needed to confirm identities could easily compare a face to an ID. Potential customers were physically present to conduct this visual verification. Of course, the verification still could not be taken at face value—no pun intended. It had to be backed by matching of unique identifiers, such as name, date of birth, biometric data, ethnicity, etc.

So how does this work in our digitally transformed world, where a customers’ physical presence is a nostalgic symbol of a bygone era?

Confirming Physical Attributes with Digital Documents

Document verification is the process of verifying the authenticity of a document. Officially issued documents, such as a driver’s license, bank statement, or other state/federal documents, are usually the most accepted, verifiable documents. The process checks the validity of personal data, including: name, age, and address, as well as document features, such as stamps, watermarks, fonts, and carrier materials.

With the arrival of digital banking, customers no longer need to be physically present for their documents and identities to be verified. Of course, with smartphones handy and always in hand, this in itself is not a challenge. The potential customer simply has to upload a photograph and a government-issued ID. Better still, they can upload a video as proof of life and self. Today’s technological advancements can even achieve this verification in real-time.

How does document verification work?

The key to confirming physical authenticity in a digital world is to rely on automation powered by artificial intelligence. Here’s how it typically works: the automated system leads the user through a step-by-step approach, while simultaneously conducting the verification process in the background, where the physical attributes are matched with myriad approved identities. This is, in fact, more effective than manual review as the software can spot forgeries with better accuracy, taking into account mathematical comparison techniques. If need be, a layer of manual document validation can still be added.

Some of the parameters that an automated document verification solution factors in:

  • Cross-document data consistency such as full name, document number, date of birth, etc.
  • Signs of manipulation or forgery such as an alteration to the original image
  • A 3D view of the document, verifying holograms, as they are usually hard to alter 
  • Document edges that signify superimposition for manipulation
  • Overall quality of the document such as optically verifiable ink, text overlay, watermarks, etc.

What Machine Learning Brings to Document Verification

The efficacy of a machine learning process depends on the amount of data fed to it. It uses this data to train itself and learn continually, compounding its performance. Here are some of its salient features:

  • Errors owing to fatigue are never a possibility
  • The process can catch sophisticated frauds that are not apparent to human beings
  • Quick access to global identity documents
  • It empowers businesses to offer better service to its customers
  • Seamless conformation to global regulations through slight tweaking in rulesets
  • Low associated costs
  • Instant scalability to any extent
  • Ability to connect to a global database

Meeting Customer Expectations in a New Technology Landscape

With customer expectations and the technology landscape transforming at a breakneck speed, organizations that are yet to hop on this change bandwagon will soon be forced to do so. The ones that fail to adapt will lose their competitive edge. An outdated approach to document verification sometimes impacts companies’ bottom lines in dramatic, but unexpected ways. 

Today’s consumers expect streamlined user experiences and low friction, especially at onboarding. As document verification becomes more mainstream, even a simple requirement for head-turning angles or multiple selfies negatively impacts the customer experience. At a time when customer expectations have hit all-time highs, with 80% of customers saying they consider the experience a company provides to be as important as its products and services, even the most minor friction can cause prospects to bounce before they become customers.

Low Friction and Automated Decisioning in Seconds

Socure’s document verification solution provides industry-leading identity authentication by correlating customer input data to government-issued documents, and verifying the ID photo to a selfie photo using custom facial recognition technology. With multi-dimensional analytics and precision, banks can expedite secure onboarding, without degrading the customer experience.

Topics: ID+, Fraud Prevention, Machine Learning, identification verification, document verification



Socure is the leading platform for digital identity trust. Its predictive analytics platform applies artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques with trusted online/offline data intelligence from email, phone, address, IP, device, velocity, and the broader internet to verify identities in real time. The company has more than 400 customers across the financial services, gaming, telecom, and e-commerce industries, including three of the top five banks, seven of the top 10 card issuers, three of the top MSBs, the top payroll provider, the top credit bureau, and over 100 of the largest and most successful FinTechs. Marquee customers include Chime, Varo Money, Public, Stash, and DraftKings. Investors include Accel, Commerce Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Flint Capital, Capital One Ventures, Citi Ventures, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, Synchrony, Sorenson, Two Sigma Ventures, and others.

Socure has received numerous industry awards and accolades, including being named to Forbes America’s Best Startup Employers 2021, being awarded Best New Technology Introduced over the Last 12 Months – Data and Data Services at the 2020 American Financial Technology Awards (AFTAs), being ranked number 70 in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, being listed as a Gartner Cool Vendor, being recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 25 Machine Learning Startups to Watch, being named to CB Insights: The FinTech 250, and being awarded Finovate’s Award for Best Use of AI/ML, to name a few.