What Is Identity Verification? Process, Methods, And Benefits

November 6, 2023

With identity theft becoming increasingly common in today’s digital world, protecting your personal information from falling into the wrong hands is more crucial than ever before. Identity verification plays a pivotal role in safeguarding your online and offline identity.

This article will explain identity verification, how it works step-by-step, the most common methods, and the many benefits of accurate identity verification.

Understanding identity verification will help protect yourself, your loved ones, and your business from identity fraud and cybercrimes.

What Is Identity Verification?

Identity verification compares submitted identity information to authoritative data sources to confirm an individual’s claimed identity. The goal is to reduce the risk of fraud while providing a seamless user experience. It s especially helpful in mitigating synthetic identity fraud.

When the user submits personal details during identity verification, they are checked against multiple trusted databases and public records. This cross-referencing helps verify that the name, address, date of birth, and other identifying details provided match the user’s real-world identity.

You should know a few tips when choosing an identity verification provider. The software should be able to verify identities across different channels like mobile apps, websites, and call centers. Finding an id verification software that can verify globally recognized IDs like driver’s licenses and passports is also essential.

Pay attention to the types of personal details collected, too – the most robust solutions will validate names, addresses, photos, and other biometric data to establish identity more accurately. Going with a well-established vendor will help ensure your identity verification program meets compliance and data protection standards.

The Identity Verification Process

As more services transition to operating exclusively on the internet, ensuring users are who they claim to be grows increasingly important. Now that you have a solid understanding of the overarching goals and components of identity verification read on to learn about the typical process involved:

The first step in verifying someone’s identity involves collecting their personal information. Services typically request details like full legal name, date of birth, current address, and other contact information.

Some may ask for supplementary information as well, such as prior addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses. Collecting a variety of these demographic elements allows for more robust matching against external records later in the process.

After gathering these identifying details from the individual, they are then compared to third-party data sources. Common resources used for verification include credit reporting agencies, phone directories, and government records like those from the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).

By cross-referencing the provided information against multiple external databases, services can validate that the identifying traits match up. If all points line up, initial verification is complete. However, inconsistencies may require further steps. 

Should any discrepancies emerge between the submitted details and outside records, supplementary documentation may need to be furnished. Typical forms of supplemental ID include driver’s licenses, passports, utility bills, and bank statements. Uploading images of these documents enables visual inspection and extraction of additional verification data, like photos, for comparison.

Advanced verification techniques incorporate biometric matching as well. Services may ask individuals to complete a live photo or video selfie to check the face against images on government IDs or other profiles.

Cutting-edge identity checks take this a step further using biometrics such as fingerprints, iris scans, or facial recognition algorithms for unparalleled accuracy. These robust matching processes help securely link a digital identity to a real person.

Popular Identity Verification Methods

Due to the growing relevance of accurate identity verification, numerous approaches have been developed to meet distinct identity authentication needs based on cost, risk level, and required assurance:

1.      Knowledge-Based Verification

This method involves asking personal questions only the true identity owner should know, such as former home addresses, phone numbers, and relatives’ names, before matching the responses to public information. Answering numerous questions correctly verifies your identity.

2.      Document Verification

This process checks physical or electronic copies of IDs such as driver’s licenses, passports, utility bills, etc. OCR and digital forensic analysis extract and compare details to your application.

3.      Biometric Verification

Biometric identity verification securely captures and matches fingerprints, facial features, iris/retina scans, voice patterns, and other biometric qualities against stored biometric templates for highly accurate identification.

4.      Government Database Checks  

Your identification claim is verified by cross-referencing your personal information against DMV, Social Security Administration, and State Department databases.

The Benefits Of Identity Verification

With identity fraud rising annually, proper identity verification helps individuals and organizations:

  • Peace Of Mind: Having only your verified identity access crucial accounts and services offers you confidence your sensitive personal information is secured.
  • Compliance: Businesses must follow KYC/AML to verify consumer identities, eliminating legal and financial risks. Identity verification assures GDPR compliance.
  • Security: Continuous monitoring and robust identity verification combat fraud and detect compromised identities early for remediation.
  • Trust: To prevent data exploitation, customers feel safer sharing sensitive information with companies with solid identity verification.
  • Reduced Losses: Proper identity verification can save firms millions by averting revenue losses from identity fraud and related financial crimes.


With the digital ecosystem proliferating, protecting your identity from online and offline dangers is crucial. Identity verification is necessary to safeguard yourself, your business, and your family against identity fraud and cybercrimes.

By understanding what identity verification is, its benefits, processes, and methods, you can make informed choices to significantly improve security for sensitive personal information in the physical world and online.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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