know your customer (KYC)

What are Digital ID Checks?

Digital ID Checks are a process of using digital technology to verify the identity of an individual.

What are Digital ID Checks?

Digital ID checks are the process of using digital technology to verify the identity of an individual. This is typically done by comparing the information provided by the individual, such as their name, date of birth, and address, against a database of trusted and verified information.

Digital ID checks can be used in a variety of contexts, such as opening a bank account, applying for a loan, or accessing online services. It can help to prevent identity fraud and other forms of financial crime by ensuring that individuals are who they claim to be.

The process of digital ID checks may involve the use of biometric data, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, to further enhance security and accuracy. Some digital ID-checking solutions also use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyse data and identify patterns that may indicate fraudulent activity.

Overall, digital ID checks are an important tool for businesses and organisations that need to verify the identity of individuals in a secure and efficient manner. It can help to reduce the risk of identity fraud and other forms of financial crime, while also providing a convenient and streamlined experience for customers and users.

What are the Benefits of Digital ID Checks?

Utilising digital ID checks offer several benefits for businesses and individuals. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Enhanced Security: Digital ID checks provide a more secure means of verifying identities compared to traditional methods like paper documents or manual checks. It helps to prevent identity theft, fraud, and impersonation by leveraging advanced technologies such as biometrics and encryption.

  2. Improved Customer Experience: Digital ID checks simplify and expedite the identity verification process for customers. It eliminates the need for physical documents, in-person visits, and lengthy manual checks, making it more convenient and efficient for individuals to access services or open accounts online.

  3. Cost and Time Efficiency: Digital ID checks reduce administrative costs associated with manual identity checks and streamlines the onboarding process. It automates the verification process, enabling businesses to handle a larger volume of identity checks in a shorter timeframe. This efficiency translates into cost savings and faster customer onboarding. 

  4. Regulatory Compliance: Many industries, such as finance, healthcare, and telecommunications, are subject to strict regulatory requirements for identity verification. Digital ID checks help businesses comply with these regulations, ensuring they meet the necessary Anti Money Laundering (AML), KYC (Know Your Customer), and data protection standards.

  5. Fraud Prevention: By leveraging advanced technologies, such as biometrics and machine learning algorithms, digital ID checks can detect and prevent fraudulent activities in real time. Suspicious patterns and inconsistencies can be identified, enabling businesses to take prompt action and mitigate potential risks.

  6. Scalability and Accessibility: Digital ID checks can be easily scaled to accommodate growing user bases and increased demand. It also enables businesses to offer services to individuals who may be geographically distant or have limited access to physical verification channels, expanding accessibility to a broader customer base.

Overall, digital ID checks offer enhanced security, improved customer experience, cost and time efficiency, regulatory compliance, fraud prevention, and scalability, making it a valuable tool for businesses across various industries.

What Types of Digital ID Checking Tools are Available?

Several types of digital ID-checking tools are available to businesses and organisations. Here are some common ones:

  1. Document Verification: These tools verify the authenticity of identity documents, such as passports, driver's licenses, and national identification cards. They use advanced optical character recognition (OCR) and image analysis to validate document details, including holograms, watermarks, and other security features.

  2. Biometric Verification: Biometric verification tools use unique physical or behavioural characteristics of individuals to verify their identity. This can include fingerprint scans, facial recognition, voice recognition, or iris scans. Biometric data is compared against a trusted database to ensure a match.

  3. Knowledge-Based Verification: Knowledge-based verification tools ask individuals a series of questions based on personal information that only a legitimate person would know, such as previous addresses or details about financial accounts. The answers are cross-checked against trusted data sources.

  4. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): While not strictly a verification tool, 2FA adds an extra layer of security to the identity verification process. It typically involves a combination of something the user knows (e.g., password) and something the user possesses (e.g., mobile device) to verify their identity.

  5. Machine Learning and AI-based Verification: These tools leverage machine learning algorithms to analyse patterns, detect anomalies, and assess risk factors associated with identity verification. They continuously learn from data to improve accuracy and identify potential fraud or suspicious activities.

  6. Data and Database Checks: These tools verify identity information by cross-referencing it against trusted databases and data sources, such as government databases, credit bureaus, and public records. They help ensure that the provided information matches the available data. This can include PEPs and Sanction screening and global watchlist checks, 2+2 checks where a person’s data is checked against two relevant sources and even deceased checks to ensure a person is not using the details of an individual who has passed away. It's important to note that businesses often employ a combination of these tools to establish a comprehensive and robust digital ID-checking process tailored to their specific needs and industry requirements.

How Do Digital ID Checks Work?

Digital ID checks typically involve several steps to verify the identity of an individual. While the specific process may vary depending on the verification provider and technology used, here is a general overview of how digital ID checking works:

  1. User Information Input: The individual provides their personal information, such as name, date of birth, and address, through an online form or an application.

  2. Document Capture: The individual captures images or scans of their identity documents, such as a passport or driver's license, using their smartphone, webcam, or a dedicated document scanner.

  3. Document Validation: Advanced algorithms and optical character recognition (OCR) technology analyse the document images to verify their authenticity and extract relevant information, such as the document number, date of issue, and expiration date. The verification process may involve checking security features, comparing the document against known templates, and detecting any signs of tampering.

  4. Facial Recognition: In some cases, the individual may be required to take a selfie or provide a live video stream. Facial recognition technology compares the captured image or video to the photo on the identity document to ensure a match. It helps confirm that the individual is the rightful owner of the document.

  5. Data Comparison: The personal information provided by the individual is cross-checked against trusted data sources, such as government databases or credit bureaus, to verify its accuracy and consistency. This process helps confirm the individual's identity and detect any discrepancies or fraudulent activity.

  6. Risk Assessment: Machine learning algorithms and data analysis techniques may be employed to assess the risk associated with the individual and the verification process. Factors such as previous fraud patterns, behavioural analytics, and anomaly detection can be used to identify potential risks or suspicious activities.

  7. Verification Result: Based on the verification process, a result is generated indicating the level of confidence in the individual's identity. This result can be a binary "pass" or "fail," or it may provide a confidence score or risk rating.

It's important to note that the specific steps and technologies used can vary among different digital ID-checking providers. The goal is to establish a robust and secure process that reliably verifies the identity of individuals while maintaining user privacy and data protection.

How do Digital ID checks help KYC Initiatives?

Digital ID checks play a crucial role in Know Your Customer (KYC) initiatives and KYC best practices by providing a secure and efficient means to verify the identity of customers. Here's how digital ID checks help KYC:

  1. Enhanced Identity Verification: Digital ID checks utilise advanced technologies, such as biometrics and document validation, to verify the authenticity of identity documents and match them with the individual presenting them. This ensures a higher level of confidence in the customer's identity compared to traditional manual methods.

  2. Streamlined Onboarding Process: Digital ID checks simplify and expedites the customer onboarding process. Instead of relying on physical documents and manual checks, customers can submit their identity information and documents electronically. This reduces the time and effort required from both the customer and the business, enabling faster and more seamless account opening or service activation.

  3. Compliance with Anti-Money Laundering Regulations: KYC initiatives are an essential component of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance. Digital ID verification helps businesses fulfil their regulatory obligations by implementing robust identity verification It enables businesses to collect and retain accurate customer information and documentation, which is crucial for risk assessment, transaction monitoring, and reporting suspicious activities.

  4. Risk Assessment and Fraud Prevention: Digital ID checks allow businesses to assess the risk associated with a customer based on their identity information and verification results. It helps identify potential risks, such as fraudulent identities or high-risk individuals and enables businesses to implement appropriate risk mitigation measures. By incorporating machine learning algorithms and data analytics, digital ID checks can detect patterns and anomalies that may indicate fraudulent or suspicious activities.

  5. Data Security and Privacy: Digital ID checking solutions prioritise data security and privacy. They adhere to stringent security standards and employ encryption techniques to protect sensitive customer information. Furthermore, they often adhere to data protection regulations and provide transparency regarding data usage and consent, ensuring customer privacy is respected throughout the verification process.

 You can read more about Know your customer in our article Why KYC is Important.


Leveraging digital ID-checking methods powers KYC initiatives to improve the accuracy, efficiency, and security of customer identity verification. It helps businesses comply with regulatory requirements, migrate risk, and prevent fraud while providing a smoother and more convenient experience for customers. 


How do Digital ID checks help with Customer Due Diligence and Enhanced Due Diligence?

Digital ID checks also play a significant role in both Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) processes. Here's how it helps with each:

  1. Customer Due Diligence (CDD):CDD is the process of verifying the identity of customers to assess their risk level and ensure compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Digital ID verification supports CDD in the following ways:

    1. Identity Verification: Digital ID checks allow businesses to validate the authenticity of identity documents, such as passports or driver's licenses, by comparing them against trusted databases and employing document validation techniques. It helps confirm that customers are who they claim to be, reducing the risk of identity theft or fraud.
    2. Data Accuracy: By leveraging digital ID checking tools, businesses can collect accurate and up-to-date customer information. Automated data extraction and verification processes minimise manual errors and ensure that customer data is entered correctly.
    3. Streamlined Process: eIDV streamlines the CDD process by eliminating the need for physical document submission and manual checks. Customers can securely submit their identity information and documents electronically, leading to faster onboarding and reduced administrative burden.
  1. Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD): EDD involves conducting additional scrutiny on high-risk customers, such as politically exposed persons (PEPs) or customers from high-risk jurisdictions. Digital ID verification supports EDD in the following ways:
    1. Advanced Identity Checks: Digital ID checking tools can integrate with comprehensive databases and sources of information to conduct more extensive checks on high-risk customers. This includes verifying their identity against multiple data sources, performing adverse media screening, and assessing potential risks associated with their profile.
    2. Ongoing Monitoring: Digital ID checking solutions often include continuous monitoring capabilities. By regularly verifying the customer's identity and monitoring their transactions and activities, businesses can detect any changes or anomalies that may indicate elevated risk levels or suspicious behaviour.
    3. Risk Assessment: Performing digital ID checks incorporates risk assessment techniques to evaluate the level of risk associated with customers. It helps identify red flags, such as inconsistencies in identity information or unusual transaction patterns, which may warrant further investigation during the EDD process.

By utilising digital ID checks in both CDD and EDD processes, businesses can ensure robust and efficient customer due diligence. It improves accuracy, reduces manual effort, enables ongoing monitoring, and helps identify and mitigate risks associated with customers, particularly those posing higher levels of risk.

How Can Businesses Get Started with Digital ID Checks?

To get started with digital ID checks, businesses can follow these steps:

  1. Assess Your Needs: Determine why you need to perform digital ID checks and how it will fit into your business processes. Consider factors such as regulatory compliance requirements, the level of security needed, and the volume of verifications expected.

  2. Research and Select a Provider: Research different digital ID-checking providers and compare their features, capabilities, pricing, and reputation. Look for providers that offer robust security measures, compliance with relevant regulations, and a user-friendly interface. Consider their experience in your industry and the scalability of their solution.

  3. Understand Regulatory Requirements: Familiarise yourself with the regulatory requirements related to identity verification in your industry and jurisdiction. Ensure that the digital ID checking solution you choose meets these requirements and supports compliance with relevant regulations such as AML/KYC regulations and data protection laws.

  4. Integration Options: Assess how the digital ID-checking solution can integrate with your existing systems and processes. Determine whether it offers APIs or SDKs that can be easily integrated into your applications or platforms. Consider the level of customisation and flexibility provided by the solution to meet your specific business needs.

  5. Test and Evaluate: Before fully implementing the digital ID checking solution, conduct thorough testing to ensure it meets your requirements and provides accurate results. Evaluate its performance, accuracy, user experience, and integration capabilities. Consider running a pilot program with a subset of users or transactions to validate its effectiveness.

  6. Implement and Train: Once you are satisfied with the chosen solution, proceed with the implementation. Train your employees or relevant stakeholders on how to use the digital ID-checking solution effectively. Ensure they understand the purpose, process, and potential issues that may arise during verification.

  7. Monitor and Review: Regularly monitor the performance of the digital ID checking solution and review its effectiveness in meeting your objectives. Stay updated on any changes in regulations or industry best practices that may require adjustments to your verification processes. Continuously assess the accuracy, efficiency, and user experience to identify areas for improvement.

Remember that the specific steps may vary depending on the chosen provider and the unique requirements of your business. Engaging with the provider's customer support or consulting with experts in the field can provide further guidance and assistance throughout the implementation process.

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