Digitising the identity verification process: critical for business success

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Even before the global pandemic, digital identity verification had already started to become an integral part of everyday life.

Covid-19 has accelerated the need for businesses and Governments worldwide to rethink their approach and digitise their identity verification process to facilitate day-to-day interactions and offer an effective and efficient customer experience remotely - a component critical to future business success in a digital age.

Limitations of manual verification

In recent years, checking identity documents manually has raised questions with regards to validity and efficiency. How do compliance teams really know that a document is genuine, and which may open up their business to fraud later down the line? Are the individual employees tasked to deal with these documents actually equipped to tell the difference between a counterfeit and the real thing? Even with sufficient and ongoing training, it’s one thing to spot a fake document in the office, but it’s another thing entirely to do so working remotely with a lack of face-to-face interaction. With an increasing number of domestic and international identity documents to check, potentially at large scale and within tight timeframes, the task is becoming even more arduous and this pressure increases the risk of human error.

Capabilities of digital ID verification

There are a wide range of applications of digital ID verification within the financial services sector, from account opening and meeting CDD requirements, to identity authentication as an individual carries out financial transactions. Utilising a secure and compliant digital ID verification tool enables businesses to:

  • Record the session so it can be tracked and saved for reporting/audit requirements
  • Analyse a selfie video for biometrics and match against the provided passport
  • Reduce identity fraud by performing liveness checks
  • Check all passport details against established databases and scan the RFID chip within to verify authenticity
  • Once approved, send out a contract/terms and conditions via email to the customer with an e-IDAS qualified digital signature which uses a one-time password for validation
  • Once verified and validated online, enable online customer onboarding to continue.

Customer expectations

Not only can digital ID verification enhance risk management,including through streamlined KYCand AML processes it can be an opportunity to improve customer experience and boost efficiency.

With a rapid number of services moving online and digital demands from customers increasing, it is paramount that any digital programme implemented into business processes provides a best-in-class customer experience with low friction.

The user experience must put customers first so that they have the best possible chance of passing through the verification process first time, whatever device they are using. If the experience does not meet customer expectation, it can be an easy way to lose customers to drop-off and abandonment which can reflect negatively on an organisation.

A watershed moment for digitisation

Jersey’s diverse financial services client base has always been predominantly off-Island, making the prominence of a digital ID verification solution very topical, particularly in current times. International customers seeking to use Jersey financial services providers and products want to do so easily and efficiently, often away from time consuming, paper rich processes, but with the majority of that business being classified as higher risk by providers. Finding a suitable platform that can support complex customer onboardings remotely with automated verification and screening, syncing with core systems and creating a real competitive advantage for the provider, can be a challenging and complex exercise. Choosing a provider who understands the financial services industry in Jersey and internationally is key.

COVID-19 may be a watershed moment for digitisation, causing a greater shift to digital channels as customers accept and embrace a new normal. Whether businesses are considering ramping up remote onboarding to meet new demand or moving existing services online a robust identity verification solution is essential to customer adoption. Applying smart processes now will pay dividends when the pandemic is over and will enable your business to remain competitive as we enter a new age of remote business.

Article first appeared in BL Magazine Issue 72

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