AdvisorOnline identification

There are many situations in which a person needs to verify his or her identity. Often the affected person does not have the time to go to a bank or public authority for the identity check. For this reason, companies and authorities use online identification as part of the digital transformation. This enables an identity check easily and conveniently from home, saves time and is flexible. This guide informs you about the advantages and possibilities of online identification.

What is an identity check?

The classic identity check is a process in which the persons identity is verified. The aim is to assign the available personal data (identity card or passport) to this particular person and to verify its authenticity.

Significance and advantes of an identity check

Identity checks play a significant role in risk management for many companies. It is an integral part of preventing fraud.

In addition identity check is important for necessary verification processes. For example, it can ensure that the delivery address is correct and that invoices are delivered correctly.

Areas of application of an identity check

The use if identity checks occurs in many different areas today. For instance in banking, an identity check is a requirement for opening a bank account preventing anti money laundering and an integral part of KYC (“Know Your Customer”) process. You will also find identity checks in the insurance industry since identification is required before signing an insurance contract. In addition identity checks play an important role in public authorities, e.g. when a persons needs to renew their identity documents, such as passports or identity cards.

Different methods of identity check

If a person needs to get his or identity checked, there are two basic procedures:

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Face-to-face verification is the traditional method for identity checks. Here, the person to be identified visits the company or public authority with his or her identification document. Then, an authorised and trained person (so-called registration agent) compares the ID document with the person. The registration agent makes a copy and filles out requires forms so that the identified person can continue with the post-identifcation steps.

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Next to the traditional face-to-face vreification, there is the online identity check available. Here, the person to be identified does not visit to the company or public authrority, but performs the identity check flexibly online from home. In this case, a person presents his or her face and identity document infront of a webcam or smartphone selfie camera so that both faces can be compared. Typical used methods are biometric verification (AI-based), liveness detection, verification of digital ID documents by a video agent or verification via possession of a valid bank account.

Methods of online identity checks and their security

For online identity check, an encrypted video connection is established between the person to be identified and a video agent. During the video connection, the person holds their ID document up to the camera and follows the instructions of the video agent. The video agent checks the authenticity of the ID document as well as the match of the ID images with the person and verifies the person’s identity.

Video identification is a certified online identification procedure and complies with the security standards according to the AML-5 anti-money laundering regulation.

Another innovative method is identification using a bank account. In this case, the person to be identified enters his personal identity data via a web mask and authorises with his e-banking login and a small reference transaction. This legitimises the person as the owner of the valid bank account and compares the identity data deposited with the house bank with the data entered in the web mask and issues the valid identity.

Identification by means of the online banking login is also an approved and secure procedure that complies with the legal requirements of the EU regulation eIDAS and the Money Laundering Act.

Requirements for an online identity check

For online identification, the user only needs a suitable device with a camera and microphone as well as a stable internet connection. In addition, his or her valid identity document should be close by.

In order for the camera to capture everything optimally, good lighting conditions should prevail.

How the online identity check works

To identify themselves online, the user must first register online via the website or an app. Then, the encrypted video call with an agent starts. Here, the person must hold both sides of the ID document in the camera for the check. Then the agent checks the person’s face to make a liveness check. In the next step, the video agent verifies the authenticity of the ID document and the person. If the person in the video and on the ID document are identical, the person is identified.

Regulations/standards for identity checks

Due to the large number of fraud cases on the internet, which are possible due to a lack of identification on the internet, the AML5 regulation was issued. This sets standards for online identity verification. These regulations are very comprehensive and thus support the security of the verification processes.

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