Until very recently, a simple verification of identity using biometrics was sufficient to confirm that the user on the other side of the screen was indeed who they claimed to be. Today, with ever-evolving fraud schemes and increasingly strict regulation, authentication needs to be strengthened through a multifactorial combination of technological tools ranging from selfies to artificial intelligence (AI).
That is the conclusion reached by a group of experts surveyed by iupana in the white paper “The Future of Digital Identity. Biometrics, ecosystems and ID in the post-pandemic digital landscape,” produced in conjunction with Jumio, a technology company that offers multiple identity checkers and anti-money laundering (AML) services based on AI, biometrics, machine learning, proof of life detection, and automation.
The advice to Latin American financial entities is to opt for a combination of technologies that protects operations without slowing them down, particularly considering how important virtual identity authentication is for companies that have switched to digital channels.
How to verify digital identity
Most financial companies use third parties to compare details of a client’s identity with the data held by government entities, to confirm not only that the document presented is authentic but also that the individual is not included on any sanctions lists. Although these measures are effective, they are no longer sufficient.
“We have many ways to prove that the ID being presented has not been tampered with. One of them is artificial intelligence and machine learning, which allow us to make sure that all fields, such as name, ID number or age, have been extracted correctly and there is no image overlaying the image of the ID. But that is not enough”, mentions Samer Atassi, vice president of Jumio for Latin America and the Caribbean.
As a result, companies are implementing additional controls to reduce the chances of cyberattacks and data theft, while creating more complete and secure onboarding processes.
One option is to apply verification strategies, such as a selfie of a user holding their ID or driver’s license, together with a combined biometrics (fingerprints, voice and face recognition) and tokens. Behavioral analysis is also gaining ground, such as examining the pattern of a mobile device, which is a distinguishing trait of each individual.
“Biometrics is still the most widely used and, among the different types of biometrics, the most widely used is behavioral,” says Patrick Aron Rinski, a partner at the consulting firm McKinsey and an expert in cybersecurity and operational risks.
But proof of life is perhaps the best strategy to prevent someone from opening a bank account with another person’s documents. This method proves that the user is a live person, impeding the use of puppets, videos or false photos.
In future, all this technology is expected to be channeled into the creation of a portable digital identity, a passport that’s accepted by any financial institution without the need to continuously carry out digital onboarding processes.
The importance of user experience
A good user experience (UX) is essential to keep customers from switching to a rival, so easy navigation and data protection and privacy are essential.
An important step for reducing friction in digital onboarding processes is “passive life detection,” where the user only has to look at the camera so that a decision can be made about whether or not it’s a real person, says Akif Khan, an analyst at Gartner Research and a specialist in identity verification and payment transaction fraud.
Cristian Galan, co-founder of Cellbank, a fintech company that provides digital B2B2C services, says customers are particularly concerned about ease of use.
“Zero friction isn’t something that remains in PowerPoint, it has to be a reality in all solutions,” he says.
To learn more about the future of digital identity, download iupana’s White Paper, produced with the support of Jumio