ID.me has quickly grown into a big name in identity verification online.
The platform – which specializes in age verification and digital wallets – is widely used for governmental user authentication. However, as ID.me has grown, so too has the need for alternatives.
So, what exactly is ID.me? Is it safe? And what are the best alternatives?
This guide takes a closer look at the platform and offers a comparison of ID.me and FTx Identity.
What Is ID.me?
ID.me is a digital identity verification service. The platform is designed to verify individuals’ identities online to prevent fraud and offers websites and agencies a platform to authenticate users. Users can access online accounts and verify their identities with facial recognition, which adds a layer of security for businesses.
Established in 2010 by Blake Hall and Matt Thompson as TroopSwap, initially resembling Craigslist, ID.me evolved into a Groupon-like discount service catering to the military. Transitioning to Troop ID, the platform focused on digital identity verification for military personnel and veterans, granting them online benefits.
In 2013, a rebranding to ID.me aimed at creating a universal, secure identity verification network. Expanding further, the platform now verifies credentials for first responders, nurses, and students, facilitating access to exclusive discounts.
Today, numerous state and federal government agencies use ID.me for user authentication. This is because it was approved by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.
What Are the Features of ID.me?
1. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): ID.me employs multi-factor authentication to ensure a higher level of security. This typically involves a combination of factors such as something you know (password), something you have (a mobile device), and something you are (biometric data).
2. Facial Recognition Technology: ID.me utilizes facial recognition technology for identity verification. Users may be required to submit a selfie to be matched against an internal database, adding an extra layer of biometric security.
3. Secure Access to Online Accounts: One of the primary purposes of ID.me is to grant users secure access to their online accounts. This is often used in various sectors, including government services and financial transactions.
4. Fraud Prevention: The platform is designed to prevent fraud by verifying the authenticity of individuals’ identities. This is particularly crucial in contexts like tax filing and government benefit programs.
5. Real-Time Video Verification: In response to concerns and criticisms, ID.me introduced an option for users to verify their identity through a live video chat with an ID.me agent. This provides a real-time alternative to submitting biometric data.
6. Ease of Integration: ID.me aims to be user-friendly and is often integrated into various online platforms, allowing organizations to incorporate its identity verification features seamlessly.
Is ID.me Safe?
Despite being widely utilized for identity verification, ID.me has drawn criticism for a perceived lack of transparency and operational efficiency.
In recent years, ID.me faced significant controversy, particularly highlighted by the 2022 dispute with the IRS. The exclusive partnership between ID.me and the IRS was terminated, likely due to performance issues.
A House Oversight Committee investigation in November 2022 revealed that ID.me had inaccurately reported the duration of its identity verification services, leading lawmakers to question the platform’s reliability.
Two U.S. House committees found that ID.me deliberately exaggerated welfare fraud figures during the pandemic while downplaying the waiting times individuals endured for virtual interviews to access government benefits. This series of events underscored concerns about ID.me’s accuracy and transparency.
In 2021, ID.me asserted that only 10-15% of benefit applicants, unidentifiable by its facial recognition technology, would face a two-hour wait. Contrary to this claim, actual wait times surpassed four hours on average in the majority of states employing ID.me and exceeded nine hours on average in certain states. This discrepancy between the stated and actual wait times underscored challenges and raised concerns about the accuracy of ID.me’s information regarding the duration of identity verification processes.
Several identity verification platforms serve as alternatives to ID.me, including the following:
FTx Identity is our age and identity verification solution. Our primary emphasis is on retail operations, particularly in collaboration with tobacco retailers and stores selling age-restricted products.
What sets us apart is:
- Our exclusive in-house integration.
- No third-party companies
- Effortlessly track and manage your age verification processes
- User-friendly analytics in the back office
Specializing in online user verification services, this company provides solutions for confirming the academic standing of students and faculty, verifying the active-duty status of military personnel, and validating the employment status of government and non-profit workers. Its primary focus lies within the ecommerce sector, delivering services to merchants aiming to connect with targeted groups and bolster fraud prevention measures.
Offering AI-powered identity services, Trust Stamp specializes in developing a comprehensive suite of tools encompassing identity verification, duplicate detection, document validation, privacy, and data protection. Its clientele spans various sectors, including banking, finance, government, regulatory compliance, real estate, communications, and the humanitarian industry.
Specializing in identity verification solutions, Jumio operates at the intersection of technology and cybersecurity. Its primary clientele includes sectors such as healthcare, financial services, online gaming, and the sharing economy. Jumio provides services enabling organizations to verify identities and detect fraud throughout the customer lifecycle, leveraging AI and machine learning to offer predictive fraud insights and risk analysis.
Exploring the world of online identity verification, we’ve traced the path of ID.me, from its evolution to the controversies and alternatives it faced. From its roots in the military to the IRS turbulence, ID.me’s challenges highlight the need for reliable alternatives. FTx Identity, Proxi.id, Trust Stamp, and Jumio emerge as strong options, promising a future where security and user experience come together in the digital identity space.
To learn more about how FTx Identity can help your business, get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation and check out a demo!