Selfie Identity Verification: What It Is and How It Works

Selfie Identity Verification: What It Is and How It Works

Selfie identity verification is a simple solution with big security benefits.

Essentially, this refers to using a live photo to detect and verify someone’s identity. By using a phone camera for liveness detection, challenges like deep fake fraud can be prevented, and it adds a layer of security to online identity verification.

Selfie identity verification plays a vital role in this process. It allows businesses to authenticate customer identities rapidly, effortlessly, and securely, resulting in quicker and more secure transactions and heightening the trust levels of customers.

But what is selfie identity verification? And how is it being used in business? Keep reading to learn what selfie verification is, how it works with liveness detection, and ways businesses use selfie verification for real-time authentications.

Selfie Identity Verification and Liveness Detection


What Is Selfie Identity Verification?

Selfie verification is a form of biometric verification which involves comparing a selfie with a government-issued ID. For example, you might take a photo of a driver’s license, state ID, or passport. Then, your live image is used to cross-reference and authenticate the user’s identity.

In certain situations, additional forms of identification may be necessary, such as a video selfie or video call. However, for the majority of establishments, a simple selfie will do (along with liveness detection).

This method is not often used on its own; instead, it is often combined with other validation methods such as database verification and document verification in order to establish a highly secure and all-encompassing identity verification procedure.

Selfie Identity Verification and Liveness Detection

Selfie identity verification is closely linked to liveness detection. Both serve distinct purposes while working harmoniously to lessen the chances of fraud and preserve the privacy of the user. This strengthens the overall identity verification process.

The primary goal of selfie identity verification is to compare a person’s selfie with their government-issued ID to confirm their identity.

Meanwhile, liveness detection ensures that the individual is live and not using a still image or pre-recorded video. This method perceives facial movements, blinking patterns, and head gestures as indicators to differentiate between a genuine person and a spoofing attempt. Additionally, the user may be asked to move the camera up or down, or side to side to prove liveness.

Benefits of Selfie Identity Verification

How Does Selfie Identity Verification Work?

Using a camera phone for verification commonly involves the following steps:

  1. The individual must present their government-issued ID, take a photograph of it, and subsequently upload it.
  2. The information of the ID is compared to multiple official databases and other provided information to detect any inconsistencies.
  3. In order to verify the person’s identity, they are required to take and submit a selfie. The selfie must be of high quality, well-lit, and show the person’s entire face without any obstructions.
  4. The selfie or video provided by the person is subsequently examined to confirm its authenticity and compared to the photo on the identification document.

Note: If the verification uses liveness detection, the user may be asked to move the camera around for a facial scan.

Major Benefits of Selfie Identity Verification

It offers significant benefits for both individuals who need to verify their identity and the business.

Let’s explore some major benefits:

  1. Major Convenience: First and foremost, the first thing that stands out about this form of verification is the convenience of it. Individuals can verify their identity from their home without the hassle of visiting a physical location.
  2. Easy Accessibility: This method of verification is easily accessible because individuals only need to have their smartphone or webcam on hand to proceed with the verification process!
  3. Low Friction: By simply taking a selfie, the hassle of going through multiple ID checks is disregarded. This significantly improves user compliance with verification procedures.
  4. Major Cost Savings: Selfie identity verification offers significant cost savings for businesses, reducing labor costs and preventing fraud losses. It seamlessly integrates with existing systems and streamlines processes, providing convenience and efficiency.
  5. Inhibiting Spoofing Attacks: The combination of selfie identity verification and liveness detection effectively thwarts spoofing attacks. The process of live detection involves analyzing facial movements, head gestures, blinking patterns, and other factors to determine if a person is physically present or if they are represented by an image or video. This prevents malicious individuals from pretending to be someone else using pre-recorded videos or images.

Selfie Identity Verification Use Cases

Not only is this verification method convenient, safe, and efficient, but it also applies to various use cases. These use cases include the following:

  • Ecommerce Platforms: Businesses can verify the identities of both buyers and sellers during the account creation process, as well as for significant transactions and sensitive financial dealings.
  • Car Retailers: Car retailers have the ability to verify the identity of individuals who express interest in buying or renting a car.
  • Travel and Hospitality Industry: Businesses can enhance their identity verification process by incorporating selfie identity verification to confirm the identities of guests during check-in.
  • Identity Verification for Work or School: Employees can conveniently verify their identities for work remotely during onboarding, removing the need for in-person authentication. Similarly, students can establish their identities to gain access to educational resources, student services, and exam proctoring.

For example, the freelancing platform Upwork requires users to upload a selfie to be verified.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, selfie identity verification redefines what customer onboarding can look like for businesses and users alike. It is essential for those wanting to unlock a major shift in their business and make every interaction secure and efficient. Therefore, if you are looking to ensure the best experience for customers while providing secure access to your services, make sure that implementing selfie identity verification is part of your strategy.

To learn more about how FTx Identity can benefit your business, be sure to reach out to us today to set up your consultation and experience a demo!

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