Ensuring users are who they claim to be is without a doubt one of the most critical steps to implement within your online services, be it at onboarding or checkout. But “why is this so important?”, you may ask. Because without the reassurance that comes with having legitimate, verified users, your platform and clients could be left exposed to potential security threats.
Nowadays, almost every business needs some form of user authentication. If you’re running a fintech, bank, or a sharing economy platform, this step is even more vital for your business's success and growth. Considering this, we have prepared some tips to help you determine which identity solution is the right one for you.
So, here we go:
1. What types of checks does your identity verification solution run?
Depending on the nature of your business and where you are operating, you might find that some checks such as Know Your Client (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) are mandatory. These checks have been established to deal with major threats such as corruption, fraud, and terrorist financing. So if your business falls within the financial sector, you know that compliance is non-optional.
At the minimum, most regulators ask for basic KYC & AML processes, which consist of:
- Making sure your user provides an authentic document to verify their identity;
- Ensuring the person in your platform is the same as the one on the document provided;
- Confirming users aren’t listed on international anti-money laundering watchlists or blacklists.
Thus, before choosing an identity verification provider, you need to make sure that their product’s features are consistent with what you need to comply with regulations.
Some countries’ laws might require you to perform advanced checks, such as government database investigations (i.e.verifying your user is a registered citizen in the country). If that’s what you need and you find yourself with a provider that doesn’t offer this feature, your business will be in a tight spot, facing the risk of seeing your operations banned in the country.
Let’s say you’re not in this spectrum, but you might run an e-commerce or be a service provider who would still like to verify who is on the other side of your screen. What now? Well, the same goes for your case. The truth is, adding a basic KYC layer to your account creation process can be the first step to securing your product.
Now, if your goal is to reduce fraud attempts, you might want more advanced inspections such as IP or email verifications. These will help you deny entry to questionable users. The email address was created yesterday? Hmm, that seems suspicious, Sherlock. Plus, is the user coming from a neighborhood where you have witnessed a lot of fraudulent attempts? Let’s not take any risks, Watson.
So what should you look for when acquiring an ID verification service? Well, start with one that provides a thorough collection of verification tools for your business to operate safely. Choose a partner that will be your ally and match your needs, one you can rely on to meet your requirements as you grow and your business becomes more complex.
2. What types of documents can you read?
Another essential thing to keep in mind is the types of documents that your provider’s solution can read. Logically, you want to maximize the number of identification types your users can choose.
Suppose potential clients have more options to identify themselves. In that case, they will be more likely to complete the authentication process instead of “making a U-turn” at the last minute because they were given a limited choice of identity documents.
That is precisely why at MetaMap, we support over 18,000 documents in 165+ countries. So if you’re planning on expanding your business into new countries, make sure your partner can support you and actually read those documents instead of becoming a bottleneck.
3. How will my conversion rates (CR) and customer acquisition cost (CAC) be affected after implementing an ID verification service?
Worried about losing potential clients by implementing an extra onboarding step? Take a look at this article. You’ll see that, with the right service, you’ll maintain if not improve the health of your business in the long term.
Your onboarding rates will only drop if the service you integrate is unsatisfactory for your customers, so your provider’s workflow must have a great User Experience (UX).
As for your CAC, you’re probably wondering: “won’t this increase the cost?”. The generic answer here is: yes, but you’ll be thrilled about it. Of course, you have to pay to verify your users, so CAC will increase, but you know what will decrease? The amount of money lost to fraud!
Quality over quantity is what you should strive for.
4. What will my workflow look like?
When it comes to identity verification, the same “medicine” will not alleviate all conditions. That is why being able to customize your workflow is a crucial resource. When choosing an authentication partner, remember to check if their design is up to your standards. A good workflow is:
- Easily accessible
You should be able to find the information you need when you need it. That means you must be able to adapt the workflow to your specific needs and track all your onboarding information in an organized and convenient way. It should also be straightforward to integrate across all the interfaces and platforms you use, web or mobile.
5. What about data privacy? How is my user’s information protected?
If you think that asking users to disclose personal information will make them feel alarmed, you’re right. However, as we mentioned before, implementing an extra step in verification does not mean your onboarding rates will suffer, as caring for safety only speaks highly of your brand. That is why tracking and security should be one of the biggest priorities provided by your identity verification partner.
When it comes to privacy and security, you should aim for a provider that stores information through an advanced encryption algorithm (i.e. AES256). The data must be protected in a secure server accessible only through a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in which your user’s information stays only as long as you decide.
If you choose a high-quality partner to verify your users, this won’t be a problem. You’ll see that most top-of-the-line providers focus primarily on protection, and, after all, isn’t this one of the main reasons you are looking into this service?
But what about pricing?
You’re right, this checklist wouldn’t be complete without mentioning pricing and commercial terms.
In this industry, companies have strict contracts with extra fees for every additional check. However, verification doesn’t need to be such an expensive process. You can pay for completed verifications, and not per check.
So, if you’re in the market for the right identity partner, test out different products to find out whether they meet your requirements and are willing to support your business and its needs.
Want to see what that looks like? You can start now, with MetaMap. Sign up for a free trial here.