Identity verification is present in many processes of our daily lives. We are registered from the moment we are born, in order to establish our identity on paper.

These documents end up being used in the course of our lives to prove nationality, property, for criminal records, travel permits, access to banking systems, telephone services, loans or even when entering the NFT and cryptocurrencies world.

Due to the daily nature of these processes and the large number of services that we can access thanks to our ID verification, as well as the need for immediacy of our time, these processes must be fast, frictionless and safe, above all. We must guarantee an excellent service for the end user.

However, in the digital age in which we live, it’s key to have allies that enable us to identify who our clients are and thus ensure the safety of our business and their interests. What about you, do you already have an ally?

The evolution of ID verification

First, let's review the general aspects of identity verification.

A person's ID can be established through many different aspects. For example, by gestures, language, nationality, clothing, musical taste and more.

But also, and in more formal aspects, by their ID, signature, nationality, gender, fingerprints, biometric data, social network accounts, credit history and any other unique characteristic to that human being.

In addition, it’s worth noting that the process to verify these more formal aspects has evolved over the years, and due to the advancement of technology.

Initially, the process of ID verification depended on a person manually checking that the document, or picture, was legal and the information printed on it matched.

This process was done many times without much preparation, or tools for it. In addition, the same human factor in this monotonous process turned errors and omissions into something common.

The fake IDs

Due to this same lack of rigor, false identifications and fraud attempts have been everywhere. Because of it, this phenomenon has been represented in multiple Hollywood movies, as is the case of "Catch me if you can".

This movie based on real events tells a story of a 16-year-old con artist represented by Leonardo DiCaprio. This young man poses as an airline pilot, a surgeon and even a lawyer.

Then, he manages to steal millions of dollars, and even the heart of a woman who almost became his wife. All of it with a false ID and the use of documents that were not properly validated.

It’s precisely because of this true story that governments, banks and private companies have focused on strengthening the process of identity verification. Well, who wouldn't invest in security after losing millions of dollars?

By going hand in hand with technological advances, the verification process becomes more and more solid, thus avoiding fraud even before criminals attempt it. In addition to that, this helps increase the speed with which the process is completed. 

Immediately after, your ID is validated

With this in mind now, data collection and identity verification no longer need to happen in person. Processes can be done digitally, remotely, and in a matter of minutes.

As we mentioned before, identity verification can be done in minutes with Artificial Intelligence (AI). In addition, the most advanced systems can not only validate an ID but also identify if the document was forged and even compare it with government information or tracking lists.

With all of these tools together, companies try to reduce risks by directly attacking fraud and ensuring the business and customers safety.

ID verification in the financial and cryptocurrency sector

One of the most interested industries in continuing to strengthen ID verification systems is the financial sector. In this line of business, identity verification is vital to prevent the entry of capital from money laundering or any act of corruption in the economy.

So, before opening the doors of their services, institutions in the financial sector always demand to identify the person.

The cryptocurrency world is another place where identity verification is present. A recent survey revealed that the number of users who claim to have verified their identity through KYC increased from 85% to 93% in the crypto ecosystem.

It’s worth noting that Know Your Customer (KYC) is the practice carried out by companies to verify their customers’ ID in compliance with legal requirements and current regulations and standards.

A reality that we live in today

In this way, all the players involved in the traditional or alternative financial sector are interested in an agile, effective and secure identity verification system.

Especially when it’s known that online fraud is a present reality and that it can occur in any aspect of the business – going from impersonation in social networks or even financial fraud.

According to data from the National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Financial Services Users (Condusef), more than 2 million cyber frauds were reported in Mexico in 2021.

This is also the case in many countries in LATAM. A LexisNexis report showed that at the end of 2021, automated bot attacks increased 32% annually worldwide, with Latin America in the lead, with a growth of 455%.

So, online fraud is a latent risk and companies that are involved in processes where identity verification is something vital, must have reliable systems that provide security to their business and their customers.

“People trust good data treatment, so companies have a responsibility to guarantee this”, said an IBM expert in ​​cybersecurity.

Data verification and security

As we stated, it’s of vital importance that ID verification can be done quickly, in the same way that end users expect that the information and data used to achieve this verification will be stored correctly.

With this in mind, over the years and after several embarrassing experiences – like the one in the movie Catch Me If You Can – governments and companies have grown into the ethical commitment to protect personal data.

And this is not a recent topic, in the 1980s the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with the collaboration of the Council of Europe, published a guide to protect privacy and cross-border flows of personal data .

This has led to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being a global standard, especially since its entry into effect in May 2018.

This regulation is an essential measure to strengthen the fundamental rights of people in the digital age and facilitate economic activity that is carried out at the speed of light through the Internet. Since it clarifies the rules applicable to companies and public bodies in the digital single market.

This is due to a latent problem of the use of personal data, since they are being used as merchandise for sale to the highest bidder.

Jhon Oliver on his Last Week Tonight program spoke about the massive data leak by businesses that do not take the security of their customers with due importance. He gave an overview of this inconvenience and aspects that must be taken into account to keep everyone's data safe.

In addition, this is an issue that also concerns governments and public entities. China is a country that has opted to have its entire population identified, by 2022 it is expected that the country will have a closed circuit surveillance camera (CCTV) for every two inhabitants.

Privacy vs. security

Likewise, it happens in many other countries, at least 65 of the 176 countries in the world actively use technology to track and control citizens.

To what extent is the promise of greater security worth the loss of privacy? This and many other questions arise in these turbulent times, but they are important to ask ourselves.

We need to evaluate not only the technology on its own merits, but also for the direction it takes the more it is deployed. This is why companies must have an ethical commitment to the processing of personal data and, in turn, go hand in hand with regulations, such as the GDPR, which seeks to protect end users. It’s key to have an ally who is guided by these principles.

MetaMap: your ally in ID verification

MetaMap is committed to information security, which is why we are your ideal ally. We not only follow the European GDPR private data security regulations, but also guarantee fast and secure identity verification for both your company and end users.

All thanks to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the fact that we generate processes of identification in a purely digital way, with the highest security standards.

We, at MetaMap, are aware that the needs of a company may vary and that not all of them require the same identity verification system.

In MetaMap you can build your own flexible metamaps, workflows of trust that can be adapted to the needs of each company:

  • Document verification
  • Biometric verification
  • Custom document
  • Email verification
  • Phone check
  • Location intelligence
  • User verification against government databases
  • AML Compliance: verify your user against 1,200+ global watchlists
  • E-signature: allows users to authenticate and sign documents digitally
  • Bank Account Details: check user finances with bank account details

Don't miss out on the chance to unlock borderless growth. Join more than 500 companies worldwide that are working with us at MetaMap.