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Feb 07, 2022
Onboarding digital

What is identity proofing used for?

In the online world, identity proofing serves to confirm the identity of a person before giving him access to a service or product, it allows companies to give access to their services to the right people.

As online fraud increases and identity theft rises, identity proofing becomes a very important barrier to stop them.

What is Identity Proofing?

Identity proofing is the method used by companies and entities to verify and authenticate the identity of your clients and users.

Identity verification and authentication through identity proofing is a common practice, both in physical and digital environments, based on verifying that a person’s face appears on their identity document.

Imagine that you are going to stay in a hotel. When you arrive and notify the reception that you have arrived, they need to verify that you are the person who made the reservation, how do they do it? They ask for your identity document. 

According to the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technologies), we must differentiate between:

  • Real identity: the identity confirmed with evidence (who you are).
  • Claimed identity: the identity that a user claims have (who you say you are).

Based on this differentiation, identity proofing ensures that a user’s claimed identity matches their actual identity.

Proof of physical identity vs. Online proof of identity

We are more than used to the process of physical proof of identity, in person. When we travel by plane, when we register for a course, when we go to a bank, a commercial office, an event, etc. . we meet a person from the entity in question who verifies that the photo on our identity document corresponds to our face.

For its part, proof of identity at a distance, in the digital environment, works the same. With the particularity that it does not require travel and is more convenient (no queues and no waiting). You only need a device with a camera, an internet connection and your identity document. Facial recognition technology is capable of doing the same verification from a selfie in real time and a capture of the identity document.

⚠️ It is important to remember that in the digital world, proof of identity offers the same legal guarantees as traditional proof of identity, in physical environments. 

Why is it important?

Identity proofing is important because it provides security and protection against fraudulent threats, both for users and entities.

This is a basic barrier to stop identity fraud, starting with access to personal information to commit criminal acts. Not only because it detects false identities, but also because it acts as a dissuasive tool for those users with illegitimate intentions.

Confirming a person’s identity reduces cyber attacks, which translates into: 

  • Lower costs

Implementing an effective proof of identity improves the security of any organization without the need for large investments and without maintenance.

  • Increased legal compliance and prevention of fines and penalties

Fraudulent activities, fraudulent charges and late payments are reduced. Therefore, the chances of regulatory non-compliance are also reduced, while access by unauthorized users is prevented.

  • Increased customer protection

In addition to your security, identity proofing is also an incentive and a vote of confidence for consumers to feel safe.