Identity Verification Explained: How Does IDV Technology Work?

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Identity document validation technologies are tools designed to help businesses and governments establish the authenticity of documents.

IDVTs generally play a vital role in preventing the use of fraudulent documents, especially online.

From a regulatory point of view, IDVTs do not replace counterfeit experts.

However, they can provide higher levels of accuracy and assurance than manual document verification alone by personnel untrained in verifying different forms of identity documents.

But how does IDVT work on a more technical level? We break it down here.

Technologies focused on digital identity

Broadly speaking, IDVT operates through two components: an ID document scanner on the one hand, and ID document software and template on the other.

ID document scanners include a specialized passport and ID card reader, as well as smartphones, webcams and flatbed scanners.

All of these devices capture an image of the document, and some of them can also read smart documents like biometric passports via RFID and NFC.

Typically, data extracted from these documents includes full name, date and place of birth, nationality, issuing country or organization, document expiration date, machine-readable zone code ( MRZ) (for passports), document number and photo.

The software verifies the security features contained on the ID and compares the document image to a template stored in a library.

In the case of passports, the data extracted from the document holder and the tampering detection numbers are referred to as a “checksum”. During the verification process, a calculation of the checksum of the extracted data is performed, which is then compared to the original checksum.

Some IDVT systems provide a yes/no answer about the authenticity of identifiers, but others report the document and leave the decision to the human reviewer.

And while some IDVTs can only match ID images against government databases, others can also check against additional data sources (including social media), often through Customizable APIs.

Finally, many IDVT systems feature anti-fraud measures, such as live biometric detection or shared secret technologies.

IDVT was introduced in the UK in April to help employers and landlords with DBS entitlement to work, entitlement to rent and pre-employment checks.

Article topics

biometric passport | digital identification | document reader | verification of documents | fraud prevention | Identity Cards | identity document | optical character recognition

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