ID Verification in 2023: Integrating Physical & Digital Attributes

We explore how merging physical & digital attributes bolsters ID verification in 2023, improving security and user experience in a digital-first world.

Orchestrating physical and digital identity attributes with high levels of configurability is the key to an effective IDV strategy in 2023

As our world becomes increasingly digital, the need for robust and secure online identity checks becomes ever more crucial. Identity theft and fraud are major concerns for the banking sector, and beyond, and ensuring that new and returning digital users are who they claim to be, is essential. Designing processes that combine physical and digital identity attributes is a highly effective approach to this and one that is gaining increasing traction with the financial services sector in recent times.

Digital identity attributes are online characteristics – e.g. email, passwords, security tokens and digital behaviours – used to verify someone's identity. Grouped together, they form a unique profile of a digital entity that can be used to effectively verify them for all manner of digital services. However, with fraudsters and technology getting more sophisticated by the day, the limitations of using purely digital signals are becoming increasingly apparent. That’s why some of the more sophisticated fraud prevention tools are now starting to combine physical and digital identity attributes for a multi-layered and more secure approach.

Physical identity attributes are the characteristics that are unique to an individual, such as person's face, voice, fingerprints, and other biometric features that can be verified through physical means. On top of these are a host of additional ‘real world’ identity attributes like home address, place of work, debt history, Electoral Roll data, Council Tax payments and others.

Adding physical attributes to a digital identity significantly improves both the accuracy and assurance that they are who they say they are, making identity authentication more robust and secure. As an added advantage, it also allows for a more seamless and user-friendly authentication process, enabling faster login without the need to remember multiple passwords or information.

With criminals increasingly using stolen or fabricated digital identity attributes to create or access online accounts to commit fraud, combining unique physical attributes that are more difficult – albeit with AI, not impossible – to fake, makes things significantly more challenging for criminals. The bottom line is, there’s no one infallible way to confidently and securely confirm that a digital identity is who they say they are. That’s why a layered approach combining as many physical and digital layers as possible, will give businesses the highest possible level of confidence.

Businesses looking to evolve their identity and fraud checks must therefore find technology partners that have the ability to seamlessly combine both physical and digital identity attributes into efficient processes, combining where possible, all of the following:

  1. Physical Identity: Government identity documents (e.g. passports, driver’s licence), address verification, Electoral Roll, other public sources.
  2. Common Digital Identifiers: Email address, security tokens.
  3. Digital Capture of Physical Biometrics: Voice, face and fingerprints.
  4. Digital Behavioural Biometrics: How users type, hold and interact with a device.

Many tech providers offer fraud prevention tools that utilise common digital intelligence, such as device usage and digital behavioural patterns, but only LexisNexis Risk Solutions combines physical and digital attributes, including real-world, physical identity attributes and pure behavioural biometrics signals derived from the user’s ‘type and swipe’ interactions with their device.

Two recent Identity Verification (IDV) solution market reports, by respected global analysts, Juniper Research and Forrester Wave recognised LexisNexis Risk Solutions as a leading IDV tech solution provider for their ability to effectively make the link between physical and digital identity.

In a world awash with increasingly complex digital fraud threats, combining physical and digital attributes is playing a crucial role in next generation digital identity verification and authentication strategies. The win-win for businesses is that it also helps deliver a streamlined and seamless experience for customers while also protecting businesses from risk.

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