Skip to main content

A guide to identity verification

Driving License Scan

What is Identity Verification?

Identity verification is a process which helps to ensure that an individual is who they say they are. Organisations of all sizes across many different sectors verify the identity of their customers, employees, and users to protect themselves from fraud, create trust and comply with local legislative requirements. Many different parts of an organisation can use identity checking procedures for different purposes. For example, in an estate agency, HR may use identity checks to confirm an employee’s Right to Work status, while the lettings team introduce an identity checking process during Right to Rent checks and the sales team will carry out an identity check to comply with anti-money laundering regulations. Identity verification can be accomplished through different means, such as a manual inspection of an identity document, image-based online identity document verification, biometric identity checks using selfies and face-matching technology or checking against known records such as address records and credit history.

Why should an organisation have an identity checking process?

Confirming the identity of the people who you are dealing with remains critical to protect your organisation from fraud and to remain compliant with the latest legislation.

In 2019, CIFAS, the National Fraud Prevention service reported that identity fraud had reached a record level in the UK. An important first step to prevent identity fraud is to assess the authenticity of a government-issued identity document. However, in the past year alone, our analysis showed that our customers saw fraudulent identity documents claiming to represent 52 different nationalities.

What’s more, our experience has shown a consistent year-on-year growth in the volume of fake identity documents seen by our customers, including some high-quality examples. Being able to carry out identity checks quickly and reliably is a crucial first step to protect your organisation from fraud.

Being able to verify identity quickly and reliably is a crucial first step to protect your organisation from fraud and ensure your compliance with the latest guidance, including anti-money laundering and Right to Work measures.

Why consider electronic Identity Verification?

Since most organisations don’t employ a resident identity fraud expert, choosing a digital identity check that uses the most up-to-date technology and data is the best way to confidently stay one step ahead of fraudsters.

When you’re making identity checks, you may be presented with a wide range of different documents by your employees or customers, for example passports, identity cards, biometric residence permits or driving licences, issued across the globe. It can be a challenge to differentiate between genuine and fraudulent documents, especially if the forgeries are of high-quality or you’re relying on visual ID checks, perhaps from a dispersed team without significant document training.

How your organisation chooses to carry out identity checks will vary depending on your processes, internal skills and resources and the perceived level of risk in your sector. For example, our customer evidence tells us that the construction sector has a higher risk of seeing fake identity documents: for our customers working in construction, 3 out of 100 identity documents are identified as fraudulent.

Identity verification is also especially important to regulated businesses that provide money services or deal in high-value items such as property or art. They may particularly benefit from biometric identity checks as a first step in anti-money laundering checks and counter fraud protection.

How can an identity document checking service help?

The latest Home Office guidance recognises the important role that Identification Document Verification Technology (IDVTs) can play in supporting an organisation’s identity document check process and identifying fraudulent documentation to prevent it being used to:

  • obtain employment or accommodation in the UK, as part of a Right to Work or Right to Rent checks
  • work in vulnerable sectors, e.g. where an individual requires a DBS check
  • obtain access to controlled premises or services, such as secure areas or licensed premises
  • apply for public services
  • be charged for receiving NHS treatment
  • obtain financial services
  • receive other goods and services

Automated identity check technology can take a front-line role in detecting forged identity documents across HR departments, on-boarding and compliance teams in the public and private sectors and help them to:

  • Save time: identity document validation technology speeds up identity verification with results returned within minutes.
  • Reduce risk: electronic identity verification reduces the risk of employing illegal workers or falling victim to money-laundering or fraud.
  • Build trust: an identity checking service should give you greater confidence in the identity of prospective applicants, users of services, customers or employees.

How do online identity checks from TrustID work?

TrustID provide identity verification services, designed to help organisations across different industries to protect themselves from fraud and comply with the latest regulations. Our online identity verification platform, TrustID Cloud, will assess the authenticity of global identity documents using a unique combination of machine learning and human expertise. We will also identify whether the document has been recorded as lost, stolen or compromised. Users can upload images of identity documents from anywhere using their laptop or smart device. The service is sold on a pay-per-check model, with no long-term contract and can scale according to your business need.

On top of robust document validation, you can add additional services to reduce the burden of a range of compliance, including AML and Right to Work checks, or introduce higher-level verification such as face biometrics and address verification for additional security.

If you’re considering an identity checking provider, take a look at our blog below which highlights the aspects in which TrustID’s service stands out.

6 Reasons to Choose Identity Validation Services From TrustID


Want to find out more?

If you’d like to discuss how our services could support you, please get in touch. We’d be happy to arrange an online demo.

Click here to contact us!