What to Know About Identity Verification

Man holding cellphone to do identity verification to prevent credit card fraud

Do you know who you’re hiring? With Certn identity verification, you can – instantly.

Why is identity verification important? Millions of personal data are stolen and misused every day. In fact, almost half (46%) of Canadians report having fallen victim to financial fraud at some point in their lives.

Sometimes this stolen data, commonly gleaned from online banking and retail websites according to the CPA Canada study referenced above, is used to apply for jobs and run fraudulent background checks. In remote-first and virtual hiring environments, it’s more important than ever to maintain high security and verify that your candidates are who they say they are with secure background screening, whether they’re in Canada or based abroad.

Adding biometric identity screening, like Certn OneID, to your background screening process before a background check can help you hire a remote and global workforce compliantly and with more confidence. It may also help improve your background check turnaround time.

Certn OneID is powered by Trustmatic. It uses biometric facial recognition technology via a simple online user experience to verify identity instantly. Our verification supports over 13,000+ government-issued identity documents (e.g., passports, drivers licences, photo ID cards, and more), including documents in non-Latin character alphabets. It even supports 45 languages and dialects.

In the financial services industry the ID verification process is known as the mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) process. Our biometric identity screening service is suitable for KYC — it adheres to compliance requirements for KYC and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance set out by Canada’s FINTRAC and European regulators.

Types of Identity Verification

Identity verification confirms a person’s identity. There are two main types of identity verification: knowledge-based authentication and biometric identity screening or biometric authentication.

Knowledge-Based Authentication

Knowledge-based authentication (KBA) establishes identity by asking users to provide correct answers to a series of personal questions. It’s commonly used in online and offline authentication processes to grant access to sensitive information, accounts, or services. The information requested as part of KBA verification may be static or dynamic. 

Static Personal Information

Static personal information includes things like your date of birth, your social insurance or social security number, or the name of your first pet. 

Dynamic Personal Information

Examples of dynamic personal information, things that are more likely to change over time, include your address or the last purchase on a credit card.

How Knowledge-Based Authentication Works

  1. Establishment of Security Questions: During the registration or account setup process, the user is prompted to create security questions and provide answers. These questions are designed to be personal and relevant to the user’s life, such as the name of their first pet, their mother’s maiden name, or the city where they were born.
  2. Challenge-Response Authentication: When the user attempts to access their account or perform a sensitive transaction, they are presented with one or more of the security questions they previously set up. The user must provide the correct answers to these questions to prove their identity and gain access.
  3. Verification and Access Granting: The system compares the answers provided by the user with the stored responses. If the answers match, the user is successfully authenticated, and access is granted to the requested information or service. If the answers do not match or if the user fails to provide the correct information within a certain number of attempts, access may be denied or additional verification measures may be triggered.

KBA offers a relatively simple and user-friendly way to verify identity, especially in online environments where face-to-face interactions are not possible. However, it’s important to note that KBA isn’t foolproof and may be susceptible to various security risks, such as:

  • Social Engineering: Attackers may attempt to gather personal information about the user from public sources or social media to bypass security questions.
  • Phishing: Malicious actors may create fake websites or emails designed to trick users into divulging their security question answers.
  • Data Breaches: If the security questions and answers are stored insecurely or if the system is compromised, attackers may gain unauthorized access to user accounts.

To enhance security and mitigate these risks, organizations often supplement knowledge-based authentication with additional authentication factors, such as biometric authentication, two-factor authentication (2FA), or multi-factor authentication (MFA). These additional layers of security help strengthen the overall authentication process and reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access.

Biometric Identity Screening

Biometric identity screening, or biometric authentication, replaces legacy KBA, one-time passwords, and email authentication. Biometric authentication verifies the identity of an individual by matching unique biometric features such as retina scans, fingerprinting, and facial recognition. The biometric facial recognition technology in OneID, powered by Trustmatic, verifies the person’s identity instantly by matching their government-issued ID with a real-time selfie.

Certn’s solution also relies on practices such as liveness detection for anti-spoofing and we have a team dedicated to ensuring the technology’s accuracy, so you can have even more confidence that a person is who they claim to be. In other words, our OneID is a fast and convenient way to verify candidates are who they say they are from the start, before fraud or data entry errors cause delays to your background check turnaround times.

Biometric identity screening offers several advantages over traditional forms of identification, including:

  • Accuracy: Biometric identifiers are highly accurate and difficult to replicate or forge, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or identity fraud.
  • Convenience: Biometric screening eliminates the need for individuals to remember passwords or carry physical ID cards, making the identification process more convenient and efficient.
  • Security: Biometric identifiers are unique to each individual and cannot be easily stolen, lost, or duplicated, enhancing overall security and fraud prevention measures.

Overall, biometric identity screening plays a crucial role in various sectors, including border control, law enforcement, banking, healthcare, and access control systems, where ensuring accurate and secure identification is paramount.

How Is Identity Verified Online?

Again, biometric identity screening is a process that uses unique physical or behavioural characteristics to verify an individual’s identity. Instead of relying on traditional forms of identification such as passwords or ID cards, biometric screening utilizes biological traits that are specific to each person.

The biometric facial recognition technology in Certn OneID verifies the person’s identity instantly by comparing their government-issued ID with a real-time selfie to ensure it matches. The individual’s name is also compared against the name on their ID. Talk about convenient ID verification!

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Benefits of Biometric Identity Screening

Identity verification is the first step in making sure that the candidate you’re running background screening on is who they say they are. Biometric identity screening as part of your background check and hiring process has three main benefits:

  1. Helps prevent fraud
  2. Saves time
  3. Facilitates a better candidate experience

Fraud Prevention

Identity verification sets the foundation for any background check by verifying exactly who candidates are from the start, preventing bad actors from causing damage. Since our lives are increasingly online, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant about biometric identity screening as part of your background screening. 

A quarter of job applications contain inaccurate information. This misrepresentation could lead to a negligent hiring lawsuit. Certn’s instant identity verification is the first step in the Certn background check process, and its biometric authentication can give you added peace of mind.

In addition to mitigating identity fraud, identity verification can help speed up the background check process. 

Saves Time

Not all time consuming mistakes are malicious. For example, done the old way, identity verification through manual data entry might lead to transcription errors (or transposing first and middle names) that could cause delays in the background screening process and require your candidate to show up in person to verify their identity.

A biometric identity screening process supported by a mobile-friendly, intuitive user experience also helps prevent errors in background check applications by automating the verification process with data extraction, data pre-fill, and automated document matching.

OneID removes the back and forth that comes with requesting documents or extra vetting for identity verification the manual way. After all, who has a scanner or printer these days?! 

Better Candidate Experience

The manual way, identity verification is done by scanning and emailing identity documents, or worse: having candidates wait in line at the post office or police station. Biometric identity screening, like Certn’s OneID, is easier for the user and more secure than legacy solutions. 

Your candidates deserve a fast, easy, mobile-friendly experience. To invite your candidate to complete a OneID verification, all you need is their email address. 

Here’s how the ID verification process works:

From our web platform, you can add this verification to an Order or a Package. Or, you can order using Certn’s background check API

  1. We ask your candidate to take a photo of their ID document (normally a driver’s licence or passport) with a webcam or smartphone
  2. We ask them to take a selfie with the same device
  3. That’s it

By using OneID, you can have more confidence in who you’re hiring and are more likely to avoid costly mistakes.

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Reasons to Use OneID with Background Checks

OneID is a great tool to use with background checks to ensure you’re populating the forms with the right information and that you’re asking the right person to complete the background check.

OneID’s data extraction and data pre-fill functionality helps streamline hiring workflows. In addition to improving the accuracy of background screening by minimizing the likelihood of applicant error and streamlining workflows, OneID is ideal to use on candidates who don’t have an existing credit history.

Where is OneID Offered?

Certn’s OneID is available in North America and other countries around the world with the exception of the United Kingdom and Australia for candidates anywhere in the world.

How Does Identity Verification Work?

For the candidate or person you’re running the background screening on, it’s as easy as 1, 2, selfie.

Here’s what happens when you add OneID to your background screening:

  1. We ask your candidate to take a photo of their ID document (normally a driver’s licence or passport) with a webcam or smartphone
  2. We ask them to take a selfie with the same device
  3. That’s it

Email Invitation – A secure, encrypted link is emailed to your candidate. If Certn is integrated with your hiring platform, all this is initiated with one click from your “Packages” section in your dashboard.

Candidate Consent – The candidate clicks a button to consent to the background screening and uploads a selfie and a photo of their government-issued photo ID. Data pre-fill extracts this information which becomes the foundation for other screening like a background check.

Results – That’s it! The results are sent back to you as part of your background check report and the extracted information is used to make the background check process easier and more accurate.

Again, all the applicant has to do is upload a photo of a piece of government-issued ID and snap a selfie with a smartphone or other internet-enabled device. Certn’s technology takes care of the rest. OneID takes a few clicks and helps you stay one step ahead of tackling identity fraud.

Get Biometric Identity Screening Today

Certn’s OneID supports 11,000+ government-issued identity documents (e.g., passports, drivers licences, photo ID cards, and more) from over 190 countries and territories, including documents in non-Latin character alphabets.

With Certn’s OneID you can verify the identity of an individual by matching their face to their government-issued ID instantly and have the confidence you’re running a background check on the right person.

Book a demo to talk to one of our background screening experts about how you can integrate OneID into your background screening process.

Book a demo today!