Identity Document Verification: Debunking the Top 5 Myths

Identity Document Verification: Debunking the Top 5 Myths

By Michael Ramsbacker, Chief Product Officer, Trulioo


Fraud is a constant risk across the digital landscape, with bad actors regularly developing sophisticated strategies to access personally identifiable information (PII).

Once they have that information, fraudsters won’t hesitate to engage in account takeover, fake identity, and money laundering schemes. For instance, a recent study from Javelin found that 15.4 million U.S. adults lost $20 billion to traditional identity fraud in 2022.

Fraudsters will never stop searching for vulnerabilities, but businesses can fortify their defenses with robust identity document verification. The process adds certainty to onboarding by verifying a person’s identity based on government-issued documents.

Companies can enhance the security of identity document verification by pairing it with a customer selfie and state-of-the-art biometric matching to confirm the person submitting the information matches the image on the document. The key for companies is to leverage that process while still meeting customer expectations for speed and convenience.

As companies search for the best ways to enhance onboarding security, they can encounter misconceptions about identity document verification. However, businesses can better understand the identity document verification landscape if they know the reality behind five persistent myths.

Myth 1: 100% True Accept and Reject Rates Are Possible

Machine learning has transformed how businesses tackle fraud by identifying suspicious activity faster and more accurately than manual methods. By using document verification machine learning models, identity verification partners can help companies train their systems to better differentiate between real and fake identities.

Those models measure documents’  acceptance and rejection potential. High true accept rates (TAR) and true reject rates (TRR) are crucial in onboarding legitimate users and keeping fraudsters away. However, a 100% TAR or TRR isn’t possible.

There’s always a tradeoff between TAR and TRR; factors such as document type and image quality can influence verification outcomes. As a result, false positives and negatives are unavoidable. But the right verification partner can help companies continually optimize the process to achieve the highest rates possible.

Myth 2: Document Verification Causes Too Much Friction and Increases Customer Abandonment

There’s a common misconception that document verification is cumbersome, manual, and causes too much friction. But there’s an alternative. Automated, fast, and accurate document verification can help companies quickly differentiate between credible customers and potential fraudsters.

Modern document verification capabilities provide guided image auto-capture with intuitive instructions in local languages to accelerate onboarding. In addition, machine learning and artificial intelligence can reduce verification times to seconds, creating a streamlined, low-friction experience.

Automated document verification can help businesses optimize the costs of onboarding the right customers.

Myth 3: Document Verification Requires Stitching Together Multiple Point Solutions

Organizations often try to mix and match different identity document verification solutions to meet growing business needs, new markets, and evolving regulations. But that cobbled-together approach can be costly and time-consuming, causing unnecessary friction for customers while leaving the business vulnerable to fraudsters.

A global identity platform can enable businesses to sidestep the challenges of patchwork legacy solutions. Instead, companies can pair document verification with a range of other capabilities in a single workflow to gain verification flexibility anywhere in the world.

Myth 4: Document Verification Requires Substantial Technology and Human Resources

It used to take developers weeks to months to get document verification up and running. They had to create code, build integrations and get the image-capture technology right.

An automated identity verification platform with an intuitive, no-code workflow builder can make that development time disappear and accelerate onboarding. Add to that direct API integration, and organizations can quickly and efficiently combine platform capabilities with their existing technology stack.

Myth 5: Document Verification Is Costly

It’s up to organizations to determine how much their risk threshold is worth.

It’s important to note if the price includes all the identity checks. Some vendors may charge

separately for the document capture, the biometrics, running the verification, and manual reviews.

Identity document verification, though, can have one price for all features and services. By choosing a solution with no surprises or hidden fees, organizations can grow confidently knowing the cost of entering new markets.                

Document Verification Can Fortify Your Fraud Defenses

Fraudsters are always at the door, looking for a way in. However, identity document verification can keep the door locked.

The first step is understanding the reality of document verification today and its true potential. With that knowledge, businesses can leverage automated technology to meet customer onboarding expectations while achieving compliance worldwide and defending against fraud.