It always seems like rules and regulations tend to get stricter and stricter as the years go by. No one is more aware of this than businesses that have to operate by certain guidelines or face the wrath of regulators and lawmakers.
Now more than ever, businesses have to build up their verification checks to counteract any foul play. But this is never simple, easy, or cheap. And in the fast paced world of the digital age, this ends up holding them back significantly.
We’ll be examining a few key cases of ID verification problems that currently plague the average business as well as methods to mitigate it.
Why ID Verification is Such a Big Deal?
As a consumer, you might not be privy to the behind the scenes work that goes behind managing a major business. That’s why it can sometimes be easy to assume just how important ID verification can be.
Different businesses have to rely on ID verification for different purposes. a typical bar of club will need to verify the IDs of its customers to make sure they are of the proper age to buy alcohol.
On the other hand, some businesses might need to run credit checks to find out the financial record of the person.
But those are just some examples of why ID verification has been needed in the past. These days, there are more pressing problems that require the need to fake IDs.
In this age of online and cloud linked services, the threat of facing an increasing number of cyber-attacks and securities fraud is at an all-time high.
That’s why it’s becoming important more than ever for businesses to have to verify just who they are dealing with. But there’s more than one hurdle in the way of making that happen.
1. The Problem with Trust
One of the biggest issues in the modern age of doing business is dealing with a lack of trust. Not too long ago, a business could easily keep its trust in the average customer without coming under any kind of fire.
These days, however, things have changed by leaps and bounds. Companies and businesses by and large are restricted to serving under the practice of Customer Due Diligence (CDD).
This is a practice that involves having to know your customer a little more than what you would in the past. It means businesses have to deal with their customer aside from a strictly transactional basis.
Dealing with customers now means that businesses have to abide by Know Your Customer (KYC) laws.
These laws don’t just mean that business will have to abide by them on paper to please regulation bodies but they’re also essential in trying to establish a decent level of fraud protection.
Since trust can’t exist as a concept for a major business, it has to spend time and effort in establishing its customer base.
This can only be possible through large scale ID verification that can lift the suspicions of the company itself.
2. Issues Holding ID Verification Back Today
While there are a myriad of causes and issues that could be traced back to ID verification, a few of them seem to stand out more than the rest.
These issues are prevalent in holding businesses back from carrying out their business at a normal pace.
Although not every issue will be universal, they’re known for primarily disrupting the flow of business in today’s digital age. Here are some of the main issues below:
3. Slow and Inconvenient Verification Process
If all the business had to do was look at the details on the ID for verification, there would no problems. But that doesn’t factor in having to verify the legitimacy of the ID itself.
This means that a business not only has to take a cursory glance at the ID, they have to be willing to inspect it thoroughly.
It ends up being a process where the material, the details, and the security features are all analyzed to make sure the ID isn’t forged in any way.
That’s not even counting the time and effort that has to be invested into asking question from the ID holder to find out if there are any other issues.
All this amounts to significant time being spent on having to verify each customer individually. It’s far from a perfect process and it leads to operational delays.
Businesses will be less likely to hold up their end to take the time out for verification checks.
The business is stuck with a tough decision. This means they either have to take the time out to verify while potentially losing out on profitability or rush things along and risk violating anti-trust laws.
4. Inconsistency in the Verification Process
Handing in an ID physically to person will never result in two identical results. As long as the circumstances can differ, so can the outcomes.
This is why the ID verification process is so fraught with inconsistencies.
For a lot of doormen and bouncers to be able to recognize what a proper ID should look like, it takes years and years of experience on the job.
But even despite this, you can never expect a complete level of accuracy from them. Humans are prone to making mistakes, so it’s possible for them to slip up every so often.
Then there’s the issue with being universal. Imagine a chain of nightclubs across the country that performs ID checks.
In one location, you might be subjected to more scrutiny than you might in the next. It always results in a big level of inconsistency across the board when trying to verify IDs.
Maintaining a consistent level of verification throughout different locations and employees is a tall order.
It’s not something every business can afford to implement and keep track of. That’s where you start experiencing a lapse in verification efficiency and accuracy in a major business.
5. Outdated Concept
The entire idea of having to physically check IDs sounds like a thing of the past. But not does the process feel outdated, it also makes it harder to verify IDs themselves.
A physical ID will always been to vulnerabilities in its design. These days, it doesn’t take much to replicate it to near likeness without so much as a sneaking suspicion. Everything from the layout, to the material, the printing, and even down to the minute security details can be recreated with ease.
It’s impossible to keep track of a physical ID and make sure it’s authentic when it can be the subject of large scale replication.
Many producers out there have been able to nail down the replica ID production with great success. This leads to a whole flood of IDs that become increasingly impossible to tell from the real thing.
In today’s age of advanced technology and digitalization, the concept of having a physical ID card defeats the purpose of proper ID verifications.
Just as easily as someone can manufacture their identity, they can manufacture an ID card that backs up their made up identity. When a verification procedure relies on having faith in something that can be easily manipulated, then it isn’t of much use.
6. High Level of Variation
The entire point to keeping an ID is to have a standardized way of proving identity to someone. However, physical IDs are anything but standardized.
While on the surface they may seem to follow a strict set of layout guidelines, they still manage to have a wide number of varieties in them.
The first thing to keep in mind is that there’s no singular form of ID. When businesses ask for ID from a customer what they mean is having a piece of plastic with some info and a picture on it.
This can end up being a number of things like a driver’s license, a work card, a library card, PR card, health card, or even a passport.
This presents a unique problem in itself. The business has to be well aware of the different intricate design layouts and security features of each of these forms of IDs in order to perform proper verification checks.
And if that wasn’t enough, you also have to factor in the fact that each state has its own variation.
They may vary on terms of their general layout, differences in backgrounds and mirrored images, different state seals and logos, or just minor differences here and there.
Keeping track of all these ID designs is near impossible for the average person. It makes ID verification that much harder to perform with a standard degree of success.
Another key difference worth noting is how the new generation of customers changes the process of ID verification.
Businesses that rely on credit checks as a form of ID verification can end up severely suffering from big differences in the new demographics.
Millennials make up a large part of the customer base for big businesses today. And the major issue here is that they have been well documented to be thin file customers.
What this means is that they tend to stay away from traditional banking practices that were normal in the past.
You can find that these types of customers are either unbanked or under banked. They prefer to not rely on a typical financial system for themselves.
That’s why many don’t have a stated credit report on their files. This ends up creating a big gap for the businesses out there that try to have their verification done via a credit report check.
The simple idea of relying on credit bureaus can seem like a big hindrance to this generation of customers.
It doesn’t make sense for them to keep themselves in debt in order for them to prove that they can be trustworthy.
This is something that severely limits how a business can perform a verification check using the financial information of the customer.
1. Lack of Resources
Trying to verify the IDs of hundreds of customers that go through a business can be a fairly hard task to achieve. And a lot of it boils down to the simple issue of lack of proper resources.
A modern day business is highly focused on cutting its costs wherever possible and increasing profit. This can’t happen without there being a shortage of eyes and hands that can verify these IDs manually.
There’s simply not enough room for a business to be able to meet its ID verification demands without there being a hitch in the process.
Some businesses will try to remedy this by opting for ID verifying machines that can do the work for them. However, these machines rarely provide the level of intricacy needed to pull off any major verification process.
At the consumer level, this technology relies on the use of visual scanning to look at details in the ID itself. What this means is, a properly forged ID can easily beat the system by a close margin.
A business doesn’t have the access or the means to a database that can be used to verify identification records. And this combined lack of resources means that any verification that occurs will happen on a cursory basis.
It’s clear that in this day and age, that the concept of ID verification is fundamentally flawed. Unless businesses move towards more nuanced methods, they are doomed to fail.
The only logical step while moving towards the digital age is to employ automated ID verification checks.
These can serve the purpose of manual ID verification with much more accuracy and precision while still keeping costs at a minimum.
Methods such as using advanced verification APIs and mobile verification checks seem to be right way to go in the future.
In an age where people are readily giving up their information online, it only makes sense for ID verification process to live and breathe inside hard drives and not stacks of paper.
Korey Thomas Anderson was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has worked as a Bouncer & has valuable experience in spotting invalid identification cards. His work has been widely appreciated by Bar Owners & currently writes for our Blog.