As more businesses shift to digital channels, the need for enhanced security measures to protect customer accounts becomes increasingly important. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a common method of verifying user identity, but it is not foolproof - often verifying what you know (knowledge-based authentication) or what you have (device authentication). Identity verification (DV), on the other hand, is a method for verifying people, but traditional IDV vendors also have limitations. Thankfully, advancements in mobile technology from Apple and Android have paved the way for a new IDV standard that functions as a combination of IDV and MFA. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of modern IDV technology.
MFA is a security protocol that requires users to provide two or more forms of identification to access an account. For instance, a user may be required to enter a password and then provide a one-time code or answer a set of security questions. While this provides an additional layer of security, it has its limitations. For example, text message codes are vulnerable to phishing and SIM swaps, and authenticator apps can be challenging to set up and may result in frequent lockouts.
Modern IDV technology verifies both the person and the device. This means that even if an attacker gains access to a user's device, they would still need to provide additional identification to access or takeover the account, which makes it much more difficult for attackers to bypass security measures.
Another benefit of modern IDV is that it is less friction than traditional MFA methods. With MFA, users may need to go through multiple steps every time they access an account, like loading an authenticator app and manually entering one-time codes. These MFA methods can be time-consuming and frustrating for the user. IDV typically requires a user scan their government-issued ID and take a selfie photo during provisioning, but do not require users to rescan their ID for express re-verification and less friction thereafter.
Today’s smartphones enable users to simply click a link or scan a QR code and instantly launch an identity verification request without having to download and install a third-party app. This approach provides added security benefits above MFA and enables IDV with high-fidelity outcomes. It also allows for express re-verification and reusability, making it easier and more convenient for users to access their accounts securely.
While MFA may suffice for enhanced online access, IDV is essential for authorizing high-risk or high-value transactions where security is critical. This has accelerated the adoption of IDV technology in highly regulated industries like banking, finance, healthcare, and business services. The new standard for IDV expands on the evolution of user authentication and account protection. By implementing IDV, businesses can provide a more secure and convenient way for customers to verify their identity, which builds trust and reduces the risk of fraud and security breaches. As digital transformation and technology continue to shape consumer expectations, businesses must continue to improve their methods of account verification to provide the best possible experience for their customers.