Published on May 20, 2020
By Namith Najeeb, AVP Sales & Operations
In strictly conventional terms, identity verification is the process of establishing a strong/undeniable link between a real person and real-world identity (passport, driver’s license, national ID cards, etc.). This trust is used by organizations for providing services to their consumers.
As services and users moved online, this real-world identity verification took the shape of Know Your Customer (KYC) processes to onboard/register users into organizations’ services. However, these processes only served the purpose of a one-time verification of the real world identity against the digital identity.
It has been left to primitive authentication mechanisms like OTPs to “hold the door” when it comes to security. We have had enough news on data breaches due to weak authentication processes and identity theft.
Old-school approaches do not hold good in the digital-first economy where users register and access services from the convenience of their smartphones. It is no longer a fair expectation that the current generation of users can wait for 5 days to get a new account opened or a credit card approved.
Cybersecurity leaders are adapting by building Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) programs which have Identity Proofing as an important first step.
Identity proofing is revolutionizing businesses in the following ways:What Identity Proofing can do for businesses
Identity proofing technologies enabled digital transformation leaders to take the plunge by providing innovative ways of validating the 3 key parameters of digital interaction: the real-world person, the real-world identity, and the digital identity.
In a world of digital identities, businesses succeed if they manage to handle the following important aspects:
Form-based logins, 2-factor authentication, and multi-factor authentication have been used extensively by organizations to ensure higher levels of security and trust in user interactions with their services. More often than not, this is done at the cost of user experience and forced upon the user.
For time immemorial, passwords have been our saviors against security risks. While it may have served its purpose, today these passwords are the weakest link in the chain and have been prone to large-scale (& infamous) data breaches. These are two of the most relevant scenarios:
Consider any retail organization that sells services/products to consumers, but can only do so after an identity verification process, like banks for financial products or telecom companies for SIM cards.
In summary, identity proofing is quickly moving from a digital business enabler, driving seamless customer experience, to an operational mandate/ solving the challenges accentuated by restrictions on physical interactions in a post-COVID19 world, while still enforcing security.
It is left to the imagination of businesses in terms of how this ‘new reality’ is shifting/will shift the way users interact with their businesses. In any case, the ability to prove or corroborate the identity of a remote user will cease to be a point of differentiation and become a point of parity for most digital businesses including those in Banking, Aviation, Telecom, Retail, and many more.
Namith Najeeb is AVP at Evanssion for Sales & Operations