In the era of online shopping and digital transactions, identity verification has become increasingly important to ensure trust and security in the world of eCommerce. One such solution is Real ID, an app that helps merchants with online stores verify their customers' identity through AI processing. This blog post will provide a comprehensive overview of identity verification in the United States and how Real ID approaches the problem.
Real ID performs liveness checks on both the ID document and the customer's selfie to prevent the submission of a photo of a photo. During the verification process, the customer's mobile device or webcam is used to run a lightweight AI that analyzes a short video of the customer in real-time. This helps ensure that the person is present and not using a manipulated image.
To increase security, Real ID allows disabling file uploads for ID verification, requiring the ID document and the person to be present in real-time. The liveness strictness can be further increased by asking the customer to perform specific actions, such as moving their face side to side or opening and closing their mouth.
Real ID specializes in verifying official government-issued documents that contain a headshot of the document holder. This allows the use of computer vision to compare the photo on the document against the person's selfie in real-time, ensuring that the customer is indeed the ID holder.
To protect against physical attempts at altering an ID, Real ID checks against known properties of a given type of ID. For example, the exact font used for Florida driver's licenses issued in 2021 can be analyzed to detect if a customer attempted to overlay the text with handwritten or printed-out text. Additionally, Real ID can detect if checksums, which hash the content of the ID into a single line of text, do not compute properly due to manipulation of fields physically or digitally.
Digital manipulation protection is also provided by Real ID. The system checks for digital fingerprints left by programs like Adobe Photoshop in the metadata of an image. Any image that shows signs of tampering will automatically fail the verification process. Disabling file uploads can further mitigate this risk.
Real ID uses address validation with a third-party database to determine if the address on the ID is a real location and not a fake address. Although commercial address lookup services can return the best guess of the current resident, they often produce false negatives due to outdated records, especially with apartment buildings. Real ID focuses on checking the existence of the address as the most effective solution with the available tools.
The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) offers a driver's license lookup service based on the driver's license number. However, AAMVA has several limitations, including not covering all US states, variable costs, and delayed results. While Real ID can integrate with AAMVA for an additional layer of verification, it will increase the cost per ID check and may not provide instant results.
Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) solutions, such as LexisNexus, rely on credit bureaus that purchase consumer data in bulk and productize it. These solutions attempt to prove identity by asking questions about car loans, employment history, or educational history. However, they are not PACT compliant and are easily defeated with online searches or social media queries. Moreover, the 2017 Experian breach exposed much of this data, raising concerns about its security.
Real ID offers a comprehensive identity verification solution specifically designed for eCommerce applications, where instant results and minimal friction are crucial. By employing AI-based liveness checks, face matching, physical and digital manipulation protection, and address validation, Real ID ensures a secure and trustworthy environment for online transactions. While other services like AAMVA and KBA have their limitations and concerns, Real ID focuses on providing a reliable and efficient verification process that safeguards both merchants and customers in the ever-growing world of online shopping. By choosing Real ID, merchants can confidently protect their businesses and customers from fraud, reinforcing the trust and security that are vital to the success of eCommerce.
You can install Real ID for free on any Shopify or Woocommerce store today. We'll be introducing great support for more platforms in the near future. Please contact us if you have any specific questions about your store's requirements.