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Nefe Emadamerho-Atori


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From Manual to Automated: The Evolution of Identity Verification

In today's highly digitalized world, establishing trust between businesses and customers is crucial. One of the key factors in achieving this trust is through identity verification. The identity verification process has come a long way, transitioning from manual to automated methods. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the evolution of identity verification and how it has transformed over time to better suit the needs of businesses and customers alike. We'll also explore the benefits of automation and understand why businesses are switching from manual identity verification processes.

A Brief History of Identity Verification

Here's a chronological overview of key milestones in the history of digital identity verification.

  • Back in the 1970s and 1980s, digital signatures and public-key cryptography emerged as methods for ensuring the authenticity of electronic documents. These digital signatures were the technological equivalent of wax seal stamps and were used to verify the authenticity of electronic documents and messages. However, these signatures were still dependent on physical identification documents and lacked the ability to verify someone’s identity in real time.
  • As the internet gained traction in the 1990s, the common practice of using usernames and passwords became the norm for online identity verification. However, hackers consistently exploited them because they had vulnerabilities and were susceptible to breaches and phishing attacks.
  • Moving into the 2000s, stronger authentication methods became necessary as online services grew. Two-factor authentication (2FA) came into play and offered an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two different forms of verification with something they knew (e.g., a password) and something they had physically (e.g., a token. During the same period, CAPTCHA tests were introduced to differentiate between human users and automated bots, enhancing online security.
  • In the 2010s, biometric verification gained popularity, utilizing fingerprints, facial recognition, liveness detection, and iris scans to verify user identities. Mobile devices also incorporated biometric sensors for convenient and secure access. Document-based verification, OCR technology, and verification codes sent via SMS or authentication apps also emerged during this period.
  • Blockchain technology also emerged as a potential solution for decentralized and user-controlled identity verification, aiming to give individuals more autonomy over their personal data.
  • As we entered the 2020s, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning began to play a significant role in analyzing user behavior and patterns to identify potential fraudulent activities. Additionally, the concept of passwordless authentication gained attention, advocating for the use of biometrics, physical tokens, or other methods to replace traditional password-based verification.
  • The late 2010s and early 2020s have seen the introduction of stronger and more sophisticated identity verification solutions with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence. These technologies enabled more sophisticated identity verification processes as they can analyze patterns and behaviors to detect fraudulent activities before they occur. This helps businesses stay one step ahead of fraud. More businesses and customers are also shifting to passwordless authentication as the limitations of passwords have become more obvious. 

There is no full stop or conclusion to the history of identity verification, as it is still being written as technology advances.

The Drawbacks of Manual Identity Verification

In the past, identity verification relied heavily on manual processes, which included physically presenting identification documents, such as a driver's license or passport, to verify one's identity. These methods were time-consuming, error-prone, and created significant opportunities for fraud. Here are some of the disadvantages of manual verification processes.

  • Inefficient: Manual identity verification was labor-intensive and slow, leading to long wait times and increased operational costs.
  • Prone to errors: Human intervention increased the probability of errors, causing potential data breaches and fraud.
  • Insecure: Physically handling sensitive documents presents numerous risks, such as loss, theft, or forgery.

Why Automate Identity Verification?

Automated identity verification leverages technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning algorithms, to digitally verify a person's identity. It makes the process faster, more accurate, and more secure compared to manual methods. The advantages of automating identity verification include:

  • Greater efficiency: Automated identity verification solutions can complete verification within minutes, reducing wait times and operational costs.
  • Improved accuracy: AI-driven solutions minimize the risk of manual errors by swiftly and accurately analyzing documents.
  • Better Security: By reducing the physical handling of sensitive documents and storing data securely, automated identity verification minimizes the risk of data breaches and fraud.

Choosing the Right Identity Verification Solution for Your Business

To select the ideal identity verification solution for your business, consider the following factors:

  • Accuracy: Look for a solution that provides high accuracy in matching documents and detecting anomalies.
  • Ease of integration: Ensure the solution can be easily integrated into your existing systems and processes.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, the identity verification solution should be able to scale accordingly.

Dojah’s Automated Identity Verification Solutions. Verify Customers With Ease 

Leverage Dojah's onboarding and verification solutions to make the right first impressions with customers and sustain long-term relationships. Stay secure while providing the best onboarding experience with Dojah no-code tools, widgets, and KYC APIs.

Start verifying your users with ease todayContact us if you have any questions or schedule a demo sessionExplore our website and documentation to learn more about our product offerings.

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