Growth & Marketing

December 14, 2022

March 7, 2023

Identity Proofing

Table of contents

Everyday we encounter situations where we are required to verify our identity to prove that we are who we claim to be. It can be when we go to the doctor, when we travel by plane, when we open an account and many other situations. In this article, we will understand how this process works and the importance of implementing identity proofing to avoid data breach. 

What does it mean

Identity proofing is the method to verify and authenticate the identity of a person, being applied to physical or digital environments. It uses characteristics of the person who wants to verify his identity, based on the verification of his identity document and facial biometrics, to confirm that this person is who he claims to be.

What does identity proofing look like in practice?

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), there are three key components for matching a person’s claimed identity to their actual identity. While these terms are often used interchangeably, NIST sets them out as three distinct parts of the complete identity proofing process:

  • Identity resolution: It is the process of matching identifiers across devices and touchpoints to a single profile. 
  • Identity validation: collecting the appropriate evidence from the person and checking if it is authentic, valid, and accurate.
  • Identity verification: confirming the individual is truly who they claim they are.

Let’s understand these definitions with a practical example. A person at the Airport is required to travel with the ID, passport and other documents to be able to be identified (identity resolution). Then, at the checkpoint, the passenger will provide the documents, and the staff will validate that they are not fake (identity validation). Finally, they will check in the system if that person is who he claims to be (identify verification). 

Importance of identity proofing

It takes over six months for an average data breach to be detected. That gives the perpetrator six months to exploit your information deeply. Information like your bank account details and security questions, fall in the hands of scammers that can use your information for fraudulent transactions. This is why prioritizing identity proofing is crucial for any company if they want to protect their data.

Some important points about the importance of identity proofing:

1. Improved client experience

As most of the companies use less paperwork and more computing services, it is utterly important to improve the client experience through the registration process. Reducing friction while having a strong security application will positively impact their experience with your company.

2. Detect fraud in your forms 

This is especially important for companies in the financial industry since it can prevent malicious schemes such as money laundering.

4. Improves reputation

A good reputation is something we all want to achieve. One of the best ways to earn their trust is to ensure that the data they’ve provided to you will be kept confidential. This is why building a strong identity verification process will improve the reliability of you caring about their wellbeing. 

5. Transaction monitoring

Customer identity verification adds more than security; it also helps report suspicious transactions. In addition to verifying one’s data, it also enables firms to capture more details such as IP addresses and geolocation. This information can help related entities develop a deeper understanding of an individual’s behavior to determine a transaction’s validity.

When should we implement identity proofing

Although the verification of the identity can be done manually requesting the user to provide their documentation, it is very time-consuming and not easy to scale. If we have thousands of users that need to be registered, the process needs to be fast, conformable and secure. With identity proofing, your security will be reinforced. 

Although we do not need to implement it in every scenario (for example your employees accessing the internal system), in most cases it is utterly important (like a large user base). Identity proofing also helps companies onboard new employees remotely, as well as those that have third-party employees or contractors accessing company networks or data.

Identity proofing experts


Onfido uses a photo ID and facial biometrics to verify identity digitally, so users can prove their identity anytime, anywhere. As a digital identity proofing leader, Onfido employs a hybrid approach based on machine learning and human experts to eliminate fraud.


Firebase provides backend services, easy-to-use SDKs, and ready-made UI libraries to authenticate users to your app. It supports authentication using passwords, phone numbers, popular federated identity providers like Google, Facebook and Twitter, and more.


Auth0 takes a modern approach to customer identity and enables organizations to provide secure access to any application, for any user. Auth0 is a highly customizable platform that is as simple as development teams want, and as flexible as they need. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 delivers convenience, privacy, and security so customers can focus on innovation.


In summary, data breaches have scared consumers. To alleviate these fears and avoid costly fines and money laundering concerns, it’s important for businesses to implement a smooth identity verification process that is customer-friendly and adheres to organizational guidelines. 

Going through the three identity proofing processes (identity resolution, validation and verification) is very important to avoid scammers accessing critical data. And using an identity proofing expert will definitely make your life easier. 

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