KYC AML Guide: the Clock shows the average reeding time of the blog13 min Read


KYC AML Guide: the Clock shows the average reeding time of the blogNovember 6, 2023

Everything you need to know about Face Identity Verification

Face identity verification has become a strong tool for increasing safety and convenience in various businesses. This technology, which uses the unique traits of a person's facial comparison to verify identity, is commonly employed in a variety of scenarios. In this article, we will look at the applications of face identity verification as well as examples and scenarios where it might be useful.

Belal Mahmoud

KYC Product Consultant

What is Identify Proofing?

Identity proofing or ID proofing is a process that is used to verify identity. While broad identity verification might include several degrees of verification, identity verification refers to the most rigorous investigation to confirm identification. To verify identity, ask the user for personally identifiable information (PII) or ask knowledge-based questions. However, because this information might be supplied by a third party, it is not the most secure level of identity protection.

This is traditionally done with a document verification such as a passport or driver’s license. However, the requirement for a safe and effective solution has led to new techniques such as face verification in the digital age.

What is Face Identity Verification?

Face verification is a technique that uses machine learning to verify customers’ facial features. it can help businesses reduce fraud. It is critical for showing human qualities in a variety of settings, such as movies, photography, and personal connections. Biometric security measures are required to confirm the validity of the user’s data. This technology will be used by law enforcement, security workers, and other organizations to solve today’s problems.

Face comparison is critical for identity theft prevention and AML compliance. It is reasonable to include facial ID verification as a crucial component of identity verification systems for Know Your Customer (KYC) purposes. Face Identity verification is a critical component of a Customer Identification Program (CIP) in several businesses, particularly banking and finance. This technique provides a secure onboarding process for real clients while protecting organizations’ security.

Face Verification vs Face Recognition

Both involve biometric KYC verification and are used to validate individuals, yet they differ greatly.

Scenario 1

You’re going to a big music festival. Face recognition technology and surveillance cameras have been installed across the festival grounds by the event organizers. Their mission is to identify people on a list of known troublemakers and potential security threats. When the cameras capture a person’s face, the system compares it to the database in real-time for identity check if is this the same person’s face. If there is a match, the security team is notified and can respond appropriately. Face recognition is critical in this scenario for improving safety and security at public events.

Scenario 2: 

You’re at the airport, getting ready to board a global flight. You approach a self-service kiosk as part of the check-in process. The kiosk asks you to pose in front of a camera, and face recognition compare two photos online. When the match is confirmed, the gate will open, allowing you to enter the secure boarding area. By validating your identity before boarding your flight, face verification promotes a smooth and secure passenger experience.

The differences between face recognition and face verification are as follows

Face Verification vs. Face recognition.

The Process of Face Verification

Here are the basic steps of the face verification online process:

  1. A photo of a government-issued ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, must be uploaded by the user.
  2. Identity verification allows the user to take a selfie, face recognition compare two photos online on the ID to ensure that the ID belongs to the person submitting it. This step deters fraudsters because they usually do not want to utilize their images and share them with the organizations they are attempting to defraud.
  3. Liveness detection is an element of the selfie process that ensures the user is there for interaction. This is to combat the growing number of criminals who employ phishing attempts to get an authorized person’s credentials or authorization by impersonating that person in a photo or video.
  4. During the live detection and selfie-taking process, a biometric template is established. This template, like a facial signature, is unique to the individual and is kept by the client for future identity checks.
  5. When users pass the screening, they are given login details for example registering to a live mobile banking application.
  6. When entering into their account or making a high-risk transaction, the consumer is required to take another selfie. After comparing a fresh biometric template to the template established during the original registration to see if is this the same person face, a match or non-match decision can be determined in seconds.
  7. To improve the reliability and accuracy of face identity verification, the new biometric template matches all extra face cards except the original face card.

Uses of Face Identity Verification

Global ID Verification

Airports, borders and ports of entry, states, and regions all use facial verification systems. A security system with facial recognition and identification software is employed as people pass through these regions and into public spaces, ready to verify the identity of those who try to avoid the system.  For example, SITA’s Smart Path biometric system at Frankfurt Airport allows travelers to use their faces as boarding tickets, removing the need for documentation and saving time.

Real-Time Identity Verification

Law enforcement agencies were among the first to use face identity verification, and they are advocating for its widespread use in the name of digital identity security. This is why they frequently want access to a private company’s facial recognition technology to improve match success. One instance is UK police are being encouraged to increase their use of retrospective facial recognition to track down known offenders.

However, some are not in its favor as reported by Biometrics, Willie Burton, Detroit’s police commissioner, believes the city should prohibit police officers from using facial recognition software since Israel uses it to control Palestinian Authority inhabitants.

Age Verification

Face ID verification might be useful in online gaming and gambling systems. Facial verification systems can protect children, and criminal actors can be prevented from accessing these sites. Minors are kept away from age-restricted websites, and the influence of fraudsters who prey on youngsters is reduced. The United Kingdom has finally launched its contentious Online Safety Bill, which would oblige businesses to keep children away from particular content by applying age limits and age-checking techniques such as biometric technology.

KYC Verification and AML Compliance

Along with global security, the best approach to verify your face is through automatic KYC verification. Face verification can be part of your permanent digital identity security system as part of your employee or customer onboarding strategy. Face verification systems and global ID cards provide additional opportunities for asset protection and transaction monitoring in the banking sector and other high-risk enterprises where assets must be secured.

Mobile Face Verification

Do you want to know who is or is not connected to you? There’s an app for that. It is one of several facial recognition apps that, depending on the algorithm, perform different duties. Popular facial recognition programs, such as AppLock, which allows users to unlock their smart devices, and FaceAPP, which allows people to change their identity, can be used to secure mobile data.

Benefits of Face Identity Verification

The benefits of face identity verification in ID proofing are as follows

Better Identity Assurance:

Using government-issued IDs for identity verification, comparable to selfies, gives companies greater confidence in confirming an individual’s true identity check.

Easy for Users:

Biometric-based authentication, popularized by technologies like Apple’s Face ID, provides a user-friendly experience. Easier, faster, more compatible, and reduces friction in the verification of identity process.

More Robust Fraud Detection:

Effective solutions not only do identity checks but also detect threats such as malware, bots, and criminals. Companies need to assess risk and make appropriate application management decisions to minimize fraud losses. It is important to identify threats such as identity theft, synthetic fraud, and account takeovers.

Instant screening:

Face-to-face processing eliminates the need for time-consuming manual searches for participants. This technology provides businesses with the luxury of verifying their identity for access to online accounts, secure purchases, access to restricted areas, etc. It simplifies the authentication process and minimizes the hassle of remembering multiple PINs and passwords

Speedy Authentication:

Users expect authentication methods to be fast, simple, and reliable. The digital face identity verification, with its high-assurance identity, quickly matches new selfies with previously taken photos, meeting users’ demand for instant verification and reliability of the solution

Cross-platform Portability:

Biometric verification is now cross-platform, with biometric templates built into each camera. Users can register with a computer web browser and subsequently verify from a smartphone, making facials more versatile.

Challenges of Face Identity Verification

While face identity verification is a great tool, there are a few issues to consider:

  • Storing and processing face data poses privacy problems, hence strong data protection methods must be implemented.
  • Factors such as lighting, gender, age, and ethnicity can all affect the accuracy of face recognition algorithms. To ensure justice, it is critical to address biases in technology.
  • To prevent spoofing, liveness detection algorithms that can distinguish between a live person and a static image must be implemented.

KYC AML guide can assist in overcoming face verification issues. Through KYC technology buying services, they can help organizations navigate the complexity of face verification systems, ensuring that they select the best technology followed by KYC vendor analysis that meets their specific demands and regulatory constraints.

Why Choose Face Verification Over Face Recognition?

Clients and businesses both benefit from facial verification. It provides strong security with user consent, providing smooth access to accounts by simply snapping a new selfie rather than going through the complete identity verification process. Businesses can utilize this technology to verify that only authorized individuals have access to their accounts, and the same biometric data can be reused for continuing authentication and identity proofing. However, difficulties include data processing and storage, flaws in facial verification under different settings, and privacy concerns. It is recommended to combine face identity verification with multi-factor approaches such as facial authentication for increased user access without relying on it for identity proofing.


KYC AML Guide: the Facebook share KYC AML Guide: the Linkedin share KYC AML Guide: the Twitter share
Belal Mahmoud
KYC AML Guide: the Linkedin share

Belal possess over 8 years experience in the KYC Identity Verification industry. He has consulted KYC solutions for over 20 new economy companies at DIFC and ADGM while ensuring a seamless technical integration and helped in jurisdictional compliance audits.