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 3, 2023

Evolution of Identity Verification in the Digital Age

You're ready to buy a last-minute flight to an exciting location. You instantly grab your smartphone and begin the booking process. However, the airline application requests ID verification, which is a vital security measure, but you forgot to bring your physical ID with you. This scenario would have been a barrier in the past, but not in today's digital world.

Belal Mahmoud

KYC Product Consultant

Today, security is a big concern for both individuals and corporations. Identity verification is an essential component of the Know Your Customer (KYC) process. The way we verify our identification has changed dramatically in this age of fast-evolving technology. Traditional KYC methods are no longer used in the digital world, and a variety of creative methods have been established to confirm that you are who you say you are. The Identity Verification in the Digital Age is the focal point today. We will take a fascinating journey through the evolution of identity verification from difficult paper documents to seamless digital solutions that allow us to access services with the tap of a finger.

Identity verification has a long history, dating to ancient Mesopotamia and clay seals. It developed through written signatures, the introduction of passports, and, in 1859, the use of fingerprints. With the advent of photography, visual identification became possible, and the first modern passport with a photo ID was issued in 1915. The modern-style passport, as we know it now, first appeared in 1921. Notably, the creation of the first computer password in 1960 revolutionized verification, with security questions being used to confirm users’ identities in the 1990s.

In the 20th century, standardized government-issued documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and passports became global norms for identification verification. Furthermore, to improve government services and assist social welfare programs, the United States implemented centralized identity systems such as Social Security Numbers (SSNs) and National Identification Cards (NICs).

Digital ID

Digital identity was first established in the 1960s by computer scientist Fernando Corbat while working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to assist in keeping individual data private and safe because all researchers shared access to the same mainframe.

The advent of the digital age in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries transformed transactions. Passwords, PIN codes, and digital signatures began to supplement traditional KYC methods of ID verification as more activities moved online. With the advent of the internet in 1983, people began creating digital footprints in the form of email accounts, social media profiles, and online transactions. Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems, authentication methods, and privacy-enhancing technologies were developed as a result of the need to manage digital identities.

Fingerprint identification was originally used by police agencies in Europe and the United States in the 1900s, and by the 1930s, it had become a regular method of identification. Smartphone firms later incorporated digital fingerprints and facial recognition (Face ID) technology, with Apple offering ‘Touch ID’ in 2013 and ‘Face ID’ in 2017, allowing customers to protect and access their devices using physical features.

The rise of the internet and online transactions highlighted the necessity for remote identity verification. Companies require a mechanism to verify their clients’ identities without requiring face-to-face contact. This sparked the idea of remote identification verification.

The Current State of ID Verification

The KYC process is continually being improved to simplify and accelerate the verification process. As our digital footprint grows, services analyze internet behavior, transaction trends, and even social media activity to identify individuals. This type of authentication is prevalent in businesses concerned about cyber fraud.

Also Read: Comparing Identity Verification vs Authentication

Document Verification

Even in Identity Verification in the Digital Age, traditional documents such as passports, driver’s licenses, and utility bills have value. They serve as fundamental proof of identity and are frequently necessary for the first verification processes. However online document verification entails scanning actual documents and using advanced algorithms to validate their authenticity. Document verification detects fraudulent attempts, such as changed or counterfeit documents, and adds another layer of security.

Biometric Authentication

It is one of the most significant advancements in online identity verification. Because these traits are difficult to reproduce or falsify, biometric identity verification provides great security. Facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, voice biometrics, and retina scanning are biometric authentication technologies that have become commonplace in modern devices and security systems.

Two-factor Authentication & Multi-factor Authentication

When attempting to access an account or platform, users must present two or more forms of identification. Two-factor authentication (2FA) improves digital security. while Multi-factor authentication (MFA) purpose is to improve security by making it more difficult for fraudsters to get access, even if they have or guess the user’s password.

Recognizing the need for comprehensive solutions, many businesses are now opting for platforms that incorporate several authentication methods. They frequently combine document scanning, biometric checks, and digital behavioral analysis for Identity Verification in the Digital Age.

Also Read: eKYC: Unlocking the Future of Banking Security with Digital Identity

Real-world Implementations of Digital ID

According to McKinsey research, countries that implement digital identification will be able to release tax revenues ranging from 3 to 13% of their GDP by 2030. Some examples of Digital ID implementations to aid in identity verification and reduce the rate of identity theft and cybercrime are as follows.

  • Australia’s myGovID
  • India’s Aadhaar:
  • Estonia’s e-residency, e-governance, e-tax, digital ID, i-voting, e-health, and many more
  • U.S. Digital IDs
  • Singapore’s SingPass
  • In Finland, Europe is testing the world’s first digital passport, allowing travelers to cross the border using a digital passport stored on their smartphone rather than a physical passport. The EU intends for at least 80% of Europeans to adopt a digital ID by 2030.

The present ID verification landscape is a dynamic combination of approaches that is constantly adjusting to the needs of our day. As technology advances, digital identity and data protection rules are expected to adapt in response. Two significant initiatives, the European Union’s updated eIDAS law, and the United Kingdom’s Online Safety Bill, provide chances for Identity Verification (IDV) companies to extend their services.

As identity theft and cybercrime have increased, countries around the world have implemented stringent rules. KYC and AML standards compel firms to utilize strict identity verification measures to safeguard both consumers and businesses.

Also Read: MRZ Code: A Reliable Tool for Identity Verification

Challenges in Identity Verification

Some of the challenges in identity verification in the digital age are

Privacy Concerns

Privacy is still a key concern in the digital era, with people wanting to know that their personal information is safe. Data and digital identity fraud and crime surged by 71% in 2021 compared to 2020, particularly in healthcare.


Achieving technological interoperability across multiple digital identity systems is a major task since it simplifies interactions and breaks down barriers.

Data Security

The ongoing threat of cyber-attacks emphasizes the critical relevance of data security, which needs stronger defenses.

Digital Inequality

Addressing technical inequalities is critical to ensuring that digital identification systems are accessible to all, bridging the digital divide and fostering inclusion.

The solution to these challenges is the adoption of standardized practices and robust regulatory frameworks, which is critical for the safe and interoperable integration of digital identities into our lives, as well as the removal of barriers and simplification of the assimilation process. Moreover, high-profile data breaches and greater awareness about the misuse of personal information have heightened interest in concepts such as consent management and privacy rules such as the GDPR.

Handling these challenges necessitates collaborative and innovative problem-solving, with individualized solutions for each unique stumbling block. KYC AML Guide provides specialized expertise and consulting services to businesses dealing with the challenges of digital identity verification. We are providing the service of KYC technology buying to address the pain points that businesses face. We are also providing the service of KYC vendor analysis to ensure that the selected solutions easily comply with our client’s specific demands, boosting their identity verification processes in compliance with KYC and AML standards.

The Future of Identity Verification

As per the markets and markets survey, global identity verification is expected to reach $18.6 billion by 2027. The future of identity verification looks bright, with technological developments likely to make the process even more secure and convenient.

  • AI’s ability to analyze data for correct verification is one of the most promising breakthroughs in identity verification in the digital age. AI-powered ID verification is used by banks, payment processors, and fintech firms to detect fraudulent credit card transactions, account takeovers, and phishing efforts.
  • Blockchain technology creates tamper-resistant digital identification records. The approval of ShareRing under the UK’s ‘Digital Identities and Attributes Trust Framework (DIATF) strengthens the company’s position as a trusted provider of digital identity services, strengthening identity verification solutions. Their self-sovereign identification solution based on blockchain assures data protection and control, meeting KYC and CDD requirements while fostering secure consumer interactions.
  • Machine learning increases accuracy and detects fraud.
  • As digital interactions become the norm, strict legislation emphasizes data protection and financial security.
  • We should expect even more inventive biometric methods such as gait recognition and heart rate pattern recognition. A new technology created for the Pentagon can identify persons using an infrared laser at 200 meters to detect their unique cardiac pattern. Under ideal conditions, can reach over 95% accuracy.
  • The potential of big data and analytics will only rise as technology advances. More sophisticated analytical tools, improved machine learning integration, and a growing emphasis on data-driven decision-making should all be expected.
  • It is critical to provide trust, inclusion, and interoperability among digital identification systems to streamline interactions and cross geographical boundaries.

Also Read: Digital Identity Management: Enhancing Security Through Blockchain-Based IDV System


Throughout history, identity verification has been used to identify criminals, secure transactions, and combat forgeries. At its most basic, identity verification is used to confirm that a person is who they claim to be. Identity evolved alongside civilization. Identity verification in the digital age has grown alongside the growing need to safeguard and keep accurate records of complex data, transactions, credit, and rules since the introduction of passports, social security numbers, photo IDs, and now entirely digital IDs. Balancing security and convenience is an ongoing challenge with new technology such as artificial intelligence and improved authentication systems.  KYC AML guide can help you tackle the challenges of identity verification through KYC technology buying service.


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Belal Mahmoud
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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.