KYC AML Guide: the Clock shows the average reeding time of the blog08 min Read


KYC AML Guide: the Clock shows the average reeding time of the blogJanuary 18, 2024

Harnessing Liveness Detection in Selfie-Based Digital KYC

According to FTC, 33% of US Citizens have been victims of Identity Theft at some point in life. The total losses due to identity fraud amount to $ 10.2 billion. This is why KYC Identity Verification Solutions are now aiming to achieve the highest levels of accuracy in Remote KYC like Mobile Selfie KYC. However, accurate identification and detection of deepfakes through efficient Liveness Detection still raise a question mark in many scenarios. Today, we will explore how KYC Solutions can improve their Liveness Detection Feature pertinent to the Selfie-Based Digital KYC.

Belal Mahmoud

KYC Product Consultant

Selfie KYC Identity Verification and Its Components

KYC (Know Your Customer) has evolved a lot in recent years. With the widespread adoption of Smartphone technology having high-tech and high-resolution selfie cameras, KYC is seamlessly done and customers can be onboarded remotely. The KYC Tools require customers to upload their selfie images from their smartphones in the app and after verification of their selfie and other information, their onboarding process is completed.

The Major Components of Selfie KYC include the following:

  • Document Verification: Customers must upload the scanned identification documents along with their selfies. These documents include an ID Card, Passport, and Driving License.
  • Facial Recognition: The KYC Tool has a Biometric Facial Recognition feature that scans the uploaded selfie image and matches the photo with a database of customer identities. This will verify and differentiate between a genuine customer and a suspicious Identity.
  • Liveness Detection: Prevention of Identity Spoofing and other fraud is one of the core responsibilities of KYC. Liveness Detection is the mechanism that accurately identifies the fake identities portrayed in an image and detects the signs of spoofing in them.
  • Compliance Assertion: Regulatory Compliance guiding the financial activities of banks as well as customers towards Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Anti-Fraud is one important aspect of eKYC. Liveness Detection in Selfies enhances the ability of KYC Solutions to detect risky persons through different databases.
  • User Consent: It is the moral duty of banks, FIs, and KYC Tool providers to ensure transparency with users and inform them about how their data including selfies and other document images will be used.

Liveness Detection in Selfie KYC

The image shows the components of Liveness Detection in Selfie KYC

Facial Movement Analysis
  • Blink Detection feature may prompt the customer to blink in front of the camera to prove his liveness.
  • Smile Detection feature may instruct the customer to smile before the selfie camera to prove liveness.
  • The Facial Tremor Detection feature may detect face tremors and other abnormal movements that can help in Liveness Detection.
Depth Analysis
  • 3D Face Mapping/ Modeling goes beyond the detection of 2D selfie images and detects pinpoint details of an image by scanning the selfie image and making its 3D image or a 3D facial model.
  • Dynamic Depth Analysis uses depth variation algorithms and can detect real-time depth changes in facial recognition through selfies in KYC.
  • Behavioral Biometrics capture the unique patterns of human behavior such as a person’s subtlety in moving head or nodding, etc.
Challenge Response Mechanism
  • Trembling hands while taking a Selfie are detected by motion sensors that read, record, and report improper and unusual gestures.
  • Unpredictability in taking static images due to motion disabilities
Infrared Imaging
  • Infrared sensors enable heat sensing from different parts of the body.
  • Liveness Detection in Selfie KYC can integrate infrared imaging that can enhance data accuracy by detecting heat from different parts of the face.

Also Read: How to Detect a Fake ID? | KYC AML Guide

How Digital KYC Solutions Can Enhance Liveness Detection in Selfie-Based Onboarding?

Firstly, a scalable and dynamic approach to continuously improve KYC Solutions against evolving fraud tactics is necessary. For this purpose, the provided information serves as a knowledge repository where updated information can be added in a well-sorted form to improve the customer onboarding experience. Here, a few things are important to consider:

  1. Digital KYC Solutions are considered as a tool to detect anomalies, and suspicions in identity verification. Therefore, they have certain limitations in their technologies.
  2. Every KYC Solution is different in terms of capabilities of accuracy, speed, and scalability.
  3. It also depends on the customer’s training and how much KYC Solution guides a customer while onboarding. For example, while taking a selfie, usually a customer is guided through audio instructions to tilt the head or maintain a certain distance with the camera.

Also Read: Face Recognition in KYC Identity Verification

The Role of a KYC Technology Buying Consultancy in Bridging the Gap Between a KYC Solution and a Fintech

Imagine a scenario where a Fintech invests a hefty amount in deploying a KYC Solution at the heart of its services and the main goal of this fintech is to make the customer onboarding not only seamless but conduct it remotely. But they are unsure of notions like which KYC Solution guarantees the lowest False Accepts and False Rejects. Also, the parameters for the best KYC Solution are critically important for a fintech to be considered before selecting a KYC Vendor:

  • High level of data accuracy and biometric Identity Verification
  • User-Friendly Interface of Mobile Application
  • Cost-efficiency through distributed data storage (blockchain) and other mechanisms
  • Higher Speed and Effectiveness of Liveness Detection, Morphing Detection, and other necessary features.
  • Scalability and Integration features for continuous improvements in the KYC Solution

For this purpose, the KYC AML Guide being a premium Consultancy for KYC Technology Buying steers fintech businesses towards excellence by guiding their choices to the best-suited KYC Vendor.


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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.