How does verification selfie with ID card work?

face matching with anti spoofing using a mobile device

Last updated on November 30th, 2023 at 11:32 am

Selfie identity verification, also known as facial recognition, face matching, or biometric authentication, is technology that uses a person’s facial features to confirm their identity. The selfie, in particular, has rapidly grown in popularity due to the ubiquity of mobile phones with high-resolution cameras.

Selfie face matching is commonly used in many applications, such as:

  • Online account opening
  • Digital loan or line-of-credit applications
  • Customer onboarding
  • Access control in lieu of passwords or OTP
  • Account recovery
  • Identity authentication for government benefits

The process typically involves capturing a selfie or live video of a person’s face and comparing it to a stored reference image, which can be an official ID photo or a previously recorded selfie image. It is sometimes called a selfie check. Verification selfie with ID card checks is available inside our digital identity verification engine (DIVE) API.

How do you protect against fraud in selfie verification?

There are multiple, important lines of defense against fraud in the selfie process. Each provides protection against a different type of fraud.

Preventing the upload of pre-captured selfie images

First, the selfie needs to capture live movement. If a user is allowed to upload a selfie there is no safeguard against the user simply uploading the photo of a different individual. We always recommend that customers do not allow for image upload and only allow for selfie-capture via the phone’s camera.

Liveness checks

Liveness checks are affectionately known as “weekend at Bernie’s protection.” They ensure that the person performing the selfie is awake and alert. Although a true Weekend at Bernie’s style scenario is unlikely, it prevents using the face of someone who is asleep or incapacitated during the selfie check. Liveness checks occur in the background, as soon as the user provides an image by applying algorithmic examination of the selfie, looking at skin texture, lighting, movement, and metadata inside the photo. It also looks for biological reflexes such as breathing and blinking.

The benefit of the mobile selfie camera is that liveness checks can be randomized within the selfie verification flow. DIVE API asks questions, instructing the user to tilt their head, smile, or move their head to either side, to improve its ability to confirm that a live individual is present.

Biometric anti-spoofing

Anti-spoofing is similar to liveness checks are applied to protect against multiple types of spoofing. Spoofing is any time that a fraudster attempts to impersonate a real person. There are three primary types of spoofing that are commonly used during selfie verification with ID card checks:

Photo attacks

A photo attack is when an individual holds up a printed photo, attempting to fool the selfie technology into believing that the photo is actually the live individual.

Replay attacks

A replay or video attack is similar to a photo attack, except that a video on a phone or iPad is used to attempt to fool the face matching technology. The video has the benefit of being able to move, and in some cases mimic the requested liveness checks.

3D mask attacks

The third type of spoofing which must be prevented by biometric anti-spoofing is 3D mask attacks, when a lifelike 3D mask is printed and worn to impersonate the true identity.

How does selfie verification with an ID check work?

The user typically also uploads an image of their drivers license or passport which contains a photo. The processed selfie image is compared to the reference image on their ID to determine if the person in the selfie matches the expected identity. The algorithm assigns a similarity score, and if this score is above a certain threshold, the identity is verified.

Are customers comfortable with taking selfies?

According to BiometricUpdate, more than 50% of Millennials and Gen Z are comfortable with using selfies for verification. 82.3% of these same individuals consider selfie verification as “very secure.” Although Baby Boomers and older customers may be less comfortable with selfies, overall remote ID validation is growing in adoption across all age groups.

Why would you use selfie verification?

Selfie identity verification is increasingly used in various industries for authentication and security purposes. For example, it is used in mobile phone unlocking, securing online accounts, access control systems, and even in financial services to verify the identity of users when they open bank accounts or perform transactions. Contact us today to learn more about our selfie verification technology.