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How to verify your clients’ identity online

verify clients identity online
By Drazen Vujovic. Reviewed by: James Rose. Last Updated July 3, 2024

Digital transactions give businesses tremendous expansion potential, but they come with inherent security risks such as fraud and identity theft.

That makes identification methods a top priority for client-oriented companies — so much so that the number of digital ID verification checks will surpass 70 billion in 2024, making a 16% year-on-year increase.

Figures like these underscore the urgency to adopt effective client identification measures. In this post, we’ll explore the basics of this process and show you how to successfully perform digital ID checks.

Let’s take a look!

The basics of client identity verification

client identity verification

Client identity verification is the process of confirming the identity of your clients in digital transactions. In other words, it’s the way to make sure that the clients you work with are who they claim to be. Verification of client identity is part of a broader KYC onboarding process that fosters trust between businesses and their clients.

The main goal is to mitigate the risk of fraud, identity theft, money laundering, and other illegal activities. The second goal is to comply with regulatory requirements while protecting your operations and reputation in the digital marketplace.

Types of online client identity checks

Many types of client ID checks are available, but we’ll point out only three popular options here.

Device authentication

The first method focuses on verifying the device a client is using to access a digital product or service. It’s an automated process that typically involves analyzing device-specific attributes such as IP address, location data, and device fingerprinting to ascertain its legitimacy. 

Pro tip: Device authentication is often insufficientThis type of electronic ID check serves as an initial layer of security, but it is often deemed insufficient as a standalone method for client identity verification. That’s because hackers can easily manipulate device-related information. For this reason, businesses should complement device authentication with stronger authentication measures.

Document verification

This is by far the most common type of online client identity checks. ID document verification requires your clients to submit scans or images of their personal documents, like:

  • Government-issued ID
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license

In this case, you can use manual review processes or automated verification systems to authenticate the legitimacy of these documents. Most companies opt for this verification method because it gives them a relatively simple yet tangible form of identification that is difficult to counterfeit. 

Biometric verification

Biometric verification is an advanced form of ID checks that focuses on unique physiological characteristics to confirm someone’s identity. It usually analyzes one of these elements:

  • Fingerprints
  • Facial recognition
  • Voice recognition
  • Iris scanning

This type of online verification offers a high level of security and accuracy because biometric traits are inherently difficult to replicate or falsify. The deployment of biometric authentication can pose challenges for companies that lack technical expertise or resources, but they usually overcome it with third-party identity verification tools.

When is client identification required?

client identity verification

Client identification is mandatory in various contexts to fulfill legal, regulatory, security, and business requirements. The procedure applies to all sorts of financial transactions, online services, e-commerce operations, healthcare providers, legal services, and many more.

For instance, financial institutions must verify the identities of their clients before opening bank accounts and conducting wire transfers. The same goes for finance and tax professionals. For example, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires all accountants in the country to verify their clients’ identities using one of these methods:

  • Visual check: It’s often enough to visually check a client’s drivers license.
  • Source ATO: In this case, you compare information in the system with the ones your client provided.
  • Source DVS: This means matching the information from a client’s government-issued ID document with the data stored by a DVS provider.
  • Client-to-agent linking: It’s a client-driven request through the ATO’s website.
Note: Read this post to learn how Content Snare eases the headache of client-to-agent linking.

Similar identity verification methods and rules apply to Australia-based legal professionals and their clients. If you run a business in another country, make sure to check local regulations on how to verify your clients’ identity online.

How to perform digital ID checks

It depends on compliance requirements, so we encourage you to research local regulations. If you are allowed to use a digital provider as an online identity verification method, we recommend testing Content Snare.

This form-building tool is perfect for onboarding as it allows you to quickly gather information while confirming the identity of your client. All it takes is to create a client intake form with an ID verification field:

client identity verification with Content Snare

Content Snare works with Stripe Identity for ID verification as it can authenticate documents from more than 100 countries. As soon as your clients complete online ID verification, you will be able to access their information such as name, document type, and issuing date/country.

The best part is that Content Snare integrates identity verification with seamless onboarding, keeping all the client-related info in the same online form. That way, our platform becomes a single source of truth for all of your client interactions.

Verify client identity with Content Snare

Our platform pairs a simple identity verification solution with effortless client onboarding. Make things easier for your clients while ensuring regulatory compliance.

Start your free trial

3 tips for improving your identity verification process

Regardless of the tool you’re using to verify your client’s identity, some tips can make this process a lot more convenient for both sides. Here are our main recommendations:

1. Give them more than one verification option (if possible)

You should give clients multiple verification options so they can pick the method that best suits their circumstances. For example, it’s often possible to combine alternatives such as biometric authentication, document scanning, and knowledge-based authentication. 

Many authentication tools support all of these options simultaneously — it gives your clients the flexibility to verify their identities using the most convenient method. 

2. Make it a user-friendly experience

Another tip is to balance security requirements with user experience. Although you have to prioritize safety, it’s also important to implement a simple verification process that minimizes friction or inconvenience for clients. For instance, you can:

  • Reduce the number of verification steps
  • Optimize user interface for simpler navigation
  • Give clear step-by-step instructions 

3. Provide guidance and support

The third tip is to explain the whole process — your clients must know why they are required to confirm their identity in the first place. It’s also recommended to provide at least one or two support channels (online chat, email, or phone) to assist clients who need further clarification or support in the process.

Streamline client onboarding with digital identity verification

Many companies are obliged to verify the identities of their clients before delivering their services. Though it may seem complicated at first, ID checks have become fairly simple thanks to user-friendly online tools. 

Many companies consider Content Snare to be a perfect solution because it enables online ID verification and streamlines client onboarding.

Related: How this accounting firm overhauled its information-collection process using Content Snare

This is ideal for accounting practices, financial advisors, law firms, and all other client-oriented businesses. If you feel like making identity verification an integral part of your client onboarding process, sign up for a free 14-day Content Snare trial.

Verify client identity with Content Snare

Our platform pairs a simple identity verification solution with effortless client onboarding. Make things easier for your clients while ensuring regulatory compliance.

Start your free trial

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Drazen Vujovic

Dražen Vujović is a journalist and content writer. More importantly, he is a father of two and a long-distance runner.

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