December 2, 2022

Imagine a situation where you need to prove your identity online. Maybe you’re applying for a new bank account, or for a travel visa, or for a government support program. You’ve filled in all of your details and now the website or app is asking you to prove that you are who you claim to be before it can process your application.

What would you rather do?

  1. Follow a simple biometric verification process on your mobile device or computer, where you show your ID and complete a face scan, without needing to speak to anyone
  2. Schedule a video call with a stranger so you can show your ID and have them check the details to verify you in person

In situations where both options are offered, iProov’s experience is that over 95% of users choose the biometric option. It’s easy to see why: the biometric route is quicker, the user remains in control of the process, and there’s no need to speak to anyone. This does depend, of course, on the biometric route being simple to follow – more on that later.

In this article, we explain the main differences between biometric face verification and video verification.

What is Biometric Face Verification?

Biometric face verification enables an individual to prove their identity online without human intervention. By removing the need for a human check, the process is more convenient, more secure, and increases privacy.

Online biometric face verification works by asking an individual to scan a trusted identity document (such as a driver’s license) with their mobile device or computer, followed by a scan of their biometric (such as their face). The technology matches the physical face with the photo in the ID document to confirm that the person is who they claim to be.

Online biometric face verification will also usually involve a liveness detection check to ensure that the person is a real person and not a photograph or other artifact. For scenarios requiring the highest level of security, such as applying for a loan or making a higher-value transfer, a one-time, non-repeatable biometric is recommended in order to confirm that the person is authenticating in real-time and it is not criminal impersonating or digitally injecting video footage.

By enabling people to verify themselves online, biometric face verification protects consumers against identity theft and other cybercrime, while also protecting organizations against financial loss. One 2021 report found that 1 in 7 new account creations are fraudulent, and Javelin Strategy & Research attributes $7 billion in losses to new-account fraud in 2021 alone.

Advanced biometric verification solutions such as Dynamic Liveness can help protect against new account fraud by deterring criminals from using stolen or synthetic identities – many other vendors cannot.

What Is Video Call Verification?

Video call verification – also known as video identification – refers to the process of talking to a live person over video calling software in order to prove who you are.

The person on the other side of the call will usually identify you by comparing your ID photo to your face over the phone. They may also ask you some questions to check against the details you uploaded during the onboarding process.

What’s the Difference Between Video Call Verification and Biometric Face Verification?

The main difference between biometric face verification and video call verification is that biometric face verification does not require any human intervention. A user doesn’t have to schedule a time when a call handler will be available. Instead, technology does all of the work to ensure that an individual is who they claim to be online. Biometric face verification is therefore more convenient, more secure, more accurate, more private, and more scalable than video verification.

Additionally, the right biometric face verification solution is more likely to detect digitally injected attacks, such as deepfakes. Learn more about the threat of deepfakes and how to protect against them here.

Where they are similar is that they are both often used for the same purpose: remote identity verification. They are usually employed when a new customer is enrolling to a service for the first time online.

Why Is Biometric Face Verification Better Than Video Call Verification?

  1. Biometric face verification is easier for the user: During a biometric verification process, the user does not need to exit the platform they started the process on. If a new customer begins enrolling on a company’s website or app, they can stay on that website or app to upload their identity documents or complete the brief facial scan. With video verification, users usually need to leave the website or app for a call with an operator, most likely on a third party app. This is less convenient for customers.
  2. Biometric face verification maximizes completion rates: Some users have cognitive impairments or language barriers. This may affect their willingness or ability to join a two-way video chat with a stranger. On the other hand, iProov biometric face verification offers an entirely passive user experience and is usable on any device with a user-facing camera. This enables us to deliver completion rates of >98%.
  3. Biometric face verification is more accurate and secure: It is a myth that the human eye is the most reliable way of confirming someone’s identity. Technology is now far more advanced at matching a physical face to the photo in an identity document. Video verification is dependent on human judgment alone, which can vary widely when correctly verifying an individual.
  4. Video verification may not defend against certain threats: Deepfakes have become very advanced and can be difficult to spot, particularly on a video call. Some biometric face verification solutions will include liveness detection, which can spot if an image or video is being presented to the camera. However, only iProov Dynamic Liveness can detect if an advanced deepfake is being used in a digitally injected attack.
  5. Biometric face verification is scalable: Technology can be easily scaled if demand increases but customer service staff need to be recruited and trained, and this takes time. During the COVID pandemic, many organizations had to handle huge increases in demand for online services, while also having to cope with staff being unable to come to work. Video verification is less scalable.
  6. Biometric face verification delivers more privacy: Biometric face verification enables the user to confirm their identity without sharing any personal data with another human. The lack of human intervention also reduces the risk of users being defrauded by scammers that call and pretend to be from a bank or other organization in order to phish customer data.
  7. Video verification requires additional software: Depending on the vendor or regional laws, you may have to download a certain app or software in order to complete video call verification. For example, German regulations require that video software has end-to-end encryption, which may involve downloading a new application for some users. Additionally, video verification could cause issues for users with particularly slow internet speeds.

How iProov Delivers Biometric Face Verification

It’s important to note that not all biometric face verification technology is the same. Many biometric face verification vendors deliver a process with complex instructions that deter users from completing their journeys. And many are not advanced enough to detect the kind of sophisticated attacks that are on the rise.

iProov offers many unique advantages over other biometric vendors:

  • Industry-leading, high success rates: iProov’s success rates are typically >98%
  • Fast and convenient user experience: Technology needs to be easy to use, or people won’t use it. With iProov, the user simply looks at the device to complete a brief facial scan in a matter of seconds.
  • National-grade security: Our products are used by the world’s most security-conscious organizations, such the Department of Homeland Security. iProov enables remote verification from anywhere and does not rely on the user’s device for security, removing the risk of a compromised device or camera. In the case of Dynamic Liveness, iProov Security Operations Center (iSOC) delivers active threat monitoring which means our defenses evolve with the changing threat landscape. GPA verifies that each person is the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating in real-time – thwarting impostors and fraudsters from spoofing the system.
  • Excellent inclusivity and usability: iProov’s solution does not require reading or comprehending complex instructions — you simply look at your device’s user-facing camera. This means users can verify themselves easily, improving accessibility for those with various cognitive abilities. iProov is one of the first biometric vendors to achieve WCAG 2.1 AA and Section 508 conformance.
  • True accessibility on any device with a user-facing camera: iProov is device and platform-agnostic. There’s no need for special hardware or sensors – individuals can authenticate using any device with a user-facing camera, including smartphones, laptops, desktops, and tablets.
  • Proven experience: With large-scale solution deployments around the world, iProov can offer the necessary expertise, technology, and knowledge to support critical implementations – view our case studies here. Users and organizations alike feel secure using iProov.

Read more about the advantages of biometric face verification here.

Video Verification vs Biometric Face Verification: Summary

  • Biometric face verification and video verification are both employed to verify a user’s identity when that user is onboarding remotely for a new service.
  • The main difference between biometric face verification and video verification is that video call verification requires manual intervention, while biometric face verification is completed by technology without the user needing to speak to anyone.
  • Biometric face verification is therefore faster, more secure, more accurate, more private and more scalable than video verification.
  • Not all biometric verification is the same, however, and only iProov’s biometric face verification can protect against the use of deepfakes and other synthetic media in digitally injected attacks.

To see how iProov can help your business deliver verification and authentication, book your demo here or contact us.

Video verification vs biometric verification: what's the difference? Image shows a facetime call on one side vs an iProov biometric authentication on the other