21 June 2021
The word ‘selfie’ was first added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013.
It’s since become a globally recognized term — you’ll rarely go a day without seeing one or hearing them mentioned.
We often hear about selfies being used to verify identity online. But there are three important considerations when talking about verification by selfie:
Picture the scene: you want to open a new bank account or make a large payment online. The bank needs to verify your identity. Would you be comfortable if the bank only required you to send in a selfie as proof of your identity? Of course not — because we understand that a single, simple selfie is not secure. Images of our faces are often widely available online, and anybody could go to our social media profile and get hold of one.
The same goes for single-frame liveness. Single-frame liveness is the term used for technologies that use a single image — or selfie — to determine the authenticity of an individual.
Single-frame liveness can carry out basic face matching — for example, to determine that the person in a selfie matches an image on their ID document. But single-frame selfies do not guarantee that an image is a real person presenting their face right now — it could be an individual using somebody else’s photo.
In short: you can’t.
You need multiple frames to guarantee authenticity. This is why iProov uses Genuine Presence Assurance (GPA) and Liveness Assurance. These solutions analyze multiple frames from a user-facing camera to determine that a human is the right person, a real person, and — in the case of GPA — that they’re authenticating right now. Only once you have the assurance of all three conditions, can you use face verification as a secure method of verifying identity.
But security isn’t the only concern here…
Selfie anxiety is when people experience a negative emotion upon seeing their own unedited, mirrored image — such as discomfort, shock, and unease.
So while consumers love the convenience and speed of face authentication, suddenly seeing an image of yourself can be unpleasant to many people. A user could shut down the app or website and abandon the process. Alternatively, they could start to fix themselves up — the problem here is that biometric face authentication doesn’t need tidy hair or perfect mascara, so the delay is unnecessary.
This is why iProov’s user experience has been designed to avoid the ‘jarring’ experience and maximize completion rates. See below for more on this.
We asked users in six countries if they ever suffered from selfie anxiety. While 39% of Americans said yes along with 30% of Brits and 31% of Australians, only 15% of Italians agreed:
We also asked: ‘If you were taking a selfie of yourself to post on social media, how many times would you likely retake it before you were happy with it?’
Of the users who took selfies, we discovered that:
How you look during a biometric face authentication is entirely inconsequential. So, how can enterprises and governments encourage users to complete face verification without delay or postponement?
iProov face verification uses face abstraction technology to ensure that the user experience is optimized for all. A line drawing greets the user, rather than a standard selfie, delivering a more respectful experience – no front-facing-camera-look-at-the-state-of-my-hair shocks. You can find out more about our abstracted image here.
Whether users dislike seeing themselves, like seeing themselves, or sit somewhere in the middle, iProov delivers a respectful user experience that maximizes completion rates.
To see how iProov can help your business to deliver biometric verification and authentication with outstanding usability, high customer completion rates and top-level security – book your demo here or contact us.