Image shows a man holding a phone scanning his face with biometric face verification. ID documents are in the background to represent the onboarding / enrollment process

Why Is Biometric Face Verification Ideal for Enrollment and Onboarding?

November 24 2022

Imagine that you need to apply for a new bank account. Would you rather:

  • Send your documents by post and wait for weeks;
  • Travel to a bank branch to apply in person;
  • Or complete the application online in a matter of minutes from the comfort of your own home?

For most consumers, the speed and convenience of completing tasks online would win every time. But some tasks require security checks — for example, if you’re applying for a loan, government benefits, or for a visa to enter another country, the bank or government needs to check that you are definitely who you say you are.

Remote biometric face verification provides the security check needed to enable consumers to enroll or onboard for these services quickly and conveniently online. But not all biometric face verification technologies deliver the same levels of assurance, security, or usability. Different technologies are suited to different use cases, as we’ll explain below.

What is enrollment?

Enrollment (also known as onboarding, account opening, or registration) simply means signing up a new customer to an account or service. Traditionally, if an enrollment process required an identity check — if the enrollment involved finances, for example — a member of staff would check the face of the person in front of them against that person’s photo ID.

Today, biometric face verification technology enables the enrollment process to be completed online from anywhere with an internet connection with greater accuracy than a human eye.

Remote identity checks at enrollment are critical. If identity checks are not completed properly, fraudsters can use someone else’s identity to sign up for credit cards, loans and other services in new account fraud. This means a lot of pain and hassle for the victim of identity theft, as well as financial loss for the organization. Criminals can also use synthetic identities where the identity doesn’t belong to a real person, but the financial loss to the organization can be enormous.

Enrollment is also a crucial part of compliance with KYC and AML regulations, too. The most important part of a customer’s lifecycle is enrollment – it’s where trust is initially established. Learn more about biometrics for KYC and AML here.

Secure enrollment is also necessary for subsequent authentication. To authenticate someone every time they use your website or app, you have to establish who they are during your first online interaction. If you enroll a fake person or someone using a stolen identity, this can have serious repercussions later on.

What are the factors for successful digital enrollment?

A successful digital enrollment process needs to balance several elements:

  • Appropriate security for the task the security would be high for a credit card application, for example, but lower for a task such as signing up for an e-mail newsletter. Different biometric verification methods can be used for high or low-security options according to the contextual risk. High-security enrollment is essential: 6AMLD regulations assign direct criminality to cases where a “lack of supervision or control” makes criminal acts possible. Individual banks have been fined over $1.4b USD in anti-money laundering cases.
  • Usability – every step in a digital user journey increases the likelihood of the customer dropping out of the process. 36% of financial institutions have lost a customer or prospective customer due to inefficient or slow enrollment processes. There’s significant revenue relying on the success of your enrollment process – so it’s important to get it right the first time. Simplicity is critical and biometric face verification can be effortless.
  • Inclusivity – it is important to offer enrollment in a multitude of ways. If a customer can only enroll on a smartphone, for example, then that assumes a level of technical competency and also excludes everyone without a smartphone. Inclusivity is particularly important for governments to include all ethnicities. Biometric face verification can be delivered via mobile device, computer and kiosk.
  • Scalability – as we saw during the COVID pandemic, some organizations need to be prepared to handle a surge of enrollments. Biometric face verification can be highly scalable, as it doesn’t rely on customer service staff (who can’t be scaled quickly).

How does biometric enrollment work?

Face verification makes secure enrollment easy – it’s more convenient than in-person enrollment or sending documents physically or completing a video call.

Onboarding new customers begins either on the web, via mobile, or at an on-site kiosk. Individuals simply

  1. Scan their government-issued identity document, such as a passport- this can be done via optical capture or NFC capability.
  2. Completes the iProov passive biometric face scan – just like a selfie. This enables the organization to bind the individual to their government-issued document.

Using iProov’s passive liveness detection solutions as part of the identity verification process, removes friction at the point of onboarding, leading to fewer attempts to succeed and higher pass rates.

Why is it crucial to establish liveness during enrollment?

Liveness detection is a component of biometric verification technology that ensures an online user is a real person. It detects whether the face being presented to the camera is from a live human being – as opposed to a recording, picture, or another non-living spoof. Without liveness technology, criminals could spoof the onboarding process with masks, photographs, and other presentation attacks. Additionally, liveness technology should defend against digital replay attacks or deepfakes that are physically presented on a screen.

Only iProov Genuine Presence Assurance® (GPA) can also ensure that the user is authenticating in real-time when they onboard, which is vital in protecting against highly scalable digitally injected attacks. Using patented Flashmark™ technology, a one-time biometric code is created which cannot be replicated.

GPA is recommended for enrollment because initial user onboarding is a high-risk action – you don’t know anything about the user or their risk until you have enrolled them, so it’s important to start off with the higest level of security so you are not onboarding a criminal.

Remember: trust established at onboarding will carry through the customer lifecycle.

Why choose iProov biometric verification for enrollment?

iProov Genuine Presence Assurance technology delivers:

  • Fast and convenient user experience
  • National-grade security
  • High success rates (typically >98%)
  • Excellent inclusivity and accessibility
  • True usability – Doesn’t require complex instruction and workson any device with a user-facing camera
  • Maximum reassurance for customers that they are following a secure verification process when enrolling to your service

Enabling organizations to:

  • Protect users against new account fraud, identity theft, synthetic identity fraud, and other threats
  • Reduce abondonment and churn with effortless, highly secure enrollment
  • Reduce operational costs while adhering to regulations

Read the complete list of iProov face biometric advantages in this article.

Read more about enrollment & view our case studies

Biometrics for digital onboarding and enrollment: a summary

  • Enrollment (otherwise known as onboarding, account opening, or registration) refers to the process of signing a new customer up to an account or service.
  • Technology now enables even the most secure enrollment process to be done online, without the need for an in-person encounter.
  • A digital enrollment process must balance many factors, including risk, usability and security to be successful.
  • Face biometric verification offers the accuracy, security, usability, inclusivity and scalability that is needed.
  • iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance delivers national-grade security with an effortless and convenient user experience. It’s the only way to securely enroll customers and ensure an individual is the right person, a real person, and that they’re authenticating in real-time.

If you’d like to learn more about how iProov can streamline and secure your enrollment process, you can visit our customer onboarding webpage or book an iProov demo here.

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