What is IDV

In an era where digital transactions are the norm, ‘IDV’ or identity verification has become increasingly important. But what exactly is IDV? Why is it so critical in today's interconnected world? In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the meaning of IDV, its significance for businesses and consumers, and how companies like Onfido are revolutionizing this field.

What does IDV stand for?

IDV stands for identity verification, a process that confirms the authenticity of an individual's claimed identity. IDV can be completed when onboarding a new customer or when completing a transaction — and is frequently conducted remotely via a computer or smartphone. This can be achieved by comparing personal data against known sources, like credit databases. However, so much personal data is breached or publicly available this method is no longer considered secure, and can be vulnerable to identity fraud. Document and biometric IDV has become more commonplace, whereby a user scans their identity document and takes a selfie or selfie video — these are then analyzed for authenticity and compared against one another. 

IDV meaning

The meaning of IDV extends far beyond the acronym. It represents a comprehensive approach to security, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to restricted information or systems. This is particularly important in regulated sectors like banking, remittance, lending, and mobility, where the stakes are high for identity fraud. In this context, IDV prevents fraud and ensures businesses can stay compliant with know your customer (KYC) requirements in addition to stopping fraud.

IDV means security and trust

When we talk about IDV, we are referring to a set of procedures and technologies aimed at establishing security and trust. For businesses, this means fighting fraud, money laundering and other crimes. For customers, it means creating an assurance that their personal information is being handled with the utmost care — creating a sense of trust between themselves and the service, or in the case of peer-to-peer services, between themselves and other users. 

What does IDV mean for businesses?

For businesses, IDV is not just a compliance requirement but a critical component of a robust security process. It helps in reducing fraud, enhancing customer experience, and building trust, which are all essential for business growth and sustainability. Businesses stand to gain a multitude of benefits that go beyond mere compliance with regulations. Here are some of the key advantages:


One of the most significant benefits of modern IDV solutions is automation. Traditional methods of identity verification often involve manual checks, which are time-consuming and prone to errors. Automated solutions streamline this process, making it quicker and more accurate. This not only reduces operational costs but also speeds up customer onboarding, leading to a better user experience.

Fraud prevention

IDV plays a crucial role in preventing fraud, a concern that is top of mind for businesses in various sectors from finance to e-commerce. Advanced IDV solutions use a combination of document verification, biometric analysis, and fraud detection to ensure that the person is who they claim to be. 


In today's digital age, the ability to onboard customers remotely is not just a convenience but a necessity. IDV solutions enable businesses to verify the identities of customers no matter where they are, eliminating the need for physical presence or manual checks. This is particularly beneficial in the current climate, where remote interactions are becoming the norm. 

By incorporating advanced IDV solutions into their operations, businesses can enjoy these benefits and more, ultimately leading to increased security, reduced costs, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Types of IDV

Identity verification can be conducted in various ways, each with its own set of advantages and applications. Here are some common types found in the online world:

Document verification

This involves checking the authenticity of government-issued documents like passports, driver's licenses, or national IDs. Onfido's document verification service can quickly and accurately verify more than 2,500 global documents, checking that they’re genuine and for signs of fraud.

Biometric verification

Biometric methods like facial recognition and liveness detection offer a higher level of security. Onfido's biometric verification uses AI to compare a live selfie with the photo on a government-issued ID, ensuring that the person is indeed who they claim to be.

Data verification

Checking customer information against trusted databases around the world helps increase trust that a user is who they say they are. Some IDV vendors offer comprehensive data verification checks across multiple global databases to both validate information and flag PEPs, sanctions, and adverse media flags. These ensure a business is establishing trust with its users and comply with global regulations like AML and KYC laws. 

Real-world applications of IDV

IDV is not just a theoretical concept; it has real-world applications that touch various aspects of our lives. For instance, when you open a new bank account, the bank uses IDV methods to confirm your identity. Similarly, IDV is used to verify drivers who are renting cars, or signing up for gig work. Onfido's technology is also used in these sectors, offering quick and reliable identity verification services.

The future of IDV

As technology continues to evolve, so will the methods and tools used for IDV. Companies like Onfido are at the forefront of this evolution, continually developing new ways to make the identity verification process more secure, efficient, and user-friendly. With advancements like reusable identity and decentralized identity on the horizon, the future of IDV looks promising, offering even more robust solutions for identity management.

Understanding what IDV is and why it's essential is the first step in creating a secure and trustworthy digital environment. As we move further into the digital age, the importance of robust identity verification processes like those offered by Onfido will only continue to grow. Whether you are a business looking to enhance your security measures or a consumer seeking to protect your personal information, IDV is an indispensable tool in today's digital landscape.

Want to learn more about IDV?

Understand the IDV landscape, solutions, and best practices with our report, A Guide to Digital Identity Verification.

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