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Identity Verification and Authentication:
Top 5 Differences

Nowadays, identity theft and data breaches have become significant concerns among organizations. Digitalisation also propelled the number of data theft in recent times. A 17% increase in data theft cases was reported in the first quarter of 2021, which is higher than the previous year's total percentage of data theft, according to the ITRC or Identity Theft Resource Center.

Identity Verification and Authentication

The above authority also suspects that the number will increase in 2022 with increased fraudulent activities. In such circumstances, identity verification, authentication and identity proofing solutions are essential. And today, we will discuss identity authentication and verification with the top 5 differences between them.

What is identity verification?

Identity verification is verifying a user's natural identity with claimed identity through several proofs. Identity verification or IDV is a method of securing people's identities and ensuring only verified clients can access the business services.

Identity verification methods can vary from one organization to another depending on the cause of use, internal rules, industry standards, and users' choices. Some companies can ask to upload ID proof or age-proof photocopy for verification, and others can ask for a biometric selfie to verify the user. Today leading businesses use a signature verification method with 92 per cent accuracy.

What is identity authentication?

Identity verification and identity authentication may seem the same to many people, but it is not. One user has to go through the verification once to enter a platform (usually for the first time). But users must go through an identity authentication process almost every time they enter the website.

Authentication means confirming or validating a verified user to enter a social media platform, website, database, device or location. The organization uses things like users have, know or are to authenticate the user while onboarding.

Methods of identity authentication:

There are several authentication methods available currently. All authentication solutions use the same rules for identity authentication to authenticate their valid clients. Here are some of them listed below.

  • Two-step authentication –
    Two-step authentication is the most popular authentication solution, and many leading businesses use this method to authenticate their users during onboarding. In the two-step authentication, a unique code is generated and provided to the user through SMS. And users need to submit their username, password and two-step authentication code while logging in to the website or account.
  • Password
    It is the general authentication method almost every business uses. Password authentication is also known as single-factor authentication.
  • Biometric
    The biometric authentication method uses iris scans, fingerprint scanners, voice detectors etc.
  • KBA
    KBA or Knowledge-based authentication is also a known method. KBA includes secret or personal information of the user shared in the process of account opening. A KBA password can be the name of a favorite book, pet name, mother's maiden name etc.

Top 5 differences between verification and identity authentication

Identity proofing, verification, and authentication solutions are essential in data security. They are used to prevent fraud, data breaches and identity theft. But it does not mean they are similar. Here are the top 5 differences between identity verification and authentication.

  • Data collection frequency –
    Authentication and verification solution used by any organization collects user data to verify or authenticate the user. But the frequency of data collection differs from one to another. Verification data is collected from the user while using the platform or service for the first time.

    But on the other hand, the authentication method is used to control access, and clients must follow the procedure every time they enter the website, platform or place.

  • Type of data –
    Identity verification and authentication both collect data from the user while onboarding. But their data collection type varies. The verification method mainly gathers offline documents of the user like ID proof, driving license and photos to ensure their true or natural identity. But authentication focuses on whether it is the same person entering the platform who registered there before or not. It uses general information over ID like two-step authentication code, password, KBA information etc.
  • Goals of identity assessment –
    The main goal of identity assessment in identity verification is to figure out a user's true identity. But on the other hand, the authentication method aims to identify whether the user has access to any specific service/ facility or not.
  • Authentication happens later verification –
    While many assume that authentication and verification are the same, they differ in multiple ways. Authentication always happens after verification. When you first visit a website or platform to verify the user. Once the company or authority verifies your identity, you move forward with the authentication process. But authentication cannot happen before verification.
  • Complexity level –
    Another difference between authentication and verification is the complex level of each method. Verification deals with basic information such as identity proof, SMS code verification etc. But the authentication process is more complex and advanced than verification and deals with deeper information like passwords, unique codes and KBA information.


Identity authentication and verification are primary pillars of data security and customer trust. But, there are many differences between them. A company needs advanced verification and authentication solutions to strengthen its security.

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