What is eIDV (Electronic Identity Verification)

eIDV (Electronic Identity Verification) makes use of publicly available data as well as private databases to quickly verify the identity of an individual. eIDV uses personal information such as name, date of birth, Social Security number, and address among other data fields. The result of an eIDV search on an individual’s identity could result in a match, non-match, or partial match. 

Key Takeaways

  • eIDV stands for Electronic Identity Verification, which refers broadly to computerized systems for individual ID verification.
  • eIDV makes use of both public and private data sources in order to match individuals based on several criteria including name, sex, address, date of birth, and so on.
  • eIDV is increasingly used in the financial industry by law enforcement to detect and prevent financial crimes and to combat terrorism. It is also used by the private sector by insurers, realtors, and hiring agents, among others.

Breaking Down eIDV

eIDV is used by banks, brokerage firms, financial advisers, and accountants to minimize fraud and comply with know-your-customer laws, privacy laws, anti-money laundering laws and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) laws. eIDV is also used by insurance companies, governments, retailers, casinos, lawyers, employers, job recruiters, and real estate agents as part of their due diligence processes.

eIDV in Use

Electronic identity verification matches the data provided by an individual, such as name, date of birth, address, and SSN, against various databases to determine if there is a match.

  • Personal documents that can serve as sources of data for the verification service include driver’s licenses, passports, birth certificates, and citizenship certificates.
  • Various types of databases, both public and proprietary, may be used in eIDV, including credit bureau data, police data, and vehicle history data.
  • Data that can be used as sources of verification include change of address data, postal data, property ownership data, direct marketing data, credit bureau data, electoral roll data, utility data (e.g., phone, natural gas, electricity and/or water service), telecommunications records, and government data (such as driver’s license, passport, national ID and national insurance numbers).

eIDV Advantages

While there is a cost associated with verifying an individual’s identity, it can be less expensive in the long run to avoid doing businesses with individuals who are pretending to be someone they aren’t. For example, eIDV can detect potential fraud if a Social Security number provided by a prospective customer comes back as belonging to a deceased individual. eIDV can also be used to identify prospective customers who are on international watchlists as individuals who are politically exposed, on government sanctions lists, or suspected or convicted of financial crimes.

eIDV can be used not only to verify new customers but also to stay up to date on existing customers. Businesses may need to follow different customer verification procedures depending on their line of business and their country of operation. Businesses pay money for eIDV services based on the number and types of databases searched to verify an individual’s identity.

Other Considerations

For an eIDV service to be effective, it must rely on the most up-to-date and high-quality database possible. Some databases may be more accurate than others depending on whether they are updated daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly. Further, the success of a search will depend in part on how comprehensive a database is. Even in a best-case scenario, a database may only cover about 80% of a country’s population.