Powering growth: How identity verification optimises global payments

by David Divitt, Head of Fraud Prevention at Veriff

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The large amounts of money being processed and sensitive information being handled means payments operators are a ripe target for today’s fraudsters. ID verification is the first step to establish a prospective customer’s legitimacy.

According to PwC’s Payments 2025 & Beyond report, 42% of survey respondents strongly believed that within the next five years cross-border, cross-currency instant and B2B payments would accelerate. In the 2022 McKinsey Global Payments Report, it was found that Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia have seen the fastest growth in digital payments since 2020.

Major players in payments, such as Mastercard, are investing heavily in broadening their payments offerings to ensure clients in any market segment, and any geography, can access a complete set of payment options to help grow their business.

As such, payments operators can expect to see a rise in electronic money transfer, remittance, cross-border payment, and other forms of digital payment, and for continued expansion in new markets. The state of the sector offers substantial opportunities, including millions of potential customers, plus the ability to gain a competitive edge in new markets.

However, several key challenges exist, such as:

  • Maximising customer conversions;
  • Achieving global KYC and AML compliance, plus the prospect of evolving regulations;
  • Preventing fraud and mitigating the risk of bad actors; and
  • Meeting customers’ expectations to have a quick and seamless experience.

To that end, operator priorities can be described as ensuring speed, security, and scalability. Balancing these priorities may appear puzzling but, as with the improvement of so many business processes, the answer lies in digital innovation.

Trust from the first hello

In a well-populated sector, many payment service providers are start-ups, which have not faced years of stringent regulations as established financial institutions have. However, this is changing; McKinsey’s Managing Financial Crime Risk In Digital Payments report notes that banks are “increasingly expecting the (payment service providers) that form part of their network to have strong anti–money laundering (AML) and fraud controls in place”.

Today’s ID verification (IDV) companies, like Veriff, can support clients with their KYC requirements in several ways. The IDV offering is the first step to establish a prospective customer’s legitimacy, then additional services like PEP, sanctions and adverse media checks, and database verification checks can be deployed to offer extra security. Additionally, in-house legal and compliance experts can provide guidance and support for different regulated regions and territories.

Due to the large amounts of money being processed and sensitive information being handled, payments operators are a ripe target for today’s fraudsters. Without sufficient protections in place to prevent fraud, payments operators can face issues like fines, revocation of operating licenses, and reputational harm, hampering commercial prospects. Online fraud is constantly evolving, but IDV services like Veriff provide a significant strategic advantage.

For instance, features like crosslinking use a social network graph approach to link separate sessions from the same user together by utilising and combining elements of device, network and personal data. Furthermore, face blocklisting combats repeat offenders by blocking the biometric markers of their face. If someone is blocked for attempting to commit fraudulent activity, they can be prevented from attempting again, even if they try to use a different document with different identity information.

Lastly, dynamic rules offer the ability to create strategies based on specific, defined data points that a company may determine as high risk and automatically decline these sessions or send them to manual review. These features tackle fraudulent acts like fake documents, identity theft, and deepfakes.

Payment operators are increasingly expanding into global services, enabling money transfers and cross-border payments to take place in little time. As such, payment operators must do all they can to ensure that their customers, wherever they are, can access services simply, quickly, and fairly.

Being unable to securely onboard a customer because of their document type or geographic location means a loss of potential revenue and a waste of customer acquisition cost. Veriff supports documents from more than 230 countries and territories, plus an extensive and well-maintained library of over 11,000 document specimens used to mitigate fraud, document manipulation and misuse, and prevent bad actors from gaining illegitimate access.

Overall, IDV services can meet payment operators’ regulatory, security, and geographic needs effectively. For customers, all that is needed is a valid document, a selfie, and a few seconds, then they soon access a payments operator’s services – wherever they are, whenever they like, using a device of their choice. In this sense, between the operator and the customer, an IDV service like Veriff is able to provide trust from the first hello.


David Divitt is head of fraud prevention at Veriff

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