Identity Verification Vs Authentication

Identity Verification vs Authentication: A Knowledge-Based Comparison For Securing Digital Identities

In the digitized world of cybersecurity and digital identity management, we often encounter a question. What is the difference between Identity Verification vs Authentication? The answer lies in this article as we are about to unfold this concept. First, we shall clarify the Identity Verification and then compare it with Authentication. Also, we will discuss some of the latest and trending ways of ID verification and authentication.

Identity Verification Vs Authentication: A Brief Comparison

Both Identity Verification and Identity Authentication are widely used terms in KYC and AML. These terms are used interchangeably to explain a single concept of digital identity management for security compliance. However, these terms have different concepts behind them. If we look into a deeper definition of both, we shall know the difference. Let us define both processes one by one.

Identity Verification

Identity Verification refers to the process of verifying the collected information about a customer’s true and documented identity. Identity Verification is the most basic concept in KYC and AML compliance as everything revolves around a customer’s Identity. For example, a bank requires an ID card, Proof of Address, and other details to open up a bank account.

Identity Authentication

As the name refers, Authentication means verifying the identity as they have posed it. Here, the verification procedure is more strict and cross-verifies the provided information with the claimed Identity. For example, a password or biometric authentication is required at an ATM machine to confirm that the transaction is carried out by you.

Importance Of Identity Verification and Identity Authentication

Seemingly, both processes complement each other in the KYC process. Identity Verification is carried out to collect information about the customer. Likewise, it establishes the digital identity that is recorded in a centralized database. On the other hand, Identity Authentication brings scrutiny and filtered confirmation in the system. These two combine to form a secure digital identity system. In this way, a fraudster or scammer can be identified if he is trying to bypass any security measure. Especially, in the course of KYC and AML, Identity Verification vs Authentication is of high importance.

Main Difference Between Identity Verification vs Authentication

Identification, Verification, and Authentication are three different steps. Following is the main difference between them:

Initial Stage of Digital Identity ManagementSecondary Stage of Digital ID ManagementThird and Final Stage of Digital ID Management
Initial data collection of the customerCross-verifying the collected data with database recordAllowing customers through a recurring verification process to use the service
Signing up processVerifying the details by cross-matching the recordsSigning in process

Now, Identity Verification can be considered as the combination of the first two. Similarly, Identity Authentication is the combination of Identification and Authentication. Overall, there’s a thin line difference between Identity Verification vs Authentication.

Identity Verification Vs Authentication: A Simple Scenario

Basically, it is the identity-proofing system that best explains the working of the process. Look a the example of the dialog below digital identity in each case:


Application: “Hello! Please, Provide your Name and Address. Also, follow the signup procedure as guided”

Customer: “Name: Carl Johnson, Address: 36 down-street, avenue-6, Ohio, USA.” Also, he signs up with a unique password


Application: “Please wait as we are verifying your identity for your own safety. Thank you for your patience. You shall receive a confirmation email shortly.”

Customer: Waits for the email and then receives an email notification.


Application: “Congratulations! You are signed up. Please log in with your name and password.”

Customer: Logged in through his own credentials (Name and Password).

Above, is a simple scenario of Identity Verification vs Authentication. Clearly, one can see the level of connectivity between the application and the user. It all depends on the trust that a customer builds in the system by being honest and law-abiding.


Conclusively, it is evident that the comparison between Identity Verification and Authentication is a concept. Overall, there is no preference between the two. Rather, both Identity Verification and Identity Authentication are equally important for a robust and foolproof Digital Identity Management system. Moreover, regulated entities must stay updated with the latest KYC and AML guidelines to avoid legal actions.

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