ID Score: Building the Best KYC Layer

Sankaet Pathak
Jun 20, 2019 · 3 min read

As a part of operating a financial services business, it’s extremely important to get identity verification right.

The definition of “right” is different for different companies. Here is ours — we want our systems to be as inclusive as possible while helping reduce instances of fake or stolen identities and having a very low cost overhead.

Low cost is especially important because traditionally KYC layers at banks have alienated immigrants and underbanked people, as:

  1. Traditional identity verification solutions are credit header based, so if you are new to the country or have never used a credit product, you cannot be verified automatically.
  2. People who cannot be verified automatically, go through a manual review process which increases the base cost of the product.

So this year, our goal is to become the best KYC provider for developers building on top of Synapse, while not charging a dime for it¹.

Over the past few months, we have been pushing out a lot of the enhancements to our KYC products including improved data enrichment on email, phone and IPs, duplicate user detection, improved government ID verification to name a few.

With each iteration the goal is to:

  1. Get more actionable data on the end user, so that we can establish their identity and onboard them where others would fail.
  2. Proactively catch as many instances of fake or stolen identity as we can.

To continue with this effort, this month our focus has been to push out improvements on our SSN and face duplicate stack. With SSN the goal is to improve the verification accuracy, but without relying on a credit header or chexsystems data².

With face duplicate the goal is to use facial recognition to locate duplicate users in platforms.

Since the identity data in Synapse is now becoming multivariate (bunch of different artifacts per user like email, phone, IP, SSN, ID, face vector, etc.) and multidimensional (over 150+ companies on-boarding in some cases the same users), we can leverage this to build a more probabilistic identity score per user³.

If you are already a Synapse customer, you will hear from us within the next month to start upgrading your KYC program to incorporate ID scores⁴.

For any new platforms, you will already get this as a part of your product offering.

We have been testing out these new features, and I can say without a doubt that this is and will be best in market product for our customers.

With this product, our goal is to give our customers a competitive edge unlike any other — allowing them to build most inclusive financial products for no incremental user fees.

If you have any questions or ideas you want to run by us, please reach out to us at

[1] Not charging anything here is important, because we do not want to add an incremental cost per customer — since that will inevitably lead to alienation of one group or another.

[2] If you want to understand what we are wanting to do with SSNs, please read the following, especially the footnote #1.

[3] It goes without saying, but once we have solved this problem, the next problem at hand is fraud. Our goal is to bring Synapse to a place where no 3rd party risk mitigation / fraud detection provider is needed.

[4] If you want to play around with this, we already have this in our APIs, under . It’s a value that goes from 0 to 1 and gives you a probabilistic idea of how sure we are of the user identity.


Operating System For Modern Banking

Thanks to AC and Hillary Quirk

Sankaet Pathak

Written by

Founder and CEO @synapsefi



Operating System For Modern Banking

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