Layered Identity Proofing Can Enhance Security & Trust

The RegTech Hub
Published in
3 min readMar 6


March 2, 2023

Document VerificationIdentity Verification

Organizations navigating the digital economy can establish trust in customers’ real-world identities and enhance security by layering identity proofing capabilities.

The “Market Guide for Identity Proofing and Affirmation” by Gartner® shows how companies face the challenge of balancing digital assurance with user experiences that minimize onboarding friction. The report offers identity proofing strategies to achieve that balance and examines the broad range of identity proofing technology available to companies.

“More often than not,” according to the guide, “a combination of techniques is deployed to reach a tolerable level of assurance in an identity claim.”

In the digital world, identity proofing can form the foundation for trust, compliance and fraud prevention. But it’s a complex challenge that can require multiple vendors, contracts and integrations.

Identity Proofing and Affirmation

The report breaks identity verification into two categories: document-centric identity proofing and data-centric identity affirmation.

Identity Proofing

Per our understanding from the report, identity proofing involves analyzing digital images of identity documents, usually captured with a mobile phone camera, to determine if an ID is authentic. The image is then compared to a live selfie for liveness detection to determine if the ID matches the person presenting it.

“The identity assurance achieved with this capability used in isolation is relatively strong,” according to the guide, “relying on both ‘something only you hold’ and ‘something only you are.’”

Identity Affirmation

Identity affirmation, according to the report, “has been the mainstream approach to proving an identity for many years. It involves checking the identity data (e.g., name, address, phone number, date of birth) entered by a user against sources such as electoral records, credit bureau data and census information.”

Unifying Tools to Enhance Experiences and Outcomes

There are multiple factors that go into choosing an identity verification strategy, including the risk environment, legal requirements and ease of implementation. It’s also important to consider:

  • The process for document and selfie verification
  • Who owns the data.
  • The availability of data
  • How verification will affect the user experience in different markets

Choosing an identity vendor involves multiple factors. Some verification processes monitor the entire customer life cycle to prevent fraud, ensure ongoing compliance and adapt to market shifts.

“Making identity proofing, fraud detection and user authentication capabilities work together across the user journey can improve risk mitigation, reduce costs and boost innovation in product or service offerings, but remains challenging for organizations to execute on,” according to the Gartner report.

Quickly adjusting verification tools and services to match changing compliance requirements or other factors can help organizations maintain smooth customer experiences.

The report recommends security and risk management leaders:

  • Balance the user experience with establishing trust depending on the use case.
  • Integrate technologies to manage risk across the customer journey
  • Focus on ease of implementation, optimizing the user experience, connectivity to data sources and references from organizations with similar profiles.
  • Understand how future digital identity schemes will affect operations.

In an increasingly digital world, identity proofing and assurance has become fundamental for establishing trust and security.

White Paper

Read the Gartner “Market Guide for Identity Proofing and Affirmation”

Learn how to select vendors to establish trust, improve risk mitigation and enhance customer experiences.

Gartner, Market Guide for Identity Proofing and Affirmation, 2 March 2022, Akif Khan

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.



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