Once a company has made the decision to use online identity verification, leveraging a government-issued ID and a corroborating selfie, the next big decision is what type of implementation they should use.
There are typically three options:
- Mobile SDK: The identity verification functionality is embedded within a mobile software development kit (SDK) that is integrated in a mobile app used by smartphones and tablets.
- Mobile/Desktop Web: Another popular option is to integrate the identity verification process within the onboarding workflow using a web browser.
- API: With API-based implementations, users upload single pictures of IDs and selfies to your organization which are then streamed to the identity verification provider to make verification decisions. The user experience is completely managed and controlled by your business.
NOTE: Not all solution providers offer all three of these implementation options.
11 Key Benefits of the Mobile SDK Approach
While each of these integration methods has their pros and cons, there are a number of compelling advantages that make mobile SDK the superior choice. When integrating an online identity verification solution, it’s important to use a product that minimizes the amount of user friction. By adopting a mobile SDK, most of the user experience during the identity verification flow is owned and managed by the online Identity verification solution provider. This is actually a good thing since most of the leading solution providers are specialized in optimizing the user experience.
1. Automatic Image Capture
One of the key benefits of a mobile SDK implementation is that you can leverage some of the built-in features of the modern smartphone. With automatic image capture, your users simply center their ID document within a rectangular border on screen and the SDK automatically snaps a photo when edges are aligned within the capture window. We capture a video of the photo ID and automatically select the best frame for submission.The real benefit of the mobile SDK is that solution providers can leverage the powerful functionality built into the phone’s hardware to automatically capture clear and crisp images of ID documents and selfies. Web clients can also use the autofocus feature of a single frame on their phone, but the mobile SDK can capture a series of frames and compare them with other images previously captured through software comparisons and conditional image quality selection.
2. Quality of Data Extraction
A byproduct of having a better picture of an ID document is that modern OCR technology can more accurately perform data extraction from those documents. Many of our customers ask that we extract important parts of the ID document, including the name, ID number and date of birth. When we have a clear image of a document, we can naturally improve the quality of the data extraction.
3. MRZ/Barcode Recognition
With our SDK implementation, Jumio will not take a picture of a passport if the machine readable zone (MRZ) is not present or the barcode is missing from the backside of a two-sided driver’s license. This functionality cuts down on processing incorrect documents and speeds up the identity verification results.
4. Liveness Detection
Cybercriminals have learned to fool online identity verification solutions with spoofing attacks, using a photo, deepfake video or mask of the authorized person’s face. Built-in liveness detection makes sure the user is physically present and not using a “spoof”to circumvent the selfie requirement. This important functionality does not exist with many API implementations, so businesses are often forced to develop workarounds to ensure “liveness” during the new account onboarding process.
5. Higher Conversion Rates
Because of its intuitive workflow and because the image-capturing step is automated and optimized, we see the highest conversion rates with the mobile SDK implementation. Across our customer base, we see 20% to 30% fewer drop-offs compared to API-based implementations with our mobile SDK. This is not surprising since the SDK’s user journey is more intuitive and streamlined — and because of the higher quality of the images captured by the automatic capture process.
6. Flexibility of Phone Types
Jumio’s mobile SDK can accommodate a wide range of different phone models, spanning a number of operating systems and manufacturers.
7. Reduced Fraud Attempts
The simple requirement of a selfie and a liveness check has a chilling effect on attempted fraud because it requires the fraudster to provide an incriminating image of their own face. In fact, SDK customers experience 50% fewer fraud attempts than customers using a web-based capture method for identity verification.
8. Faster Verifications
Another well-kept secret of mobile SDK implementations is that they yield faster verification speeds. In fact, mobile SDK transactions are processed 30% faster than web and API capture methods thanks to a more intuitive interface, better data capture and higher resolution images. Jumio SDK now provides near-field communication (NFC) capabilities, which enables Jumio to automatically read the NFC chip embedded in specific ID documents (e.g., passports).
9. Brandable Interface
Jumio’s native mobile SDK enables our customers to fully customize the online ID and identity verification experience. The SDK lets you modify the look and feel of the screens, including the colors, text, buttons and even the number of screens included in the user journey. This means that most of the on-screen graphical elements can be designed to fit your branding guidelines. This is often not an option with other types of implementations.
10. Quick & Easy Integration
Jumio’s mobile SDK integration is pretty simple and straightforward thanks to well-documented implementation guides. These implementation guides are backed up with account managers and solution engineers who can help our customers integrate the chosen SDK in their apps within days, sometimes within hours.
11. Best User Experience
Our mobile SDK solutions help our business customers generate the highest conversion rates by designing the ideal onboarding journey for your end users. This provides the best UX with a single click to select country and document type. Jumio also provides the progress status so users know how many more steps are left in the process.
While some of these benefits are available for web/mobile web implementations — and only a handful of these benefits accrue to API customers — the mobile SDK approach has inherent benefits that are hard to beat.
It’s important to understand these important trade-offs when deciding between the different types of integration methods, since this seemingly simple decision can have a profound impact on fraud attempts, verification speed and the user experience.