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What is a Liveness Check?

What is a Liveness Check?
Jun 17, 2024 Rory Traynor Updated On: June 25, 2024

A liveness check is a method used in identity verification that confirms that there is a genuine living person is actively undergoing a check. This stops fraudster that are pretending to be somebody else using stolen photographs or other likenesses.

In modern business it is extremely important to be aware of exactly who you are dealing with. A global rise in the appetite of governments to combat financial crime, especially money laundering and terrorism financing, has seen the widespread introductions of regulations dictating who can and can’t be dealt with.

This is paired with the growing threat that businesses face of becoming the victim of fraud. Unfortunately, the technology that is allowing the business world to become evermore connected is also behind the rise of international fraudsters targeting the UK economy.

To help businesses meet their regulatory requirements and build solid defences against fraudsters sophisticated identity verification (IDV) and anti-money laundering (AML) software have been developed.

These use multiple methods to analyse an individual and verify their identity, one of which is a liveness check.

This is method has been widely adopted as it is so effective and very few people will not have completed one at some time or another. However, most people would be unaware exactly what a liveness check is.

What is a liveness check?

Liveness checks are pieces of technology that confirm that an identity verification check is being undergone by a genuine living person via some form of user input, as opposed to a stolen photograph or deep fake being used by a fraudster.

This is done primarily by the use of movement; for example the test subject may have to smile on command, turn their head left to right or even the camera itself. This technology is then able to analyse not only datapoints on the face of the subject but also the naturalness of the movement and for factors such as blinking and breathing.

Most often liveness checks are completed on a smart device via accessing its camera.

Red Flag Alert’s AML Checks and IDV checks use liveness checks and other advanced technologies to keep your business safe. Click here to find out more.

How does it beat fraud?

Liveness checks foil attempted fraud in two main ways:

  1. By requiring some sort of user input/movement on command it means that stolen photographs of individuals are able to be used by fraudsters pretending to be somebody else. By making this on command and vary what this command is and when the command is triggered it makes it extremely difficult for a prerecorded video to be used, let alone obtained without the subjects permission.
  2. By scanning the subjects face to confirm the image on the camera is three dimensional. This distinguishes against a photograph or video as they will register as two dimensional to the analytics software, just as a printed photograph of a three dimensional image does to the naked eye.

 Does my company need liveness checks?

If you have AML or IDV requirements then liveness checks are an invaluable tool in meeting your regulatory obligations, deterring fraud, and protecting your company.

Criminals are extremely sophisticated, highly skilled in deceiving businesspeople, and can deploy advanced techniques to do so.

By your business not having the ability to foil these techniques you are placing yourself at risk of exploitation by fraudster or money launderers and may even expose yourself to being found non-compliant.

Red Flag Alert provides a market leading digital AML & IDV platform that deploys cutting edge technology including liveness checks, document verification, and facial analysis to keep your business safe.

Checks take just 30 seconds to send out with your full branding and are completed off your customers device.

Don’t let your business be at risk. Speak to one of our team and discuss how to create foolproof defences with Red Flag Alert.




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