Voice of the Industry

The why and how of video verification and its rising demand

Friday 12 August 2022 09:30 CET | Editor: Raluca Ochiana | Voice of the industry

Christoph Sauerwein, CEO of Branddocs, explains the potential to boost UX in financial services by using video verification as a primary onboarding verification path.


With ever-increasing regulatory burdens for financial institutions as well as their younger digital challengers, on one hand, and more choice for – and therefore less patience afforded by – consumers, on the other hand, leading institutions need to provide a smooth client onboarding journey that ticks all the regulatory boxes, while not ‘breaking the bank’.  Here is where we see video-assisted identity and document verification ride to the rescue, not only in heavily regulated markets like BaFin-land Germany but even in jurisdictions in which video verification with a live agent is not a requirement. Let me explain:

Video verification allows obliged entities to verify the customer’s identity through an encrypted and completely private video call. It comes in two flavours, which are quite simple: ‘With’ a video agent, and ‘without one’. 

The ‘without’ – also known as ‘automated’ – video verification refers to a service that addresses the regularity burden in jurisdictions that require a recording of the onboarding of a consumer, yet without the active presence of an agent. Regulators like the Spanish Sepblac, for example, still require a human element, which can be provided by a back-office check after the active phase of the onboarding. This is a solution, where legally possible, allows for an easier distribution of workload between staff, which in return minimises peak load on staff. 

The other flavour, however – the video-agent assisted onboarding - is the service for which we see increasing demand. Here, the consumer, after entering their data, ie in an app or on the website of their desired financial service provider (or gaming provider or crypto company, for that matter), gets connected straightaway to a live video agent, who then takes them through the necessary steps to verify their identity and documentation. 

During this call several security checks are conducted by a fraud-trained video agent following the country-specific AML and KYC regulation, all the while the consumer is taken by the (virtual) hand and guided through the process. This is a boon, especially for many people who are not born ‘digital natives’ and who cannot handle their smartphone or computer well enough to go through an automated onboarding journey without human interaction. The percentage of the adult population requiring a helping hand in an onboarding situation in the US is estimated between 10% and 30%, with similar numbers for Europe. Institutions that implement this approach report much lower abandonment rates and an overall more positive perception of the onboarding journey – which in turn reflects positively on the reputation.  

We see both an uptake in video verification as a primary onboarding verification path as well as a secondary, fallback path in conjunction with the aforementioned automated video verification path. If not explicitly required by regulators, we see video-agent assisted verification being used as part of an onboarding journey where the target client profile is expected to have medium to low technical skills, or when the product or service offered requires a more personalised approach, i.e. in private banking and wealth management, or when verifying high-rollers in the gaming industry etc. 

And of course, there’s regulation. The National Cybersecurity Agency of France (ANSSI) for example, stipulated a stricter regime in 2021 requiring all providers to undergo the PVID certification process, trying to counter increasingly clever ways of fraud including deep fakes. So far, a (fraud-trained) human mind and a bit of common sense can more accurately identify fraudulent behaviour than the best AI out there. 

However, not all video verification service providers are created equal. Branddocs, through more than half a decade of providing and continuously fine-tuning our video service offering, coupled with a rigorous selection and training process of our video agents, has built trust with clients and partners alike. I am proud to report that our service levels are decidedly above industry standard, both regarding call answering times as well as the courtesy and professionalism of our agents.  

In addition, our modular platform TrustCloud provides capabilities for the orchestration of not only the whole onboarding journey and the safeguarding of any evidence created in the process but also the choreographing of multiple engines in multiple use cases

Since we do not subcontract our video agent services to third parties, we consistently deliver on quality in pretty much any major language. We provide our services directly to obliged entities or through leading industry partners like Jumio who recently named us ‘Partner of the year EMEA’ due to our contribution and win-win approach. 

Lastly, Branddocs is a heavily audited Qualified Trust Service Provider (QTSP) under eIDAS with dedicated instances in the US, Europe, and this year also in South America. This allows our clients to use our TrustCloud Vault eArchiving module as an endpoint to the onboarding journey or similar use cases, to reverse the burden of proof in legal proceedings. We are proud to count leading institutions like Santander Bank, Western Union, Intesa Sao Paolo, and BBVA among our clients. 

Through augmenting our own proprietary technologies with modules powered by leading providers in their respective spaces, for example in eSignature, we take a client-first, provider-agnostic approach; we can address nearly any variety of transaction-based use cases reliably with a sound economic proposal for our clients and partners; be it established corporations like the above, or dynamic digital challengers; regionally and globally. If this strikes a chord, please get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you. 


This editorial was first published in our Financial Crime and Fraud Report 2022, which showcases the innovation and development of the best practices and instruments used by financial institutions in their fraud prevention activities, to improve the digital onboarding process of their customers while fighting against financial crime. 


About Christoph Sauerwein

Christoph Sauerwein is the CEO of Branddocs. He is responsible for the company’s strategy, growth, and global expansion. He and the Branddocs team strive to facilitate easy, hassle-free access to all types of secure digital transactions, from eSignature to eArchiving to Video Verification globally. Chris lives in London with his wife and four kids.



About Branddocs

At Branddocs we are leaders in secure digital transactions. Among them are identity verification, authentication, video verification, electronic signature and qualified custody/eArchiving. As a Qualified Trust Service Provider (QTSP) under eIDAS, we comply with the highest security standards worldwide, safeguarding business and consumer data in our virtual environments.

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Keywords: financial services, online authentication, identity verification, financial crime, digital identity
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Companies: Branddocs
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime


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