Why It's Called Identity Verification, not Identification? | Argos KYC

Selfie ID Verification
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There are numerous methods to online KYC(Know Your Customer) - facial recognition, fingerprint, iris, and voice. The level of accuracy, security, device dependency, and costs vary by each method. Among various choices of the method, facial recognition - taking a selfie is a widely used way for KYC. However selfie ID verification is not the highest in terms of accuracy and security, fingerprint and iris show higher scores. Then why many online identity verification solutions are widely using selfies for ID verification?

Why Selfie ID Verification?

The facial recognition method - taking a selfie - has a somewhat lower level of security and accuracy compared to iris or fingerprint. However, most online KYC services use taking a face photo as a major tool to verify a person including Argos KYC.
There are some reasons why Argos KYC choose the facial recognition method, and in this post, we will cover one reason.

High Enough To 'Verify' KYC

Did you notice that we used the word 'Verification', not 'Identification'? There is a difference in the terminology. And if you understand each term, it will help you to comprehend why the words are chosen to use.

Identification (1:N)

There are numerous samples to compare. Identification has a broader term compared to verification as it has to go through a much larger database to find the match. It is more fittable with high accuracy technology such as iris.

Verification (1:1)

There is only one sample to compare. From the collected data such as submitted ID, the system validates the person's identity and checks if the person is who he/she claims to be. Argos KYC provides performance with 99.5% of accuracy which is high enough to 'verify', not 'identify'.

Combination with Liveness Check

However, as taking selfies are easy to acquire, additional tool to strengthen the accuracy and reliability is required. That's why Argos KYC supports liveness checks. When taking a selfie, Argos KYC liveness detection technology can identify whether the face is taken live or not. This helps prevent forgery attempts such as taking photos of someone's photo. Liveness detection tools can validate whether the photo is from the real person.


As most digital identity verification solutions operate for the purpose of 'verification', not 'identification', facial recognition is possible and provides high enough trust as the online Know Your Customer tool. There are other reasons why selfie id verification works for online KYC - the initial way of identity verification and device dependency. We will cover them in our next post. Stay tuned.