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How do you know your identity is safe if you do a video KYC?

As per the National Crime Records Bureau’s Crime in India 2021 report, Bengaluru held the record for 72% of the total identity theft cases in India registered across 19 cities in the country.

How do you know your identity is safe if you do a video KYC?
Even though the risk is pretty high, video KYC is considered to be a safe kind of Know Your Customer process as video-based identity verification solutions come with a promise of safety and prevent fraud.

By Siddharth Kukatlapali

In the modern world that we live in, technology rules every aspect of our lives. We have been leveraging the benefits of digitisation for various purposes, whether making online payments seamlessly, ordering food or groceries, or even undertaking digital identity verification. 

Video-based KYC, also known as the video-based Know Your Customer process is a recently introduced feature that involves video-based identification of a customer’s KYC details. In today’s times, when the pandemic has pushed people toward virtual interactions, the need for virtual solutions and identity verification has increased significantly. In this scenario, video KYC has emerged as a boon that has not only digitised but also transformed the workflow for remote KYC verification.

Also read: No need for Aadhaar, PAN for bank accounts soon! Will CKYC be a boon or bane for customers? 

The video KYC is faster and more reliable, helping businesses redefine customer experience and ensuring customer retention. However, the digitisation of processes is fruitful but comes with challenges. Let’s take a closer look at how video KYC can secure individual identities:

Identity theft: The dominant form of cybercrime faced by India

As the saying goes, “where there are pros, there will be cons”; similarly, using technology comes with the associated risk of fraud, data breaches, etc. There is an added risk of identity theft, especially in the case of video KYC. When you provide your personal information to a company, you trust that they will keep it safe. But the real question is how you can be sure and assured that your data would be kept confidential. 

As per the National Crime Records Bureau’s Crime in India 2021 report, Bengaluru held the record for 72% of the total identity theft cases in India registered across 19 cities in the country. Furthermore, the Internet Crime Report 2021 released by the USA’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre of the FBI highlighted that India ranks third in the top 20 countries that suffer from internet crimes. Amongst the crimes, identity theft continues to be the most common form of cybercrime that India faces today.

Ensuring identity safety while doing the video ‘Know Your Customer’ process

For any customer, their identity consists of sensitive and personal information. Identity theft is conducted by fraudsters in various ways – either by collecting information from social networking sites and adorning a fake identity of a bank or company representative, or stealing ID cards and/or details, etc. 

To ensure your identity is protected while doing a video KYC process, a few things should be taken care of.

  • The first step is to check and validate the website’s security. For this, you need to look for the https:// in the address bar. If this is present, it implies that the site is using SSL or Secure Sockets Layer. This end-to-end encryption will protect your information as and when it is sent to the company. 
  • The next step is to make sure that the company has a heightened privacy policy. Always ensure that you read the rules and regulations, as this will give you an idea of how the company will use the data and how long they will be keeping it. Adding to it, the company should have adequate security measures, for instance, encryption, a robust firewall, or anti-malware software to protect your information from hackers. 
  • The third and most important step is to use a VPN, Virtual Private Network. This is a critical tool in the process of video KYC as it enables sharing data over a network that is protected. Such networks use encryption to create a secure connection over the internet infrastructure. This way, the information exchange process is secured, and your identity stays protected from cybercriminals.

Way forward

As per EY Forensics’ 2022 report, 53% of the respondents who were surveyed shared that cybercrime, phishing, etc., have increased significantly over the years. Unsecured websites and a lack of cyber awareness are the primary reasons for this spike. However, with just a few simple steps, gauging the website’s security, understanding the company’s privacy policy, and using Virtual Private Networks, the threat of identity theft can be reduced, and information can be protected. 

Even though the risk is pretty high, video KYC is considered to be a safe kind of Know Your Customer process as video-based identity verification solutions come with a promise of safety and prevent fraud. It has emerged as a game changer in the truest sense as it has simplified and expedited the KYC process.

(The author is co-founder and CBO, Syntizen Technologies. Views are personal.)

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