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Navigating the future of global transportation through IDV

Securing payments and passengers
Navigating the future of global transportation through IDV
 

By Elad (Elay) Elazar, VP of Global Solution Engineering at AU10TIX

The global transportation network is vast, incorporating ride-share giants such as Uber and Lyft, traditional taxi services, extensive bus lines, micro-mobile companies like scooter rentals, and a complex web of various service providers. At the core of ensuring safety and integrity lies the pivotal intersection of secure transactions and advanced identity verification (IDV).

But with a significant shift from traditional cash transactions to digital in recent years, the challenges have become multifaceted. While digital payments enhance the user experience, evolving regulations and some regions/sectors’ lingering adherence to traditional methods introduce elevated security risks.

And in ride-sharing services, where passengers entrust their safety to drivers they’ve never met, ensuring robust physical security measures is equally paramount. This concern adds an additional layer to the multifaceted challenges faced by the industry.

Identity verification challenges

Current IDV solutions face significant challenges, primarily stemming from the inefficiencies of manual verification processes and outdated system infrastructures. Although manual verification is a common practice, it introduces delays that affect critical aspects of the ecosystem, including onboarding, vehicle inspections, and service provider qualifications. The persistence of older infrastructures further exacerbates latency issues, hindering the overall efficiency of the transportation system.

The transition from cash to digital payments in the rideshare industry also has posed a formidable challenge, particularly in regions where traditional payment methods persist. The coexistence of both payment systems complicates integration into the digital payment landscape, requiring rideshare companies to address the dual-payment reality.

Adapting to changing regulatory landscapes

Regulators are also aiming to assert their presence in the ride-sharing sector, which presents a dynamic challenge and necessitates a flexible IDV solution that not only enriches the user experience but also enhances user safety. For example, during the COVID-19 era, new health and safety guidelines required ride-sharing apps to implement innovative measures such as mask detection.

To meet the evolving requirements, transportation companies are increasingly adopting advanced technologies like AI-driven identity verification. For instance, some micro-mobility companies have embraced biometric identification, implementing features such as facial recognition for both riders and drivers to enhance security and comply with city requirements, exemplifying the industry’s commitment to staying at the forefront of safety measures.

Tech solutions

Several technological solutions have recently been introduced to improve identity verification in the transportation sector:

  • Blockchain technology: Recognizing the growing demand for secure and transparent transactions within the transportation network, innovators have turned to blockchain as a key solution. This technology creates tamper-proof records of crucial elements such as vehicle maintenance and driver qualifications. Beyond ensuring data integrity, blockchain also fosters transparency, a pivotal factor for building trust within the ecosystem.
  • Facial recognition: Facial recognition that utilizes advanced AI algorithms is a powerful tool for verifying the identity of drivers and passengers. By capturing and analyzing facial features, it ensures a robust and seamless verification process, contributing to the safety and security of the network.
  • AI digital document verification: The integration of AI-driven digital document verification systems eliminates the challenges posed by manual verification. These systems facilitate the swift and accurate verification of contracts, licenses, permits, and other legal documents critical to the industry.

Real-world impact: Transforming safety and trust

A tangible example of the impact of enhanced IDV can be seen in the reduction of driver/rider violence reported since the deployment of advanced document scanning. By leveraging this capability, rideshare companies can quickly and accurately verify the identities of both riders and drivers.

This not only streamlines the onboarding process but also minimizes user anonymity and the likelihood of fraudulent activities. Drivers can be more confident in the identity of their passengers, and riders, in turn, can trust that their driver is duly authorized. The observable result has been a substantial decrease in serious interpersonal conflicts.

Trends

As we look ahead, IDV seems poised to facilitate even greater safety and security in the global transportation space.

  • Biometric verification: The industry anticipates a significant shift towards biometric verification, which uses unique biological features to ensure the identity of drivers and passengers. Unlike conventional IDV methods that might involve documents or knowledge-based authentication, biometric measures provide a more robust and personalized security layer, leveraging inherent, difficult-to-forge biological characteristics for identity confirmation.
  • Digital ID: Digital identity solutions enable companies to verify IDs securely while offering data protection and safeguarding personal information. This technological leap represents a strategic shift towards a seamless, tech-driven verification process, in which the incorporation of digital elements helps prevent fraudulent activity and enhances the reliability of identity confirmation.
  • Physical ID verification: In tandem with digital advancements, physical ID verification stands as a stalwart component. The verification of physical identification cards adds an extra layer of authentication to ensure the legitimacy of both drivers and passengers.
  • Vehicle authentication and security: Two innovative technologies are playing a pivotal role as vigilant safeguards for the industry: RFID enables secure authentication and GPS tracking facilitates precise location monitoring. Together, they prevent unauthorized access, enhance fleet security, and shield transportation services from potential threats.

Verifiable moments in the user lifecycle

In the life cycle of transportation services, “verifiable moments” are the critical junctures where identity verification plays a pivotal role and proactive methods are necessary to protect riders and drivers.

One such “verifiable moment” is the re-verification of identity in high-risk cases. In situations demanding heightened security, such as reported criminal incidents or flagged suspicious activities, a thorough identity check is imperative. This proactive approach not only mitigates potential risks but also underscores the company’s commitment to driver and rider safety.

A driver logging onto a shift is another crucial “verifiable moment.” Authenticating the driver’s identity at the beginning of each shift is fundamental for building trust with passengers. It not only reinforces the integrity of the rideshare experience but also acts as a preventive measure against unauthorized individuals assuming driver roles.

Addressing a situation where financial information is compromised is a critical concern. In the event of such compromise, there is a substantial threat to the security of both riders and drivers. Swift and accurate identity verification becomes imperative in this context. This proactive measure ensures that individuals conducting transactions are genuine account holders, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized use arising from compromised payment details.

The future of identity – verifiable credentials and identity wallets

Hosted in an identity wallet — a secure digital container — verifiable credentials are managed and stored in a tamper-resistant manner.

Verifiable credentials serve as digital credentials that are both reusable and unalterable. They function to authenticate the identity of individuals or entities, enabling secure sharing of personal documents and biometric credentials. Additionally, the architecture of VCs empowers users with self-sovereignty, enabling them to selectively share specific information as needed for various activities, such as account opening, college applications, tax payments, and more.

In embracing the revolutionary concepts of verifiable credentials and identity wallets, the global transportation industry not only navigates current challenges but actively shapes a future where trust is the driving force for every journey.

As the industry confronts multifaceted challenges head-on and embraces these unfolding trends, it sets the stage for a new era where the seamless integration of advanced Identity Verification technologies propels the evolution of global transportation, ensuring a secure, efficient, and trustworthy ecosystem for all stakeholders.

About the author

Elad (Elay) Elazar is VP of Global Solution Engineering at AU10TIX. With over 9 years of experience leading solution engineering activities. Elazar works closely with customers to design effective KYC solutions.

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