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Verification vs Authentication - What's The Difference?

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

We know what you're thinking.

"Po-tay-to, po-taa-to - it's all the same."

But we kid you not, there's more to these 2 terms than you think!

What is Verification?

Verification is the process of confirming a digital identity, usually taking place at the beginning of a new business engagement with a client.

In order to determine whether the information or documents are legitimate, it is done by asking for a birthdate, contact number, or maybe even a government-issued ID card.

Simply put, verification is when you confirm that someone is who they claim to be. For example, XYZ is, in fact, XYZ and not a fake user or bot.

Depending on who is asking for confirmation, verification can take many various forms. It might be as thorough as searching through official data sources like credit checks, or it can be as simple as requesting an email address.

A person isn't verified until the organisation inspecting them feels right, therefore verification is somewhat subjective.

woman looking at charts on a smart tablet

But then what's Authentication?

The process of continuously validating a now-verified digital identity is called authentication. In other words, it serves as a check to ensure that the individual accessing a certain account is its legitimate owner and is associated with the verified identity.

Every time someone makes use of a company's system, authentication normally takes place. In fact, you probably don't even recognize it as authentication but rather as how you access your account since it's so ingrained in our work processes.

man with iphone in hand on blue background

In order for authentication to take place, a consumer is required to submit a factor such as

  • password

  • PIN code

  • fingerprint ID/biometrics

  • facial recognition

Hope we've cleared the confusion!

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