Top 5 Options for Digital Signature Identity Authentication

Posted by Emily Maxie on 3/11/13 8:30 AM

When you do any business online, you want to be sure you know who you’re dealing with. This is even more critical when using digital signatures. After all, who cares how secure the document is if you don’t have any way to prove the identity of the person signing the document. Here at SIGNiX, we offer a variety of user authentication options.

digital signature authenticaiton2All of SIGNiX’s authentication options start with the same two steps:

  1. SIGNiX sends the signer an email with a link to the transaction.
  2. The singer consents to using digital signatures

After these two steps, our customers can pick from one of the following authentication options depending on the level of risk involved with the transaction.
 

Verify Signer Can Receive an Email

Email verification consists of the previous two steps. If the signer receives the email and clicks on the link, SIGNiX considers the signer “authenticated.”

Email-only verification is typically used only when there is a low level of risk in the transaction.
 

Signer Answers Shared Questions

With shared questions, SIGNiX asks the signer to answer one or more questions that are chosen by the sending of the document. Common questions include the last four digits of an account number, the signer’s mother’s maiden name or any other questions that help verify the signer’s identity.  If the signer successfully answers the challenge questions, SIGNiX considers the signer “authenticated.”

Shared questions are typically used alongside other authentication models to add additional strength to the security of the process.
 

Verify Signer’s Mobile Phone Number

digital signature user authenticationUsing mobile verification, SIGNiX sends a text message with a random, one-time password to the signer’s cell phone. If the signer enters the correct code from their mobile device, SIGNiX considers the signer “authenticated.”

This method is great for customers looking for an inexpensive, multifactor authentication method that’s easy for the singer to use.
 

Know Your Customer (KYC)

With this type of authentication, signers are prompted for their social security number or date of birth. If the signer successfully answers the questions, SIGNiX considers the user “authenticated.”

It’s good to use KYC for higher risk transactions, especially when used in coordination with other questions to the user (like the shared question verification mentioned above).
 

Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA)

With KBA authentication, the signer is prompted for their social security number or date of birth. If they answer that question successfully, they will be prompted with a set of four questions. All questions are multiple choice and are based on 30 years of databases of public records.  Example questions might include: “In which county have you purchased property?” or “What make of car did you register in New York in 2003?”

If the signer successfully answers the questions, SIGNiX considers the signer “authenticated.”

This is the highest form of authentication available to SIGNiX clients, and it’s best to use for transactions where the identity of the signer must be abundantly clear. This type of authentication is often used for loan documents, high value trades or real estate closings.
 

Single Sign-On Verification

Often, SIGNiX embeds the signing process as part of our client’s websites or portals. Since the signer might already be logged into the client’s portal and has already been previously authenticated, clients can choose to automatically trust the signers’ identities. In this case, SIGNiX accepts that the signer is already authenticated and the signing process starts immediately.

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