A New Level of Document Verification: Regula Enhances Authenticity Checks with Portrait Cross-Checks 

Half (49%) of organizations around the world had to deal with fake or modified physical identity documents in 2022, as Regula’s survey*revealed. With this fraud always on the rise, Regula is reinforcing its solution for document verification with extra features, including all types of portrait verification. This update adds an additional layer of assurance in the process of document authentication and helps detect forgery more efficiently.

Fraudsters use many techniques to forge a document, and photo manipulation or replacement is definitely not a rare one. For instance, they can morph a new picture and attach it to a valid document. The options are numerous, but they are generally related to visible primary portraits. However, the absolute majority of identity documents nowadays have secondary and/or “ghost” photos that may or may not be visible to the naked eye. Such additional portraits are added to documents in RFID chips that are read with NFC technology, in kinegrams, in lenticular images, or just placed anywhere and visualized under special lights (ultra-violet, for example). 

The updated Regula Document Reader SDK automatically checks the presence (or absence) of all the portraits in the document: primary, secondary, and “ghost”. The solution ensures that the required quantity of the holder’s photos is present, and that they are located everywhere they should be, including other pages of the document, not only the main one. This ability derives from Regula’s profound knowledge of document features and security elements based on more than 12,500 scrutinized identity document templates. Regula’s proprietary database, the world’s largest, is a result of their unique knowledge of reliable authentication of identity documents.   

With portrait checks, it goes even further: paired with Regula Face SDK, Regula Document Reader SDK introduces the out-of-the-box photo comparison. The solution matches facial images in all the photos (primary, secondary, and “ghost”), no matter their location in the document, and detects any possible mismatches or manipulations that may indicate fraud. All of that is done within one interaction in mere seconds.

For deeper document authentication, Regula Document Reader SDK offers a new feature: LASINK™ portrait printing technology verification. This is a special check of laser engraving technology that is used for securely printing portraits and is extremely difficult to counterfeit.

Obviously, some of these secondary or “ghost” portraits are best seen and inspected only when a physical document is provided. For instance, to be able to visualize a photo in a kinegram or a lenticular image, one must move the document and inspect it at various angles. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t properly verify a document in remote scenarios. 

For this purpose, Regula Document Reader SDK provides a possibility to verify the so-called “liveness” of a document, i.e. to conduct a special session during which a person moves their ID in front of a mobile or web camera to show that they have it as a hardcopy, not a scanned image or a screenshot. This makes it possible to check the presence and validity of optically variable security elements, like holograms, that help prove the authenticity of a document. Also, such a “liveness” check helps eliminate the risk of dealing with fake documents that don’t exist physically, but are created by fraudsters in the form of screenshots or images to bypass online verification. This is achieved by a special feature that allows Regula Document Reader SDK to detect screens and digital devices that are shown to the camera instead of document hardcopies. 

“There are two important rules that organizations looking for maximum security should follow. First, the ‘Please provide a photo of your ID’ approach doesn’t work any longer, as many images of fake IDs are often impeccable and humans and even technologies may not be able to detect forgery from a static picture. Therefore, we strongly advise switching to a liveness-centric verification process that enables verification of physical documents and their dynamic parameters. Second, it is important to authenticate as many elements in a document as possible, ideally every single data field and security feature. However, it is not enough to just verify them one by one. You should be able to cross-check everything and find possible mismatches and inconsistencies that may indicate that you’re dealing with a forged ID,” says Ihar Kliashchou, Chief Technology Officer at Regula.