~Real-time ID Verification

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Sankaet Pathak
December 8, 2015

We are constantly working on ways to automate compliance and risk mitigation for you. Most developers have requested faster response times for physical ID verification. So today we are announcing our real-time photo ID verification service.Functionality

Nothing needs to change in your API integration to be able to utilize this service. We have just added two more keys inside the user object to indicate the user’s status on the KYC process.

physical_doc denotes the status of the photo ID submission & verification.

To make the KYC process more transparent, we have done the same for virtual documents (e.g. SSN) as well.

virtual_doc denotes the status of virtual document.

Here are all the possible status values for both physical and virtual doc:

Values are available on the API docs as well.

Implementation & Accuracy

Instead of choosing a deterministic solution, we chose to go with a machine learned one. This allows us to add support for different types of IDs as the distribution within Synapse evolves.

Currently the service is ~92% accurate for US issued driver’s licenses & takes less than 10 seconds to validate each ID. As we get more data, the accuracy will continue to improve.

How to benefit from this update

We believe automating flows around this service can lead to better user experience for end customers. Our recommendation is to automate notifications around ID verification.

For instance when a user submits a photo ID to the system, their physical_doc status will update from MISSING|INVALID to SUBMITTED|REVIEWING.

In around 10 seconds, the status will change to SUBMITTED|VALID or RESUBMIT|INVALID.

If the status changes to SUBMITTED|VALID, send out a success notification to the end user.

If the response comes back as RESUBMIT|INVALID, send a notification prompting the user to upload a valid photo ID.

We recommend sending these instructions to the user when asking for resubmission:

Before uploading a photo ID, please ensure the following:
1) The name on the photo ID matches the name on your account.2) The image of the ID is in color and ID is clearly visible.3) Name, address, picture or other pertinent information on the ID is readable and not blacked out. We will be not be able to verify the ID otherwise.

To keep up with a user’s document status, you can either poll the user objector utilize our Subscription service (recommended).

That’s it! Photo ID verification via machines…no joke, we are releasing this for real :)

If you have any questions about verifying a photo ID or other identity verification tools, please feel free to reach out on our discuss page or email us at

As always, we are constantly working hard to make Synapse the best payments network for you. In the coming weeks, we will announce more exciting updates, so stay tuned!

Sankaet Pathak

Founder & CEO @ Synapse

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