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Proof Launches First On-Demand Network of Trusted Referees

Proof now features on-demand trusted referees who can support transactions where trust is at risk.
Andrew MacDougall
December 19, 2023

Fraud online is on the rise. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crimes Complaint Center received more than 800,000 reports of fraud in 2022 with potential losses of over $10 billion – a 50% increase from the year before.

Businesses often verify an identity at onboarding when establishing a relationship with a new customer. However, it’s equally - if not even more important – that you’re verifying that person’s identity for every subsequent interaction with that customer.

That’s where Proof comes in. 

When we launched the Proof platform in June, we launched a platform for all your document needs: notarizations, eSign, and a new transaction type that offers identity-verified signatures. This Proof transaction type prompts your signers to scan their ID, take a selfie for comparison, and electronically sign a document. 

But what happens if your signer has a problem verifying their identity? It could happen for a number of reasons:

  • A signer recently married and changed their name, meaning their new name may not match their government-issued ID.
  • A signer recently moved and their current address no longer matches their government-issued ID.
  • A signer uploads a blurry or cropped photo of their government-issued ID and the technology is unable to confirm the necessary information.
  • Our system could suspect that this signer is trying to commit fraud.

At this point, most identity-proofing solutions would fail the transaction. That’s where Proof is different. Our platform instantly connects your customer to verify their identity with a notary, face to face. Notaries from the Notarize Network are trained to verify an identity and act as a trusted referee.

This makes Proof the first signature platform that supports NIST IAL2-compliant signatures with the human failover of trusted referees. Whether it’s to perform a notarization or verify an identity, the Notarize Network is available on-demand, 24/7, so your customers can sign at all hours of the day. 

Here’s how it works. 

Signers who cannot complete the automated identity check are connected with a trusted referee for further review.

Trust for every transaction

Signers who need help verifying their identity will automatically connect with a trusted referee on a live, two-way video call. The Proof platform provides information to the trusted referee about why the signer failed the automated identity verification process, and gives them the tools to prompt for additional verification – whether that is to perform an SMS authentication, upload additional forms of ID, or take another selfie for comparison.

Trusted referees receive detailed signer information and are given the tools needed to verify signer identities.

After a trusted referee verifies the signer’s identity, the signer will continue on their way to completing their document.

Signers verified by trusted referees will be able to access and complete their documents.

If the trusted referee cannot validate an identity or suspects fraud, signers will not be able to access the document and its contents. The reasons for failure may include:

  • Electronic replica detection. The Proof platform will flag if the ID captured during Credential Analysis could potentially be a digital copy of the ID, not the real thing.
  • ID irregularities. The Proof platform will flag if the information captured during Credential Analysis is missing, expired, or does not match public record databases.
  • Selfie issues. The Proof platform will flag if the selfie comparison required for certain transaction types identifies different faces across poses, or is unable to confirm that the selfie is of a live person.

All of the evidence for the transaction is captured in this new Identity tab within the transaction details. The Identity tab gives you rich data about every customer, along with the exact timelines and audit trail of the identity verification results.

Each IAL2 transaction comes with robust signer identity details to help businesses operate with greater confidence.

After all, when a document is questioned in court, you need evidence that the signer actually signed. That’s why a signature on a document is not enough. You need proof. 

Watch a full demo of the trusted referee meeting experience here.

Identity proofing solutions at enterprise scale

Proof can scale to companies of all sizes. Our team has spent years building the Notarize Network and refining its operations to connect signers with a remote workforce of thousands of notaries, in less than a second. Businesses will not have to build back office operations to manually process ID documents and manage failed transactions. 

The size of the Notarize Network allows us to effortlessly accommodate the changing demands of your business – and the security you prioritize. For example, title companies in real estate are leveraging Proof to combat the growing threat of wire fraud and property record fraud.

Backed by trained identity specialists

At Proof, we believe notaries are the key to identity online, and are uniquely positioned to bring trust to digital transactions as trusted referees. In their roles, notaries verify identity, act as third-party witnesses to important transactions, and record evidence that a person actually signed.

Notaries have been trusted with these responsibility for thousands of years, and although the world has moved online, we believe notaries have a crucial role to play in the digital economy.

Every notary that joins the Notarize Network must complete a rigorous compliance review process. This includes a review of their notarial documentation, a background check, and confirming with their commissioning state that they are in good standing. Once onboarded, notaries have access to our knowledge base and comprehensive fraud training.

The Highest Standard of Identity Online

NIST IAL2 is one of the highest levels of identity proofing that can be performed remotely and the gold standard for securing sensitive transactions online. Trusted referees help ensure that the broadest set of customers can complete this stringent identity verification process. 

By meeting these standards, Proof can serve customers with specific regulatory requirements around identity verification. For example:

  • The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration requires NIST IAL2 verification for electronically signed odometer disclosures.
  • The Drug Enforcement Administration requires NIST IAL2 verification for online healthcare providers who are prescribing controlled substances.
  • Online real estate closings completed by a New York remote notary must identify participants to NIST IAL2 standard.
  • Starting August 1, 2023, the Small Business Administration will require NIST IAL2 verification for applicants completing 7(a) and 504 loan forms electronically.

Proof transactions are currently IAL2 compliant, and we expect to receive IAL2 certification by the end of 2023. You can track our status with the Kantara Initiative here.

We’re Just Getting Started

The launch of Proof’s on-demand trusted referee network is one of several new, exciting features on the Proof platform. Today, we’re also launching fraud insights for business and real estate. Proof transactions now include an Identity tab where account Owners and Admins can review the signer’s information, credentials, and identity verification timeline for signs of fraud. 

Information about this feature release and other monthly and off-cycle product releases can be found here.

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