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How advanced identity verification works
How advanced identity verification works

Details about the advanced identity verification services

Updated over a week ago

Some Horizon software services require that users perform strict identity verification procedures to gain access to those features. The primary example is administrators who wish to perform financial transactions using the Horizon Payment Center. This service requires administrators to verify their identity before gaining access to this function for security, privacy, fraud protection, and anti-money laundering reasons. Horizon uses a third-party provider,, to perform this identity verification.

Stripe builds technology used by millions of companies worldwide, like Amazon, Google, and Zoom. They help with everything from accepting payments to managing subscriptions and verifying identities. Every year, they handle hundreds of billions of dollars of payments.

Stripe Identity helps businesses verify your identity by validating your government ID document and using biometric information to verify that the ID document belongs to you. Below are resources to help you better understand how to manage the data captured in that process and how your data is kept safe. You may learn more about Stripe's identity verification practices by viewing their Privacy Policy and Verification FAQs web pages.

Why am I asked to verify my identity?

When you interact with businesses in-person, identity verification happens all the time. For example:

  • When purchasing alcohol, a cashier may ask for a photo ID to check your age.

  • When making a transaction at a bank, a teller may ask for an ID document to ensure you’re the account owner.

  • When checking into a hotel, a concierge may ask to make a photocopy of your passport for insurance purposes.

As more businesses move online and no longer interact with customers face-to-face, Stripe Identity helps Horizon confirm that you are who you claim to be.

How does Stripe verify my identity?

There are multiple ways we confirm your identity through Stripe, including:

  1. Verify the authenticity of your ID document: Stripe will typically review images of your government-issued photo ID to ensure that the document is authentic. Strip has built automated identity verification technology that looks for patterns to help determine if an ID document is real or fake. This process is like a bank teller checking your ID document to confirm it’s real.

  2. Match your ID with photos of your face: Stripe will review photos of your face that you provide to them to confirm that the photo ID belongs to you. Stripe has built automated identity verification technology that uses distinctive physiological characteristics of your face (known as biometric identifiers) to match the photos of your face with the photo on the ID document. This process is similar to a bank teller confirming that the photo on your ID document is you based on your appearance —but it’s higher-tech and a more accurate way to identify you as a unique person. Additionally, Stripe will attempt to match new selfies with past selfies to ensure each verification attempt corresponds to a valid identity.

  3. Validate your ID number against global databases: Stripe will collect your name, date of birth, and government ID number, like the last 4 of your SSN in the USA, and check this information against a global set of databases to confirm that it exists and that it is connected to a real living person matching the ID document.

Tips for completing the verification

The quality of the images captured affects success rates dramatically. Below are a few tips to help ensure that your verification passes:

Selfie verification photo tips

  • Use a good quality camera. Cameras on mobile devices typically take higher-quality photos than a webcam. We recommend using the web browser on your mobile device to get the best quality photo captures.

  • Look straight at the camera.

  • Include your head and shoulders in the picture

  • No exaggerated expressions

  • Ensure your eyes are open

  • Do not block any part of your face. Remove sunglasses, masks, or other accessories. Ensure your hair does not cover your face.

  • Find a location with ambient lighting. Avoid spaces with strong overhead lights that cast a shadow on your face or ID document. Avoid sitting directly in front of a bright light that can wash out your face and add a glare to your ID document.

  • Ensure there are no other people in front of or behind you

  • Stand in front of a plain, light-colored background

  • Avoid backlighting. This could be caused by windows or other light sources behind you.

Photo ID document verification tips

  • Use a good quality camera. Cameras on mobile devices typically take higher-quality photos than a webcam. We recommend using the web browser on your mobile device to get the best quality photo captures.

  • Ensure that your ID is still valid and not expired

  • Do not obscure parts of the document. Laying it flat on a table is best.

  • Please ensure that the entire photo ID, including any barcodes, is visible

  • Ensure that the entire image is in focus

  • Avoid glare on the glossy ID surface.

  • Avoid backlighting. This could be caused by windows or other light sources behind you.

ID Number verification tips

  • Ensure you're entering your accurate ID numbers. This is usually the last 4 digits of your US social security number.

  • Ensure the photo of your ID document is clear. The system will match your ID document's name and date of birth to your SSN records. If the photo of your ID document is blurry, it can cause the system to misread your name or date of birth. This will make the ID Number mismatched, and the verification will fail.

Verification Link Not Working

If, for some reason, the link or button to complete your advanced identity verification isn’t working, please try the following:

  • Restarting your browser

  • Clearing your browser cache and cookies

  • Using a different browser

Troubleshooting other identity verification problems

Problems with uploading your ID via mobile phone

If you start the identity verification process on a desktop device, you can easily switch to a mobile device using the options in the identity verification window. We recommend using the SMS text message option to receive a special identity verification link. If you don’t receive a text message, you can use a QR code instead to access the link. Use your phone’s camera (if QR code detection is supported) or a barcode scanning app of your choice to scan this code and access the link.

Problems with accessing your computer's webcam to photograph your ID

Check that you’ve given Horizon and Stripe permission to access your webcam -- If you block permissions to your camera, refer to Chrome [chrome://settings/content/camera], Safari, Edge documentation on allowing Horizon and Stripe to use your webcam.

If you do not have a webcam, you are running into issues with your webcam, or you're receiving a message that your web browser is not supported, you can use the camera on your mobile phone by switching to your mobile phone's web browser. You can do this by selecting “Other Options” in the upper right corner of the identity verification window and choosing “switch to another device”. You will be prompted to enter your mobile phone number, and Stripe will send a link to your phone to start the process.

Consent to use your information

There are two different sets of permissions that Stripe will ask of you for Stripe Identity.

1. Verify your identity

Stripe will capture images of you and your photo ID document to confirm your identity. Stripe will use the captured images to check that the ID document is valid and to confirm that the ID document presented belongs to you. Stripe will have access to your verification status, captured images, and extracted data from images, such as name, date of birth, and ID number, to the extent permissible by law. Horizon will also have access to the same information (e.g., your verification status, insights regarding why Stripe was or was not able to verify your identity, captured images, and the extracted data from those images). Horizon will not see the biometric identifiers used to confirm that your selfie matches the photo ID document, and those identifiers will be removed from the Stripe systems within one year. Stripe retains biometrics for one year to identify fraud over time and across photo IDs, but you can opt out at any time by contacting With this retained data, Stripe will also cross-check new selfies against past submissions. As for the non-biometric data that you submitted (e.g., photo and ID document), Stripe retains that data for 3 years.

If you are uncomfortable sharing your information this way, you can exit. If you still require verification, please contact the Horizon support team for an alternative way to confirm your identity.

2. Use your data to improve Stripe verification

Stripe will use the captured images to improve the accuracy of their biometric verification technology. This will help Stripe reduce cases where they falsely reject legitimate users or approve fraudsters pretending to be someone else. If you give Stripe permission, they will occasionally generate additional biometric identifiers for training purposes—which will be deleted within one year. You can withdraw your consent to Stripe’s use of your biometric information at any point by contacting them at

If you are not comfortable letting Stripe use your data to improve our services, you can click to decline consent, and Stripe will only use your biometric information for the initial verification. You can learn more about how Stripe handles and stores your images and extracted data in the Stripe Privacy Policy.

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