January 31, 2020

Bad identity practices - MRZ codes

Learn about the vulnerability and risks of verifying customers through MRZ codes.

# Insights

Companies that are using a passport MRZ code to electronically verifying their customer’s age or identity need to pay close attention.

Solutions in the marketplace advising passport verification using the MRZ code are vulnerable to fraud. Here’s why...

It takes less than 2 minutes to Google-search ‘MRZ code generator’ and find a website similar to EMV Lab MRZ Calculator to produce a fake identity that a passport verification product would verify as a real identity.

Government documents such as National ID’s, Driver Licences and Passports remain the strongest service available to verify customers against independent and reliable data sources with as little friction as possible.

In the APAC region, only the Australian and New Zealand Government provides services to verify a passport. Most countries in Asia rely on the National Identity Card as it is the primary identity document used.

E-commerce businesses that are required to perform age verification utilising the MRZ code are fraught with social consequences. It only takes one incident to reach the media and expose bad identity practices that could cause immense brand damage. Companies need to be more diligent with how they choose to age-verify customers during onboarding to stand the scrutiny of any due diligence process.

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