20 Feb 20247 min readin ID verification & biometrics

A Critical Step to Take Before Buying an Identity Verification Solution to Maximize Success

Nikita Dunets

Deputy Director, Digital Identity Verification, Regula

When companies want to buy an identity verification (IDV) solution, they usually follow a classic process that includes one essential step: 

Hands-on testing.

Yet, some companies skip this stage completely or don’t do it thoroughly enough. The reasons for this vary, from the specifics of internal operational planning, to a personal recommendation from a peer (“This is the best solution on the market”). Regardless of the reason, such cases are pretty common. 

Unfortunately, this can potentially lead to costly mistakes.

The ideal test drive of an IDV solution

This journey typically involves three stages: 

  • Trial 

  • Proof of Concept (PoC)

  • Soft launch

The trial stage

The trial is your first hands-on experience with a potential IDV solution. It allows you to evaluate the solution's basic functionality, user interface, and how well it meets your initial requirements. 

However, in order to implement a robust identity verification system that entails intricate integration processes and adherence to specific standards and regulatory requirements, a trial alone may fall short. 

Trials are often brief and might not involve the vendor closely. Some vendors may also provide limited functionality during a trial, leading to an incomplete view of the system's effectiveness in real situations and its integration with your current setup.

The proof of concept stage

A PoC stage allows for a deeper evaluation of the solution's effectiveness in real-world scenarios relevant to your business. For instance, if your goal is to onboard new employees in India, then the solution must effectively handle Indian IDs. The same goes for specific checks that you might be required to perform for compliance, like verifying document authenticity remotely.

The advantage of a PoC is that it’s a more structured process than a trial. It includes clearly defined objectives agreed upon by both the customer and the vendor, ensuring that the project targets specific needs and outcomes. This collaborative process helps both parties fine-tune the solution, making it more likely to meet or exceed the anticipated goals.

💡 Some vendors offer special PoC licenses that offer more attractive terms for this period.

During the PoC, for example, it’s crucial to evaluate the solution across different platforms. A system that excels on mobile devices might not offer the same functionality on desktops, and vice versa. Typically, some of the most advanced authenticity checks, such as NFC verification, can only work on mobiles. 

Integration and customization capabilities also vary widely among solutions. While some offer extensive white-labeling options and web components, others might be more restrictive.

Understanding all of these nuances beforehand minimizes the risk of post-purchase surprises and ensures a smooth transition from PoC to pilot or commercial use.

Last but not least, the PoC stage tests not only the technical capabilities of the IDV solution. A huge benefit of the PoC is the opportunity it creates for building relationships between the client and vendor teams. This stage allows both parties to assess how well they collaborate and handle challenges together. As new types of IDs emerge and new forms of fraud are encountered, the ability to work as a team becomes increasingly important.

Read also: 9-Step Guide to Choosing the Best Identity Verification Software

The soft launch stage

This stage is the most relevant for global enterprises, and typically comes as part of commercial license usage. When the stakes are high, rolling out a new IDV solution on a smaller scale first is a wise move. By carefully testing the system, a company can collect real-world insights and make necessary adjustments before the full-scale launch.

💡While not every company may need a pilot stage, the best-case scenario includes both a trial and a PoC. This methodical testing ensures that the IDV solution meets expectations, performs reliably in real-world scenarios, and ensures long-term success.

3 pitfalls of buying identity verification tools without prior testing

The catch is that this period of extensive trialing and testing will happen anyway. But once a purchase is made, what was supposed to be a trial or PoC turns into an actual integration process. 

This detail, small as it may seem, significantly impacts the customer experience.

Unmet expectations

Choosing complex products and technologies, such as identity verification, requires a clear understanding of two primary points:

  • The technical integration process to ensure seamless operation.

  • The solution’s functionality, including supported devices and platforms, image quality requirements, compliance with regulations, and more.

Failure to address these points can lead to misaligned expectations about the technology’s capabilities:

  • What can the solution do? 

  • What kind of fraud does it fight?

  • What is the level and quality of checks against fraud?

  • How does it work on different platforms? (mobile and web platforms may have different capabilities)

Loyal clients may unintentionally convince themselves that their go-to vendor can do everything. Without battle-testing, they might not realize the solution’s limitations until after purchase. Features assumed to be standard can be, in fact, unavailable or require additional investments.

If these limitations had been identified during a trial, it would have opened the door for discussing compromises, alternatives, or even price negotiations. But once a purchase agreement is finalized, the gap between what was expected and what is actually delivered becomes a significant challenge.


What you envision when browsing a vendor’s site or even talking to sales reps can vastly differ from reality without actual testing. For example, say a customer purchases an IDV solution aimed at preventing identity fraud, only to discover post-purchase that the comprehensive checks they expected are exclusive to the mobile SDK, not the web version they bought.

Alex Miatselski, Head of Support, Regula
Alex MiatselskiHead of Support, Regula

Support teams typically don’t conduct technical onboarding

At the pre-sales stage, sales reps are usually proactive, engaging deeply with potential clients to address their specific needs. Management oversight is also at its peak. But as soon the sale is closed, the intensity of engagement often drops off.

When the integration time comes, the customers (who, in fact, aren’t closely familiar with the solution) have to address their questions to the vendor’s support. Regardless of how the support is organized—a ticket system, outsourced staff, or AI help bots—such customers will be treated as experienced users. 

That makes a world of difference!

⚠️ Support for experienced users is usually focused on resolving specific issues rather than addressing fundamental misunderstandings of the product. But for those who didn’t have a chance to get to know all the ins and outs in practice, this will likely lead to frustration due to generic responses and a lack of personalized assistance.

A good vendor takes a step back and walks the actual customer through the technical onboarding once again. Unfortunately, this isn't a common practice in the industry. If something has been sold, it doesn’t seem like a wise investment for a company to repeat such procedures. While the customer may not be ignored, they clearly don’t get the same priority they enjoyed during the pre-sale stage.


The danger of this situation is that it’s hidden from the vendor's management. Customers needing further support might be seen as problematic or even toxic, rather than recognizing the situation as a shortfall in the vendor’s follow-through.

Alex Miatselski, Head of Support, Regula
Alex MiatselskiHead of Support, Regula

What to do if you can’t integrate an IDV solution before buying it

In a perfect world, it’d be wise not to make a final decision about buying an IDV solution without a trial and PoC. 

In reality, situations can be different, and we get it. It’s just important to realize that if this step is missed, it will inevitably have to be made up.

To provide yourself with a basic safety net, make sure you perform a vendor health check:

  1. Ensure there’s access to comprehensive resources: Look for detailed product documentation, video tutorials, and knowledge bases that clearly outline standard onboarding steps. And make sure your team takes their time to really explore those resources. That might be self-evident, but people hate to read, and technical documentation is seldom engaging.

  2. Verify support quality: Confirm the presence of an in-house support team that’s familiar with both the sales and technical aspects of the IDV solution. The swarming support model, which ensures a more collaborative and effective problem-solving approach, is a great option.

  3. Ask for a customer success manager: It’s like having your own advocate inside the vendor’s office who works ahead of the curve and whose main goal is to help you get the maximum value out of the product.

  4. Consider premium support: We’d emphasize this for large-scale customers. Despite common beliefs, bigger clients don’t always get more attention. So if you know from the get-go that you’ll need extended onboarding and integration assistance, it may be a good idea to ask for this option at the pre-sale stage, and then activate it when the time comes.

There are also a few tips to apply on the customer’s side.

#1: Test your use cases in the vendor’s demo apps

If full integration isn't possible before buying the solution, exhaustively test the vendor's demo applications to assess whether the technology meets your expectations. Use scenarios that mirror real-life applications of the IDV solution.

#2: Emphasize knowledge sharing

Ensure continuity and coherence by involving the same team members in both the evaluation and integration processes. For large organizations, maintaining several knowledgeable contacts is crucial in order to facilitate ongoing internal knowledge sharing. If just one person quits the company, you might need to get onboarded from scratch.

#3: Clarify both technical and business requirements

Distinguish between the technical integration and the business logic demands, involving representatives from both sides to select comprehensive criteria. As a rule, there are various teams on the vendor’s side who are in charge of these two aspects as well. This dual perspective helps in addressing all essential aspects of the solution’s implementation.

⚠️ Note that all of the above doesn’t eliminate the risk of unmet expectations. So whenever possible, prioritize launching a PoC to ensure the solution aligns with your needs.

What to do if you’ve already bought an IDV solution without a proper test-drive

If you didn’t have a chance for all-around testing of your IDV solution before buying, honesty is the best policy. This will help you avoid the trap in which you believe that the vendor knows about the problem, your sales rep is just happy about closing the deal, and the support team doesn’t have enough context to address the issue.

It's crucial to inform your vendor about the missed opportunity for technical onboarding. Articulate your needs clearly: “We've invested in your solution but require detailed onboarding to fully integrate it into our operations.” Acknowledging this gap allows the vendor to understand your position and tailor their support to meet your specific needs.

Remember that a good vendor is responsible for customer success throughout the entire lifecycle, not just during pre-sale. It’s a win-win for both parties.

To sum up

Although this post contains recommendations for buyers, it’s essential for IDV providers to realize that it’s a long-term game. With an average customer lifetime of 4 – 5 years, vendors lose a lot more than just the cost of the license by losing them in the second year. 

In fact, this situation is harmful to everyone. 

So, if you are planning to buy an IDV solution, try to get the max out of your trial period—it’ll pay off faster than you imagine. And if you don’t know where to start, asking Regula’s experts for a piece of advice is a good first step.

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