Digital ID verification

How does identity verification work?

FORT works with Stripe to conduct identity verification online. Stripe builds technology that’s used by millions of companies around the world such as Amazon, Google, and Zoom. Stripe helps with everything from accepting payments to managing subscriptions to verifying identities.

Stripe helps FORT confirm your identity by conducting the following checks:

  1. Stripe captures images of the front and back of your government-issued photo ID and reviews it to make sure that the document is authentic. They’ve built an 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 that it’s real.
  2. Stripe captures photos of your face and reviews them to confirm that the photo ID belongs to you. They’ve 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 a higher-tech and more accurate way to identify you as a unique person.
  3. Stripe collects your name and date of birth, and validates that it’s real. They’ll check this information against a global set of databases to confirm that it is correct.

Stripe will ask for your consent before collecting and using your biometric information. They’ll only use your verification data in accordance with the permissions you grant before starting the verification process, and based on their Privacy Policy.

Learn more about how Stripe is storing and handling your data.

What are the best practices for successful verification?

Before starting the verification process, here’s what you need:

  • A valid government-issued photo ID document. Not a photocopy or a picture of an ID document. Ensure that the ID document hasn’t expired.
  • A device with a camera, if possible, use a mobile device. Cameras on mobile devices typically take higher-quality photos than a webcam.

The quality of the images captured affects success rates dramatically. Below are a few best practices to help make sure that your verification succeeds:

  • Capture a clear image. Make sure that the images aren’t too dark or bright, and don’t have a glare. Hold steady and allow your camera to focus to avoid blurry photos.
  • Don’t block any part of your ID document in the image. Ideally you should lay it flat to take the photo.
  • Don’t block any part of your face. Remove sunglasses, masks, or other accessories.
  • 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 which can wash out your face and add a glare to your ID document.

Who has access to my verification data?

Both FORT and Stripe have access to the information that you submit through the verification flow. We rely on Stripe to help store your verification data. Stripe uses access controls and security standards that are at least as stringent as those used to handle their own KYC and payments compliance data.

Learn more about how Stripe handles and stores your data.

FORT will only share verification data with Hackney Council and only in the event that this is required by licensing regulations (e.g. during an inspection). Hackney Council will ask for your written consent before accessing your verification data.

Your verification data is never shared in full with your artist. FORT artists are only shown your verified date of birth, and a message to indicate whether your ID has been verified successfully. FORT artists are never shown the full name on your ID or any other part of your ID document or verification selfie.

Why am I asked to verify my identity?

We ask you to verify your identity so that we can receive proof of your age, which we require in order to comply with the terms of our MST premises licence, as well as the terms of the MST practitioner licence held by the artist you see at FORT.

Why was I rejected?

Stripe uses a variety of automated tools and technologies to verify identities, and these aren’t always perfect. We understand that not everybody is going to get verified successfully first time. If you’re rejected, you can try again to use the electronic system, or give your ID document to your artist to take a photocopy. If you have been rejected, but your artist has seen and verified your ID, we will report the false negative to Stripe to reduce the likelihood of this happening in future.

Can I get verified using a different method?

You always have the right to opt out of using the digital identity verification system if you wish. If you do not want to verify your identity electronically, select the ‘opt out’ option whilst completing your consent form, and then give your ID document to your artist so that they may take a photocopy.

We need to make you aware of the following limitations to manual ID verification:

  • Your artist will see and take a photocopy of your original ID document, which means the storage of your full name as recorded on the document among other identifying details.
  • This paper copy will be kept by your artist and not stored by FORT. Once the artist is no longer legally required to retain it, it is the responsibility of the artist to securely destroy this document.
  • If you wish to view your verification data, FORT cannot assist with this process. You will need to contact your artist for this.
  • FORT cannot take any responsibility for the verification of your identity or the management of these records in the event manual ID verification is used.

How can I access or delete my verification data?

Please contact us via the contact form. If you have verified your identity digitally, we will provide a report showing all the data we have collected as part of the consent form and identity verification process. If you have used manual ID verification, we will refer your request to your artist, who is legally responsible for processing your data.

FORT retains verification data for as long as required under the terms of our premises licence. We are not able to comply with any request to delete this data during this retention period. After this time, your data will be electronically redacted to ensure your privacy and security.

Please be aware that artists working at FORT will only have access to your verified date of birth for 48 hours following successful digital identity verification. Once this period expires, artists will only be shown a notice that indicates whether digital identity verification was successfully completed. FORT retains the ability to view your complete identification data, should it be required, for the entire period for which we retain it.