The Guide to Document Verification Technology Solutions

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The certification, verification and authentication of documents is today based on 3 major technological solutions: 2d doc, electronic signature and Open API.

While each one has advantages and disadvantages, they all meet a very specific need. Archipels positions itself on this market by offering a solution with an innovative economic model, where the customer remains in control of his personal data. 

Discover in this article the different solutions available on the document certification market.

The 2d doc scanner

2d doc: what's this about?

As pointed out by ANTS (the national agency for secured securities), the 2d doc solution aims to "secure the documents used as supporting documents for the opening of private contracts and for the completion of administrative procedures". The idea is relatively simple, since it is a 2D barcode which contains the important information of the document, in particular the electronic signature of the data hash.

Asymmetrical encryption ensures the integrity of signatures through a system of public and private keys: all actors with the public key of the issuing signatory can control this integrity and the data itself is not encrypted.

A scanner or barcode reader is sufficient to verify the signature using the user's public key. The 2d doc solution is particularly used to check the integrity of signatures on documents such as proof of address, proof of income or proof of direct debit.

An effective and almost instantaneous solution... but limited adoption...

Using a QR-code on invoices and documents is an easy process : just scan it to retrieve the important elements of the document and check that the document is in due form. The 2d doc solution works rather efficiently and almost instantaneously with regard to verification and authentication.

One of the limitations of the system is that it is not fully adopted by all issuers of supporting documents, in particular because of the cost of setting up and maintaining it. Indeed, the barcode must be printed on each invoice or PDF document and generated each time: it is therefore a cost without any associated revenue, making it an important cost center for the organization.

At Archipels, we believe that this data should be valued by issuers. A portion of the revenues generated is thus paid back to the issuer. All data and their processing obviously remain in full compliance with the RGPD.

Archipels vs 2d doc: between speed and versatility 

Transmitter side

2d doc is an effective solution to fight against document fraud. However, it is expensive to implement and does not generate income. Therefore, its adoption is entirely at the discretion of issuers of documents with evidentiary value. There is no legal obligation or regulatory constraint that would impose its use. 

Archipels passes on part of the revenue generated to the issuers of the documents. This virtuous business model allows for an easier adoption of the solution. 

Another major difference is that there is no possible revocation of the 2d doc whereas the Archipels solution allows to revoke this authentication if the document is no longer authentic. On paper, the 2d doc remains anchored on the document.

Also, no data on the use of the 2d doc by third parties is available, unlike Archipels, which allows tracking the use of the document. This traceability is a major asset for the issuer. It allows him to have access to useful market data.

Client side

2d doc involves an additional step to check the document: the extraction of data from the document is followed by the extraction of vector data from 2d doc, in order to compare the two. 

Today Archipels allows the customer to verify the authenticity of various types of documents by submitting digital fingerprints via API. The response is then instantaneous and binary, as you will immediately know whether the document is authentic or not.

As you can see, Archipels allows you to check the authenticity of the document immediately, but this requires the original digital document - the native PDF from the issuing partner's customer area. Conversely, verification via 2d doc can be carried out on a scanned or photographed document if the image quality allows it. 

In summary, 2d doc is a versatile solution, usable on different formats of the same document, while the Archipels solution provides a fast execution speed for a smooth integration into the customer's workflow. 

Electronic signature (and digital fingerprinting) tools

Understanding electronic signature and digital fingerprinting

Under European law, an electronic signature is " data in electronic form which is attached to or logically linked with other electronic data and which serves as a method of authentication ".

Let's start with the purpose of the electronic signature in the process of verifying and authenticating documents: this process guarantees the authenticity of the sender of the document and verifies the integrity ofthe document.

Thanks to its non-repudiation function, the electronic signature ensures that the sender has sent the document, he cannot deny it.

A message or document can be said to be signed when it is accompanied by its fingerprint encrypted with the sender's private key. In concrete terms, the digital fingerprint implements a hash function, which consists of generating a shorter message - the fingerprint - that changes at the slightest change to the original file.

It should also be noted that the hash is a one-way hash, since the print of a file does not in any case allow its reconstitution.

The limits of the electronic signature

The electronic signature therefore effectively addresses the problems it addresses - namely, ensuring that the document has been signed by the right person and that it has not been altered. However, its intrinsic characteristics make it unsuitable for certain uses. 

Indeed, its non-repudiation function prevents its revocation in the event that the document is no longer authentic : a new version exists and we want to make sure that it is the latest version that is used. It will be possible to write a new transaction in the Archipels blockchain that would anchor the time-stamped proof that the document is no longer valid. 

Finally, electronic signatures as a solution to ensure the integrity of a set of documents can quickly become expensive. The Archipels solution has been designed to remedy this problem. Our platform makes it possible to verify that a document has not been altered while remunerating the signatory of this document. 

Open API solutions 

Definition of the Open API and Open Banking

The latest major technological solution for document verification, theOpen API, often linked toOpen Banking. What are we talking about?

The DSP2 required banks to develop at least 3 regulatory APIs: account aggregation, payment initiation and balance coverage.

Here we are talking about open banking which refers to the use of Open APIs allowing third party developers to create applications and services around financial institutions.

On the bank side, it is a very interesting and powerful solution to authenticate a profile and check its solvency. It offers a global and real-time vision of the management of a person's money by allowing to see the unpaid, overdrafts, etc..

Like the Credit Score , which is widely used in the United States and is part of accepted practice, Open Banking is designed to assign a score to categorise each client according to the level of risk they pose to the bank. 

A major problem of intrusiveness

By using individuals' login credentials, verification technologies based on the Open API and Open Banking model prove to be highly intrusive. They simply give banking and financial institutions full access to particularly sensitive financial data. 

Indeed, by giving access to his bank account, the user will reveal useful information. For example, if it is his deposit account, the amount of his income will appear there. Institutions using Open Banking will thus be able to check his solvency and therefore his ability to repay a loan. 

In addition to his income, the user will give access to all the transactions that appear on his account - i.e. the amount and location of all his expenses - personal information, considered by many to be confidential. 

Archipels only certifies documents that the end user chooses to provide when entering a customer relationship. 

Whether it is 2d doc, electronic signature or Open API, each solution has its advantages and disadvantages. While most of them allow for improved versatility and easier information sharing, few of them ensure true traceability of the use of personal data. 

Archipels allows instant verification of the authenticity of the document and its integrity. Our solution guarantees the confidentiality of the data while paying the issuer of the document.

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