When you're underage and go to a bar, you hope the bartender doesn't 'card' you. But, when you get older, you're actually flattered if they ask to see your ID.

In the emerging world of new FinTech, the sharing economy, and other online technologies, validating user identification is critically important. How can these services know that their new user is really who they claim to be?

Fraud was hard enough to catch in the past. Now in the computer age, people are using better technology to commit fraud, so we need better technology to fight it.

Here are three startup companies using cutting-edge technology to fight against ID fraud:

I Am Real – The Reality Check For The Sharing Economy

Imagine you see your "dream house" being offered on Airbnb. The person posting the profile wants to settle the payment off the official site. This should already raise a red flag, but it's your dream house — maybe you can risk it. Or you could use a new tool to mitigate the risk.

I Am Real is an innovative platform that uses social and video technology to verify identities. While it's not to hard to create a fake account for online services like Airbnb, it's a lot harder to create interaction that passes for real.

For example, if Amy is pictured shaking hands with Bill, and Bill's identity is verified, that goes toward validating the identity of Amy. Similar to Google's method of authenticating websites, the social-graph process operates under the assumption that legitimate websites will probably be linked to other legitimate websites.

Here's how it works: I Am Real users record a short video of themselves via a webcam or mobile phone saying a random code, and the system uses computer vision to match it with their photos, taken from their passport or driving license, or from their social network.

This system also serves as a good way for users to prove that they're using an actual picture of themselves. This can provide user protection when it comes to online dating and keeping predators off social networks.

"I myself fell victim to fraud," said Nadav Benedek, I Am Real's Founder and CEO. "That's why I see it as my personal mission to make the web a safer place for people on sharing economy platforms, online lending services, and online dating sites."

AU10TIX – Authenticating IDs In Just Seconds

Online retailers are another group that could benefit from authenticating documents quickly, since they deal in payments (remittance, wallet, lenders, etc.).

Dealing with so many incoming customer identifying documents such as passports, identity cards, and driver's licenses is expensive and time consuming. The overload of documents naturally explains why most authentication services are notoriously slow, error prone, and involve costly manual processing.

AU10TIX is a startup specializing in implementing hardware and software-based applications used for scanning, identifying, authenticating, and validating identification documents. It ensures quick and secure customer onboarding.

Unlike conventional solutions, AU10TIX is completely automated, requiring no customer input other than submitting an ID image. By using multi-factor authentication technology that uses a simple click-and-go (keyboard free) process, AU10TIX can carry out a complete process of authenticating a document in record time, with an average processing time of 10 seconds.

With so many services, including financial and platforms that power the sharing economy, AU10TIX has plenty of room to grow.

Gemalto – Synchronizing And Streamlining Document Authentication

Government agencies, like the Department of Motor Vehicles, also benefit from ID authentication technology.

The California DMV issues thousands of ID documents every day. Gemalto, a Dutch leader in digital security, has provided the nearly 200 California DMV field and investigative offices with its advanced Coesys Document Verification software solution. DMV officials can now verify the authenticity of documents such as passports, ID cards, and driver's licenses by simply checking the graphical data and security features against reference templates from an array of issuing countries.

Working with the California DMV, Gemalto provided an automated synchronization solution connected to a central document repository. This solution reduces the burden of manual updates on each authentication workstation located within the DMV field offices.

Using Gemalto’s sophisticated technology, the California DMV is able to streamline the entire review process of authenticating foreign documents. For DMV workers, Gemalto’s Coesys Document Verification is simple to use and provides instantaneous results for identifying counterfeit documents and accepting genuine ones.

It doesn't matter if you are a consumer, a retailer, or a clerk at the DMV, document authentication is critical to keeping you and your business safe. So, the next time someone asks you for your ID, don't be annoyed. Appreciate it.

What do you think? What technologies and trends are changing the way businesses identify their customers? Let me know in the comments.

Published on: Jul 30, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.