What to Know About Our Online Identity Verification Technology
A key part of renting a unit out to a prospective tenant is verifying their identity.
If someone walks into a facility and says, “Hello I’m Michael Scott, I would like to rent a unit,” you want to make sure he is who he says he is.
In-store, this is a simple process: you ask that person for their ID and compare it to the person in front of you to quickly verify their identity.
Online verification, however, is a different story.
One of the biggest benefits of online rentals—allowing anyone to rent from wherever they are at any time—also creates one of the biggest hurdles. How do you verify someone’s identity when they’re a state away trying to rent a unit at your property four hours after your office closes.
As a result, many operators simply don’t allow prospective tenants to complete their unit rental online. They can complete most of it but, before the rental is official, they need to visit the operator’s office to prove their identity with ID.
That’s not the case for Tenant’s partner operators. We offer them the power to verify their tenants’ identities online.
Using our technology, all someone needs to verify their identity is their phone and a government-issued photo ID.
During the rental process, on-screen instructions guide tenants through their rental agreement.
At one point, the tenant gets to our renter verification section. This is when they snap two photos: a selfie and the front of their ID.
The system will authenticate the photos and afterward a tenant just needs to fill out a few more pieces of information to finalize the rental, without ever needing to step into an office. The entire verification process takes less time than it would take you to order—or make—a cup of coffee.
And we offer this technology to all our partners.
How To Use Tenant Inc.’s Online ID Verification
To get to the online verification section of our rental process, you first need to find a unit to rent. Here’s how you get to that point:
- Visit a self storage website built by Tenant, like storelocal.com.
- Enter a ZIP code, city, or state to find a self storage location near you.
- Select a location that meets your criteria and then choose a unit that fits your needs.
- Choose “rent now” on the next page to continue with the rental process or “reserve a space” if you’d like to lock in a rate for 14 days and complete the rental process another time.
- Begin filling out the rental agreement form. This will include basic information like your name, email, and phone number. Then you’re ready to move on to the ID verification section.
Once you get to the renter verification section, verifying your ID is a simple three-step process:
A driver’s license is often the most convenient form of identification we recommend people use, but our ID verification system can detect more than a thousand different forms of government-issued identification.
Once it matches the ID you provided with one in its database, it begins to look at the card’s fine details, such as the location of things like your signature, photo, and other important features. Our system knows what information needs to be an ID and where it’s supposed to be located for every state.
In total, the system inspects 128 different points on your identification.
It can also detect if the ID you provided is real, a photocopy, or if it’s been altered.
Once the system authenticates the data on your ID, it begins comparing your selfie to the photo on your ID to ensure the two faces match. If they match, you’ll receive a success message and can proceed. If the photos do not match, you’ll need to verify your identity some other way.
This entire process typically takes less than a minute.
The transmitted data is encrypted, complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Our online identity verification technology helped our self storage partners navigate some of the operational hurdles that the COVID-19 pandemic caused.
For example, many stores needed ways to minimize interaction between their tenants and staff. The ability to verify a prospective renter’s identity without needing to meet them in person added an extra layer of safety for both workers and renters without forcing a business to turn away any customers.
This technology has also helped operators circumvent typical office hours. Before integrating online identity verification, if a rental came in after office doors closed, an operator would have to wait until the next day to get them into their unit.
Now their tenants can verify their identities after office hours, and then it’s just a matter of sending them a code to their locks.
Some operators have discussed the idea of hiring employees on the East and West Coasts to ensure that they have people available at all times to send out these codes as soon as a tenant verifies their identity.
In the rare cases where operators have seen a customer express hesitance to submit their ID information online, they’ve found other methods, like video calls, to verify a renter’s identity. With these methods, however, operators lose the security and accuracy of Tenant’s system.
And, for the operators looking ahead to stay ready in a growing industry, online identity verification makes their businesses more customer friendly, convenient, and competitive.
“[Online identity verification technology] gives you such an advantage. There’s going to be a period of time where there are going to be a lot of stores that don’t change. You have to be the store in your market that does change and is able to better serve the needs of your tenants,” said Dane Elefante, chief operating officer for Platinum Storage Group.