Printed ID documents have several levels of protection to prevent forgery and identity theft. Despite the sophisticated features, fraud involving identity theft is a growing problem.

According to an independent financial services 2022 research report, identity fraud losses in the U.S. alone totalled $28 billion and affected 27 million consumers.

T5-FaceLink is a biometric-based digital security feature developed to protect the facial image on a printed identity document from alteration or substitution. It can be used in various scenarios to increase confidence that the document is genuine and belongs to its holder without any specialized tools.


The swapping of the photograph on the document is one of the most common types of fraud, allowing the fraudster to take an existing ID document and create a new ID from it. Fraudulent documents with photo substitution pose significant risks as they facilitate various types of illegal activities, including identity theft, financial fraud, immigration fraud, and other forms of deception. By replacing the original photo with that of another individual, perpetrators can exploit the credibility of the legitimate document, deceive authorities, and circumvent security measures.


T5-FaceLink high-density code contains a biometric face representation generated from the original photo, as well as a digital signature to assert the genuineness of the document. Printed on the document alongside the photo at the stage of document personalization, it ensures that the photo on the document is the same as the one stored in the code. Verification consists of capturing the two together; the software then compares the representation in the code with another representation generated on-the-fly from the printed photo, all in real-time.

How it Works?

When issuing the document, a face template of the face in the document portrait is generated and printed alongside the portrait photo on the document, in the form of the T5-FaceLink code.
Using a mobile application, a verifier can biometrically and automatically verify the face in the printed portrait against the template stored in the T5-FaceLink code. The verifying party simply opens the app, holds the phone’s camera over the area of the document containing the photo and the T5-FaceLink code, and the app will confirm within seconds if the photo matches the template in the code.
In a remote onboarding/verification scenario, the software will verify that the photo has not been altered as described above, and so the user cannot substitute their own photo to match against the selfie.

T5-FaceLink provides:

A mechanism to authenticate the photo on an ID document with a face template of the original holder stored in the feature using a standard mobile phone.
The ability to authenticate a credential in off-line scenarios without having to provide an online database service for document authentication – thereby reducing the risk of data-breach and data theft.


The ability to provide government service providers and eKYC providers with a mechanism to validate and detect alteration of a document in a remote/online environment using standard mobile phone technology, even from a picture of the document.
T5-FaceLink can also be used to “upgrade” existing ID documents without the need to replace documents, designs or personalisation systems, or indeed add a chip in order to include biometrics. This enables governments to address the needs of modern ID documents without having to go through significant infrastructure replacement and cost increase.

To learn more about solving the fraud problem involving use of documents with swapped photographs, read our latest white papers about T5-FaceLink.

The overview white paper describes how adding a biometric-based digital security feature can be used to secure the photo on an identity document from alteration or substitution in various scenarios to increase confidence that the document is genuine and belongs to its holder without any specialized tools.

The white paper about adding biometric-based trust to printed visas and related documents describes how the addition of technology to verify the authenticity of a visa photo can be used in immigration and non-immigration scenarios, such as work permits or student visas, to increase confidence that the visa is genuine, without specialized tools.