Like most OTAs, Airbnb does feature identity verification among other safety features and it’s an essential step in joining and using the top vacation rental platform.
Trust and safety are the main priorities of Airbnb. To build trust in the Airbnb community, the identity verification procedure was introduced back in 2013.
Since then, Airbnb has significantly improved the identification verification system to make the platform a safer place for guests and hosts. Still, identity verification on Airbnb is a point of discussion and a source of concern among the users of the platform.
To arm you with the necessary information, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions regarding Airbnb ID verification and the process around having your ID checked by Airbnb.
Read on to find out why you should complete the verification step and what measures Airbnb has in place to protect your data.
Airbnb ID verification is the process that permits the platform to check that everyone is who they say they are. To establish trust and ensure safety for every user of the platform, Airbnb will ask you to provide a government-issued ID or confirm your legal name and add your address.
ID verification is not necessarily linked to the signup process. In fact, you might be required to confirm your identity for any of these other reasons:
To verify your identity through the Airbnb ID verification process, you will need to add your legal name and address and provide a photo of your government ID.
There are several ways to confirm your identity:
However, according to Airbnb, the photo-matching process may not always be completely accurate. It largely depends on the skill and experience of the reviewer.
Another thing that may impact the photo-matching process is the quality of the photo. Also, it might be difficult for a reviewer to match photos if there are changes in a person’s appearance.
These factors can sometimes result in “matching” photos that are not actually of the same person. Therefore, Airbnb asks hosts not to rely on the photo-matching process as a solid guarantee of someone’s identity.
There are three options to verify your identity and present your ID to Airbnb:
To upload your ID from a computer or laptop, head to your Account, and select Personal Info. Scroll down to the Government ID field and click the Add button. Then you should select an ID type that you are going to upload from the list of suggested options. To start uploading the necessary photo, click Continue.
Depending on what country you are from, you can verify your identity by adding one of the following identification documents:
Airbnb accepts only government-issued IDs, therefore, your gym or library ID will be rejected.
When adding a driving license as your verification document, be sure to take photos of both sides.
If you add a passport, check if your photo includes the numbers located at the bottom of the page.
When taking photos of their IDs, residents of Singapore, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Japan, and Korea should cover their identification or registration number with tape or finger. In case you are adding an existing photo, make sure to remove the number first before uploading it to Airbnb.
ID verification may take up to 24 hours. But generally, an Airbnb account gets approved within a few hours.
To keep the data safe, Airbnb uses the same secure encryption that websites use to transmit credit card numbers. However, to prevent identity theft, you should avoid sending your ID using an unprotected public WiFi connection.
According to Airbnb’s Terms and Conditions, people who are under 18 are not allowed to use the platform. This is because minors who are under 18 cannot enter into a short-term rental agreement. When you upload your ID, Airbnb is able to check your age and provide this information to the host.
Airbnb has always been strict about the age of its users and with the introduction of the global party ban, running checks on users’ age has become even more critical. Unauthorized parties were not allowed in Airbnb properties before but when the global COVID-19 pandemic hit, Airbnb decided to impose even stricter measures. Airbnb updated its policy to ensure that all guests adhere to social distancing rules.
Aside from banning parties on all future bookings, Airbnb has restricted people who are under 25 and who have fewer than three positive reviews from booking entire homes in areas close to where they live.
However, guests who are under 25 can book an Airbnb property of any type outside of their location. They are also allowed to book a private or hotel room in the same location they reside in.
Airbnb doesn’t publicly share its users’ IDs. If a host requires a guest to verify their ID, the host will only receive the following information:
As a guest, the following information will never be shared with your host or anyone else on Airbnb:
Airbnb employs machine learning as a part of its ID verification process in order to identify potential problems before they arise. They also have a real-time detection system that evaluates hundreds of signals to identify and stop any suspicious activity.
If the system detects any kind of suspicious behavior, the Airbnb team may take a range of measures. Thus, to prevent fraud, Airbnb may take down a suspicious account entirely.
Why does Airbnb verify ID and is it something that benefits all the stakeholders?
Where permitted by law, Airbnb uses the information provided by a verified ID to run background checks to uncover criminal convictions, as well as, sex offender registrations. Currently, background checks are limited to users in the United States.
Across the globe, all hosts and guests are screened against regulatory, sections, and terrorist watch lists. Airbnb may pass along information to banks, financial institutions, and law enforcement agencies to facilitate investigations. These investigations may involve tax, money laundering, sanctions laws, and criminal investigations.
For guests, the ID verification process ensures that hosts are who they say they are. Given the risks that come along with renting a property from a stranger, Airbnb verifies hosts’ IDs as a means of establishing trust.
Airbnb guests can rest assured that a listing they are about to book is not a scam, and there is a real person behind it.
The process works helps to ensure that Airbnb has someone who they can hold accountable if any issues arise either around check-in, payment, dispute resolution or so on.
In the same way that the Airbnb identity verification process benefits guests, it also helps hosts. For hosts and Airbnb, it helps to prevent fraud. Airbnb hosts rely on Airbnb to process and collect payments from guests. For this reason, it helps to ensure that all payments made via the platform are valid transactions.
By having their Airbnb profiles verified, hosts can attract more reservations. Guests prefer booking with hosts who have confirmed their identity and have a “Verified ID” badge. To show that you are a trustworthy host, it is essential to fill in your Airbnb profile and add all the necessary verifications.
The introduction of ID verification has ended the anonymity on the platform and improved the user experience for guests and hosts.
If becoming a successful and responsible property manager is on your to-do list, take some time to verify your profile with other personal information. Getting the “Verified ID” badge will add more credibility to your account and help to increase the occupancy rate.
To maintain a constant influx of bookings, it’s essential to continuously improve the guest experience. The key to the perfect guest experience lies in keeping all aspects of the hosting process under control.
Luckily, there is an array of tools and software solutions to help you handle your workload without getting overwhelmed. Vacation rental software such as iGMS will help you automate your short-term rental business.
You will be able to streamline your routine tasks by making use of the following features:
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