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How does identity verification (KYC) work with Bonsai?
How does identity verification (KYC) work with Bonsai?

We've put together some FAQs about verifying yourself while using Bonsai Payments or business banking

Updated over a week ago

Bonsai works with Stripe to conduct identity verification online. Stripe builds technology that’s used by millions of companies around the world like Amazon, Google, and Zoom. They help with everything from accepting payments to managing subscriptions to verifying identities.

Stripe helps Bonsai confirm your identity by conducting the following checks:

  1. Stripe will capture images of the front and back of your government-issued photo ID and review them to ensure that the document is authentic. They’ve built an automated identity verification technology that looks for patterns to help determine if an ID document is authentic. This process is like a bank teller checking your ID document to confirm that it’s real.

  2. Stripe will capture photos of your face and review them to confirm that the photo ID belongs to you. They’ve built automated identity verification technology that uses distinctive physiological characteristics of your face (known as biometric identifiers) to match the photos of your face with the photo on the ID document. This process is similar to a bank teller confirming that the photo on your ID document is you based on the shape of your nose or eyes—but it’s higher-tech and a more accurate way to identify you as a unique person.

  3. Stripe will collect your name, date of birth, and government ID number, and validate that it is real. They will check this information against a global set of databases to confirm that it exists.

Stripe will ask for your consent before collecting and using your information. They will only use your verification data in accordance with the permissions you grant before starting the verification process and based on their Privacy Policy.

What are the best practices for a successful verification?

We recommend adding these best practices before a user starts the verification process so they know what to expect.

Before starting the verification process, here’s what you need:

  • A valid government-issued photo ID document. Not a photocopy or a picture of an ID document. Ensure that the ID document is not expired.

  • A device with a camera, if possible, use a mobile device. Cameras on mobile devices typically take higher-quality photos than a webcam.

The quality of the images captured affects success rates dramatically. Below are a few best practices to help ensure that your verification succeeds:

  • Capture a clear image. Make sure that the images are not too dark or bright, and don’t have a glare. Hold steady and allow your camera to focus to avoid blurry photos.

  • Do not block any part of your ID document in the image. Ideally, you can lay it flat to take the photo.

  • Do not block any part of your face. Remove sunglasses, masks, or other accessories.

  • Find a location with ambient lighting. Avoid spaces with strong overhead lights that cast a shadow on your face or ID document. Avoid sitting directly in front of a bright light which can wash out your face and add a glare to your ID document.

Why am I asked to verify my identity?

At Bonsai, we take KYC seriously and we want to make sure fully verified users are able to get the benefits of faster payouts. Also, if you have enabled business banking, you will need to verify your identity in order to fully activate your account.

Can I get verified using a different method?

Currently, getting verified via Stripe Identity is the only way to get yourself verified. We will let you know if we add more modes of verification in the future.

Who has access to my verification data?

Both Bonsai and Stripe will have access to the information that you submit through the verification flow. We rely on Stripe to help store your verification data. Stripe uses access controls and security standards that are at least as stringent as those used to handle their own KYC and payments compliance data.

Learn more about how Stripe handles and stores your data.

How can I provide an alternative verification method?

Stripe Identity may not be able to verify all of our users. For example, some users might decline to be verified using biometric technology, they might attempt to verify with an unsupported document type, or they might not be covered by Identity’s verification checks.

In such cases, we recommend that you verify yourself using alternate ways such as reaching out to your support team at In some jurisdictions, privacy laws (such as GDPR) might require us to offer a non-biometric verification option for our users who decline to consent to use their biometric information.

Can’t verify your identity? Reach out to our support team at :)

How can I delete my data from Stripe’s servers?

When you request your data to be deleted, you need to contact Stripe Support to remove your data completely from Stripe’s servers.

We use Stripe for identity document verification. Stripe retains a copy of all the data provided as part of verification. You may also have consented to allow Stripe to use your data to improve their technology. You can delete your information from Stripe’s servers or revoke your consent by visiting

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