Amazon is testing a simplified experience for seller verification

This experience aims to maintain Amazon’s robust seller verification while offering a more convenient way to begin selling.

Man sitting at a desk looking at a computer

Our community of nearly two million selling partners is critical to delivering value, selection, and convenience for customers. Most of these sellers are small and medium-sized businesses, and they represent the majority of physical products sold in our stores.

We take pride in creating a trustworthy shopping experience that allows customers to shop with confidence. That’s why Amazon has built industry-leading tools to verify potential sellers’ identities by using a combination of advanced technology and expert human reviews. We make it straightforward for entrepreneurs to set up a selling account, but very difficult for bad actors to do so.

As we continue to iterate upon and improve the selling experience, some small businesses have told us they would like an even more efficient way to complete our identity verification process, one of the key steps before someone can begin selling in our store.

Today, we are starting to test a new, optional experience for prospective sellers that uses forgery detection, facial recognition, and liveness detection technology to quickly verify the authenticity of government-issued identity documents and whether they match the individual applying to sell in our store. Our test will determine whether we can achieve the same robustness of identity verification as our current processes while also providing a better experience for sellers who choose this verification process.

If a prospective seller opts into this experience, here’s how the test process works:

  1. First, they’ll provide access to their device’s camera, and will be shown a series of steps in which images of their face and government-issued identity document are captured.
  2. Next, the images are analyzed using machine learning models to create unique facial measurements called facial biometric data. This data is processed in real time to confirm that the prospective seller’s face matches the face on their government-issued identification document.
  3. Once that process is complete, the prospective seller will see a pending verification page.
  4. During the test, we will be manually reviewing the system’s decisions and verifying seller identities, and notifying prospective sellers of the decision within a few days. In the future, many of these decisions will be automated and communicated instantly.

As with everything we build on behalf of our selling partner community, we take the security and privacy of seller data very seriously, and we treat all in accordance with our long-standing policies. Here’s what we’re doing as part of this test:

  • The facial biometric data captured through this test will only be used in real time to verify a seller’s identity by determining whether 1) they’re a live person, and 2) whether their face matches the picture on their government-issued identification document.
  • The facial biometric data captured through this test will not be used for any purpose other than to verify a prospective seller’s identity.
  • The images captured through this test are encrypted both in transit and at rest.

We’re starting this test with prospective sellers in our U.S. store, and we look forward to gathering feedback from sellers to help us improve the experience over time and determine if it can provide a better experience that continues to maintain and improve our high bar for seller verification.
This is one of many efforts to innovate on behalf of sellers as we continue to enhance the selling experience in Amazon’s store. Learn more about how we invest in powerful tools, services, and support that enable our community of selling partners to build successful businesses.

Watch this introductory video from Amazon’s Seller University to learn more about how to set up an account as a new seller.

FAQ

Q:
Is this required in order to sell in Amazon’s store?
A:
No. This is a new, optional way for prospective U.S.-based sellers to complete the identity verification process prior to selling in Amazon’s U.S. store. If prospective sellers prefer, they can complete the identity verification step though the current process of an in-person video call.
Q:
When will sellers outside of the U.S. be able to use this option?
A:
Currently, this voluntary process is only available in the U.S., but we’re eager to gather feedback from sellers to help us build and improve this offering over time.
Q:
Does this test comply laws such as BIPA and CCPA?
A:
Yes, we comply with all applicable laws.

Anirudh Chandrakant
Anirudh Chandrakant
Director of Seller Registration Services at Amazon