Verification roadblocks cause frustration for digital nomads

Digital nomads are expressing the most frustration when interacting with organizations offering services in the United States, according to Regula.

digital nomads verification

This revelation comes as a surprise, given that the United States was the most frequented destination for the digital nomad community in 2022.

Pain points in US verification processes

The most painful verification processes for nomads in the USA are linked to specific stages: crossing the border (21% of respondents), checking into a hotel (19%), renting accommodations (19%), activating a new mobile phone or SIM card (17%), and securing a rental car (14%).

In the second spot, the United Arab Emirates presents its share of hurdles, particularly in the areas of applying for a visa, navigating the intricacies of medical insurance, and procuring age-restricted products.

On the other end of the spectrum, standing out as a prime example of efficiency for foreigners, is Germany. It boasts a majority of seamless verification processes during critical steps, including applying for a visa, boarding a flight, checking into a hotel, activating a new mobile phone or SIM card, opening a bank account, and completing medical insurance paperwork.

It also needs to be highlighted that identity verification use cases vary depending on the country, shaped by the specific nuances of local migration laws. For instance, digital nomads in the UAE and US tend to apply for work permits more frequently than their counterparts elsewhere.

Just imagine the bureaucratic labyrinth of numerous registrations, verifications, and account openings with essential organizations in a new location that must be navigated by nomads within just a few weeks or a month.

The most prevalent issue associated with the verification process, cited by 19% of the survey’s respondents, revolves around document validity periods. Some identification documents come with expiration dates, and for a digital nomad who is far from their home country, renewing these documents on time can pose significant challenges.

Residency verification hurdle for digital nomads

The challenge of providing proof of residency is cited by another 19% of respondents. Digital nomads often lack a fixed residential address, making it hard to furnish traditional proof-of-residency documents like utility bills or rental agreements.

Linked to the previous point, 18% of respondents highlighted the challenge of frequently changing locations. Constant travel and shifts in location can result in inconsistencies in the information provided during ID verification, potentially causing delays or rejections. Lastly, trust and credibility are a top concern for another 18% of nomads. They may encounter skepticism or a lack of trust from institutions due to the unconventional nature of their lifestyle and work arrangements.

“Verification poses a daunting task for digital nomads as each country and business enforces its unique rules, often lacking streamlined processes for foreign document verification. In the era of global mobility, businesses and nations cannot ignore this new breed of customers and need to carefully review their users’ journeys to elevate the standards of identity verification processes, making them both simple and secure,” said Henry Patishman, EVP of Identity Verification Solutions at Regula.

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