190108 Amazon
Amazon. Image Credit: Reuters

Washington DC: : E-commerce company Amazon is testing using video calls to verify third-party sellers in an attempt to minimise the amount of fraudulent accounts and listings on its platform, the company announced.

According to The Verge, earlier this year, the live verification initiative initially was used in-person meetings, pivoted to video conferencing as the coronavirus pandemic made social distancing measures necessary.

An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement, "As we practise social distancing, we are testing a process that allows us to validate prospective sellers' identification via video conferencing. This pilot allows us to connect one-on-one with prospective sellers while making it even more difficult for fraudsters to hide."

Currently being trialled in countries including the US, UK, China, and Japan, the new live verification process involves an Amazon associate checking that a seller matches their ID and the documents they've provided as part of their application. It does not involve using any facial recognition technology to verify their identity, Amazon confirmed to GeekWire.

The call also provides an opportunity for the associate to answer questions about the application process. So far, that over 1,000 prospective sellers have gone through the pilot program, says Amazon.

Amazon says its existing verification process for third-party sellers uses a combination of machine learning and human review to weed out suspected bad actors. The company said these processes stopped 2.5 million accounts from listing items for sale in 2019.