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Inquiry model and other key concepts

The following are important concepts for understanding Persona as you get started. 

Inquiries, Verifications, and attempts:

  • Inquiry: A Persona Inquiry represents a single instance of an individual going through an identity verification flow and providing information required to complete identity verification. A single Inquiry contains one or more types of verifications. The verifications required in a given Inquiry are defined by a Template. To learn more about Inquiry statuses, check out our documentation on inquiry lifecycle.
  • Verification: An Inquiry contains one or more verifications (e.g. government ID verification, selfie verification, database lookup). A verification takes the information entered by the individual in the Inquiry and runs through a series of verification checks to determine whether or not an individual passes the required verification checks — and thus passes the verification. 
  • Attempts: Each verification can contain one or more "attempts" at passing that verification. By default, we allow for a certain number of attempts at a verification before that verification fails — and the number of attempts is configurable. 


Accounts and reference IDs

  • Account: An Account is the representation of a single user in Persona.  An individual user in your system can be asked to verify their identity in different ways at different times, and thus generate multiple Inquiries. You can connect these inquiries for the same user and aggregate them in a single Account. See Accounts to learn more.
  • Reference ID: A reference ID is the unique ID you use to identify a user in your own system. By appending a reference ID to an Inquiry (e.g. as a parameter), this lets you easily find the associated inquiry for a given user by searching for reference ID. The reference ID also allows us to consolidate all inquiries for a given user under a single Account

Templates and themes

The identity verification flow experienced by your end users when they complete an Inquiry is dictated by of a combination of a template (which defines the sequence of verifications and the configurations of those verifications) and a theme (which defines the visual elements of the flow — including logo, colors, fonts, text).

  • Template: A template defines the sequence of verifications — and the configurations of each of those verifications — that will be required in a given Inquiry. Each Inquiry is generated from a specific template. It is possible for an organization to have multiple templates. 
  • Theme: A theme dictates the visual elements of the Persona UI that can be customized to match your brand (e.g. logo, color, font, buttons, text, etc). Each template is associated with a theme and by default, your templates will all have the same default theme. It is possible for an organization to have multiple themes.

Development environments

  • Sandbox environment: The sandbox environment can be used to test your end user flow and test integration with your app without incurring charges. Real verifications are not performed within sandbox. You can toggle this on and off using the switch in the bottom left hand corner of your dashboard. 
  • Production environment: In your production environment, you can run real verifications and production inquiries. These will be charged to your organization based on your signed order form. If you are a customer and production is not activated, please reach out to or your Persona customer success contact and we will make sure production in enabled for you.
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