What’s So Hard About Name Matching?
Airbnb is loaded with talented engineers, so their first thought was to ask their developers to investigate building a name matcher exclusively in-house. Once they got into scoping out the work though, “We started to see the challenges across languages to be resource intensive and complex,” said McCabe. “And there just aren’t many solutions out there.”
“Verified ID helps create a connection between the person’s online and offline ID based on a number of factors including a high quality name match.” Marc McCabe, Airbnb’s Business Development Lead, said.
Name matching is a key component of the Verified ID process. And, given the international nature of their business, Airbnb’s Verified ID process helps users match names that originate in multiple languages, and in more than just the Roman A-to-Z alphabet. Users were already inputting their names using the Cyrillic alphabet (used by Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, among other languages).