Why it’s important to verify your client’s identity

Advantage 365

23 August 2021

Identity fraud is a serious issue in United Kingdom. In the conveyancing sector, there are formalised ID verification requirements set out in an attempt to prevent fraud in property transactions.

These regulatory requirements for lawyers are not just about complying with regulations, it’s about protecting your law firm and your clients. If your firm is exposed to fraud, the implications can include financial loss, reputational damage, regulatory penalties and legal action.

In a recent Lawtech 365 survey, almost 80% of practitioners admitted they still photocopy their client’s identity documents and only 10% use an online verification tool. Many lawyers are likely continuing with the traditional “photocopy ID” method of verification out of habit. However, as more of the conveyancing process becomes digital through the adoption of the latest case management systems like Actionstep and Clio, it's important to consider how you can improve not only the efficiency, but the security of your client verification process.

Verify 365 client verification app provides extra due diligence measures for verification, along with flexibility with how you verify. The app not only integrates with case management systems such as Clio and Actionstep, but also provides additional layers of verification.

Verify 365 is powered by the latest proprietary biometric technology which provides four verification measures. The platform runs the ID documents through the following processes:

1. Biometric Verification
The facial recognition technology uses deep learning algorithms to detect facial patterns and match images regardless of angle, posture, lighting, facial hair or whether the client is wearing glasses. A direct comparison is undertaken between the government certified image (for example a Driving Licence or Passport) and the self-taken photo/video and an NFC chip to verify authenticity. Verify 365 supports over 9,000 government issued IDs from over 190 countries. Their global reach allows you to verify your clients from all corners of the world. Verify 365 offers highly automated biometric verification to make this quick and simple, so you always know your clients.

2. NFC Document Verification
With their new NFC-chip reader verification technology, they can verify a person’s identity document in a matter of seconds. Not only does this make their mobile verification flows more convenient, but NFC verification is also a much more secure method of data validation and compliant with HMLR.

3. AML checks through Open Banking technology
Verify 365 will verify source of funds securely and easily through our FCA-regulated Open Banking technology. Their Account Information Service extracts individual or company transactions and balance data from multiple accounts, using bank-side authentication and consent processes. For lawyers, a thorough anti-money laundering source of funds check is critical to cover SRA-requirements and reduce money laundering fraud risks. Collecting paper statements from your clients can lead to long turnaround times. With Verify 365, your clients transaction data is guaranteed to be authentic and complete, and it's instantly available, analysed and verified without the need to request additional bank statements.

4. Address Verification Service
Verify 365’s Address Verification Service (AVS) is a fraud prevention system that, when used effectively, can help to limit fraud and comply with AML regulations. AVS works to verify that the address entered by the client is genuine by against 18 databases. AVS is a Verify 365’s service designed to stop fraud.

Once the submission is checked and assessed, the report will come back with results for each verifiable asset of either ‘Verified’ or ‘Could not be verified’. If any documents cannot be verified by Verify 365, lawyers can then take any additional steps you deem necessary to verify the client’s identity.

Ensuring that your client is who they say they are is key to protecting your client and the reputation of your firm.

To find out more about using Verify 365 smart technology to strengthen your verification of identity processes, contact: info@verify365.co.uk or visit www.verify365.co.uk

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