Electronic ID Verification and the Fight Against Fraud
The coronavirus pandemic changed the way we do business in almost every sector, and the impact in the property buying industry over the past few years has been incredible. One of these changes is in the rise of electronic ID verification (eIDV), something which has been a great and positive boon for conveyancers across the country.
The Risk of Identity
Purchasing a property seems like it should be so easy, but when you are talking about buying or selling something that has such a huge financial value, it’s really important to get the details right. One of those details is who it is you are dealing with.
Fraud is a real thing, especially in the mortgage industry. From identity theft to falsely reporting income, there are plenty of ways that unscrupulous individuals try to get one over on the financial institutions that are lending out hundreds of thousands of pounds in every transaction.
It’s big business for the criminal underworld and the money they steal (or simply launder) is reportedly used for funding high profile crimes, such as terrorism. On a smaller scale, targeted individuals can find themselves being scammed out of their homes or even find their properties sold without their knowledge. It’s no laughing matter and we should all be alert to do whatever we can to prevent it.
How do we do that? The first step is with ID verification. It’s something that used to be a long, painstaking (and often, painful), process. Thankfully, the world is changing for the better.
The Rise of eIDV
Digital identity verification is an incredible tool that only a few years ago we might have thought as being science fiction. Today it is a reality and it has crept into our lives without even really being noticed. Now, upon request, you can grab your phone, take a quick photo of your passport or driving license, smile for the camera, make a short video and within a few minutes, your identity has been confirmed.
We know who you are!
It’s not often we get to thank the pandemic for anything, but the growth in strong digital solutions to IDV is an excellent technological advance. No more passports lost in the post, no more long waits while someone performs manual background checks — just a few minutes while the eIDV provider performs software and AI-based magic in the background.
It’s industry-changing, especially when it comes to using a conveyancer who isn’t local.
It still relies on a few things; you do need to keep your identity up to date, so it’s worth making sure you have your passport renewed and that your driving license picture actually resembles you, plus we still need to make further checks on your address with a utility bill or similar, but the system now is so much smoother than it was even two years ago.
If you want to learn more about IDV and how it is used, why not read my longer article on the subject?