Firms turning to electronic verification, SmartSearch says

Backlogs in issuing official ID documents such as passports and driving licences are driving a surge of interest in remote, document-free electronic ID verification, according to SmartSearch.

The anti-money-laundering (AML) specialist suggested that firms required to verify identity should “embrace the benefits of going digital.”

Both the Passport Office and the DVLA are advising customers of significant delays in issuing new ID or renewing existing documents due to reduced capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, SmartSearch highlighted.

The AML expert said that firms required to verify the identity of their customers and perform due diligence have reported this is impacting on their business, and that these firms are unable to onboard new customers, or conduct significant transactions on behalf of existing ones, on the basis of ID that is close to or past its expiry date.

SmartSearch’s own Know Your Customer (KYC) and AML solution doesn’t require identity documents with just a name, address and date-of-birth needed to conduct a full set of AML checks – which includes screening against global sanctions and politically-exposed persons (PEP) lists.

“The backlogs at the Passport Office and DVLA are further indications of the way we’re all having to think again about how we conduct business in the wake of COVID-19,” SmartSearch chief executive, John Dobson, commented. “SmartSearch provides an easy way for firms to circumvent these problems – while also making the onboarding and KYC process quicker and simpler for both staff and customers.

“The advantages of electronic ID verification are clear, with or without COVID-19. It’s high time firms of all shapes and sizes embraced the benefits of going digital.”

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