Growing need for lawyers, accountants and other professions to verify identity online

Person in crowd

Whenever you use a lawyer or accountant or professional services firm operating in a regulated industry they need to do a verification check to ensure that you are who you say you are. Normally this means that at some point early on in the relationship you will have to present credentials and letters to prove your identity and home address. That typically means presenting a passport or driving licence and utility bill or bank statement to be copied and filed.

Whilst meeting face to face has been the traditional way of doing business, as we strive for greater efficiency, some tasks can be handled by firms remote from the client – and great personal service can be delivered efficiently over the phone. When moving house or remortgaging, there is nothing stopping someone from selecting a mortgage broker from Bristol and a conveyancing firm from Newcastle.  Increasingly we tend to shop around for specialist services and rely on referrals and customers reviews to seek the best firm for the job wherever they happen to be located.

Why verifying identity or finding a passport verification service can be a challenge?

Remote business relationships are part of everyday life. However, dealing remotely with firms in regulated industries can cause challenges when it comes to ID checks and customer verification services. With foreign workers and global markets not everyone’s data is available via online databases.  Moreover, these database provider relationships can be costly to set-up and to maintain regular access. Despite charging for each verification, they may only score a 60%-70% hit rate in identifying individuals. Posting personally valuable documents is inconvenient, expensive and time consuming and because of the need to have them tracked in the mail, may involve a trip to the Post Office to have documents delivered by registered post. Post Offices also have a more expensive notary style document checking and passport verification service. However, with increasingly fewer local Post Offices and longer queues, for many this is not a viable option. Some firms reluctantly ask customers to pay to go to a local solicitor to have their documents verified – clearly not an ideal starting point when trying to offer a seamless branded experience.

How Selified can help with its online identity verification check

With 85% of people having smart phones, proving identity through such manual processes is now a thing of the past. Selified provides professional services firms with a seamless way of verifying their customers remotely with an online verification check. The customer experience is as simple clicking on a link, taking a selfie, an image of their proof-of-ID and proof-of-address and pressing submit.  Selified provides a one stop online identity verification service that can verify any customer in minutes. The Cloud-based service enables the organisation to verify a person’s ID from their passport or other government-issued identity document. It extracts the key information, verifies the structure and features against document templates and cross checks the key data.  Selified can verify facial images from the selfie and check other documents, such as proof-of-address.

Operating in the Cloud, firms can use the client portal services straight out of the box so it’s easy to get started. An API service is also available for direct integration. Selified will verify people on any device - with apps or mobile web and can validate most IDs from around the world. The vast majority of applicants are verified first time so there is no need to resend images, saving time, cost and customer patience. The firm gets to keep all the videos, images and data extracted. The pricing is straightforward - per applicant, pay-as-you-go with no regular commitment.

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