Electronic Identification Verification

By Vincent McCartney, Managing Director of Verifi Identity Services


Electronic Identity Verification (eIDV) is the process of verifying the name, date of birth, address, and PEP status of your customer against independent, secure, and robust data sources electronically to try and meet your KYC obligations, rather than relying on physically certified documentation.

Using an eIDV solution can transform your business by speeding up your onboarding processes (increase revenue) and allowing you to reduce headcount (reduce costs) – or at least reassign an employee from being a cost to your business into someone that is generating you revenue.

What eIDV cannot do is fix all of your AML problems, it is not a silver bullet that is going to make AML go-away, it is there as a tool to assist you.

eIDV is great at streamlining your on-boarding processes to allow you to engage with your customers in an efficient and low-friction way, be it through an integrated solution in your website/CRM, web portal or a self-service option for your customers. These options are great for performing CDD quickly on low to medium risk customers, or with customers that you have identified as needing CDD during an Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) process, but eIDV will not carry out the entire EDD process for you.

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If EDD is triggered, there are solutions available that will be able to help you identify the ultimate beneficial owners of a company and beneficiaries of a trust, but it is extremely difficult to automate the discovery of source of funds and source of wealth. For these tasks you will need to have a manual process in place to gather the information and then to validate the data and authenticity of the documentation.

When using an eIDV service you also must consider how you can link the customer back to the claimed identity. This can be automated with the low to medium customers using a biometric (matching photos of faces and ID documents) style service, or taking the first deposit from your customers bank account and matching the bank account name back to the claimed identity. Using a service like this with high risk customers can certainly help but it should not be relied on as the only check or linking that you perform.

With new technology comes new costs but it need not be a drain on your business, you should see technology as an avenue to improve efficiencies and allow team members to focus on revenue generating areas of your business and therefore extract additional value from their work. How much an eIDV service improves your business depends on the solution, the cost and how integral you make it to your business. So when deciding on whether to take the leap of faith into eIDV make sure you do your research about what is out there, this includes asking your industry peers about which service they are using as well as your trusted AML advisor about which eIDV services they can recommend.

Vincent is a financial services professional with more than 15 years’ experience in retail and wholesale financial markets across the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

He has developed, launched and managed several successful financial trading products and project managed the roll-out of business-critical online trading platforms, including client migration and integration of equity trading into large banks.

Vincent McCartney Managing Director of Verifi Identity Services

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