Verifying the identity of an individual can be completed in a number of ways such as using documents and/or electronic identification. You are required to verify, as a minimum, the individual's full name and either their residential address or date of birth.
Verification Using Documents
There are various types of documents that an individual can provide to help verify their identity. These documents will vary in terms of how much weight they hold. For example, some documents such as a passport require the individual's identified to be verified to gain the document, whereas other documents, such as a utility bill, can be obtained with very little information being presented. Documentation supplied by a government is preferable, but can be supported by documentation that is supplied by a public authority, court or perhaps a financially regulated service provider.
A government issued document that includes confirmation of the name and residential address or date of birth and a photo such as a passport can be used to verify an identity. Where this type of documentation is not available a government issued document confirming the name of the individual and supporting document supplied by a public authority, court or an finically regulated service provider that includes the individuals full name and either date of birth or residential address can be used. For example your customer could provide an old style driving licence and a council tax statement. Visiting the individual at their residential address can also count towards a supporting document.
When reviewing supplied documentation you should consider the risk of the document being a forgery. For additional assurance some documents can be electronically verified. For example, you may wish to electronically verify the Machine Readable Zone on a passport to ensure it matches the details supplied. Whilst this sort of verification does not eliminate the risk of a forgery it can help mitigate the risk.
Electronic Identity Verification
Electronic ID Verification can be used to verify an individual’s identity independently or in conjunction with documentation depending on your risked based approach and processes.
The check works by matching the provided identity details from the individual against their electronic "footprint". An electronic footprint is built over the course of time through everyday activities such as opening a bank account or taking out a mortgage. These types of events create a record containing identity details such as name, residential address and date of birth. In a similar way to viewing documentation it compares these details to the details held in their electronic footprint and if details match to the required level then their identity is validated. An electronic ID Verification check needs to involve multiple sources and include one match with their full name and residential address and a second match against their full name and either residential address or date of birth. The electronic verification should include screening against positive and negative information. The positive element being the individual's identity details and negative could include screening against databases such as the death register.
When using this approach you should be aware of impersonation fraud. Does the identity provided to you by the individual actually belong to the individual? There are a number of ways to mitigate this risk such as sending information to the customer's residential address, for example a welcome pack. If impersonation fraud has occurred, the individual whose identity details are being used will become aware and can contact you if required.
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