By Mev Dzihic – CTO at Verify 365
30 October 2022 – London
Before we begin, let’s cover what an address verification is. Simply put, an address verification check is the requirement to match a client to a place of residence, wherever that may be. For example, for property transactions solicitors and conveyancers are required to “verify” and “obtain evidence” that their client, John Smith lives at 123 High Street, and ensure there is a link between your client and the address provided.
Why is an address verification important for conveyancers?
As stated above, as part of a law firm’s Client Due Diligence (CDD) process, a conveyancer must be able to verify a client’s address. Lets discuss why:
1. A verified address is a vital identification attribute to verify a person’s identity.
2. Being able to link a person to an address or place of residence is the same as being able to verify that the individual does have some form of stable history and they haven’t set-up shop in some building just to launder some money.
Notably, proof of address helps with the ‘Know Your Client’ (KYC) process and ensures full compliance by helping to prevent fraudulent activities.
The problem with many legacy systems used by law firms in the UK is that they claim to offer an “address verification” system, but the truth is that most of these are no better than Joe Bloggs doing an address verification search on Google.
Why switch to Verify 365 Address Verification Service?
A “real address verification” solution shouldn’t just “capture” a client’s address but instead it should run a real-time “check” to “match” the client to their stated address.
An address verification like this can only be done if we capture the evidence from your client’s document such as the client’s name, street address, premises number and then run this information against the verified data sources, such as the Electoral Register.
The ability for a law firm to link a client to the stated address as part of their due diligence and AML regulations is key.
That is why you should switch to Verify 365.
We provide real-time, instant address verification and address matching service, meaning that we run a verified check on the street address and the client’s name, thus being able to match the two in real time, in less than two seconds.
Can Verify 365 Address Verification Service help law firms to prevent fraud?
Every law firm should adopt a risk-based approach to AML, meaning that every risk associated to a client should be assessed and appropriately dealt with.
An address verification check from Verify 365 is just one fraud detection mechanism that should be used in conjunction with other fraud detection mechanisms, like an ID verification, as part of an overall AML check and client onboarding approach.
However, the inclusion of an address verification decreases the likelihood that your law firm would let a fraudster slip through your AML net, ensuring that you’re more protected.
Law firms should set up a multi-layered risk-based approach for AML checks
I appreciate that it is easy to say that an address verification should be part of an ‘overall’ risk-based approach. But what does that mean?
What should an address check be paired with to ensure maximum protection for law firms and lawyers?
When dealing with AML compliance, you need to ensure that you have a good idea of who your client is, and an address verification is just one facet of a larger approach to AML.
Through a multi-layered risk-based approach a law firm should be building a picture of the client that is easily verifiable.
A solution like Verify 365 can assist you with AML checks because we provide a full suite of AML technology, which is explained in more detail below.
Identity Verification Solution for Law Firms
A Biometric ID verification which is compliant with HM Land Registry’s Digital ID Standard is the core technology block in Verify 365’s AML software solution.
By using biometric and NFC technology from Verify 365, lawyers can verify a client’s identity and their documents ensuring both are genuine. Along with this, by using liveness detection technology, Verify 365 can help you ensure that the client is a real person and not spoofing the system or trying to get around the in-built security measures. Verify 365 ID Verification Solution incorporates all these features which is why it is used by hundreds of law firms globally.
Source of Funds Checks using Digital Bank Statements
Verifying your client’s source of funds and source of wealth is important for AML compliance and asking a client to provide this over email is one way to obtain that information. However, paper bank statements can be forged easily so there is a better way to securely obtain your client’s financial profile.
By using Verify365, lawyers can connect to a client’s bank account directly, whether that be through a bank or building society. This is important because by going directly to the source, we can ensure that the financial data obtained is real and up to date. Combined with Verify 365 Advanced Analytics Tool, your lawyers can easily spot potentially fraudulent money-laundering activities.
Source of Funds Questionnaire
Verify 365 Source of Funds Questionnaire is another “hurdle” any fraudsters need to get through. Through our advanced question setting and algorithms, we’re able to understand exactly where a client’s fund have come from ensuring that we know whether funds are legitimate or illegitimate.
Sanctions and PEPs Checks
Sanctions are restrictions used to stop individuals and entities who are involved in – or suspected of – illegal activities from engaging in certain industries. Government bodies and financial authorities both issue sanctions lists, these can be used to screen individuals and organisations for financial sanctions.
A PEP, or Politically Exposed Person, is someone who holds a prominent position in public life – for example a senior member of government or law enforcement – making them more vulnerable to bribery and corruption.
Sanctions searches and PEP screenings are a central component of your AML checks, as they confirm that your client doesn’t present a money laundering risk.
A global PEP and sanctions searche is part of Verify 365’s Customer Due Diligence onboarding process, so all relevant parties, individuals and businesses are identified and verified, and then their details are checked against global sanction and PEP lists, in real time.
An address verification is a great way to help establish a client’s identity. However, when combined with a full spectrum of other verifications designed to create a multi-layered AML system, you will be able to better protect your firm from money laundering and identity fraud.
Verify 365 AML solution will make sure your law firm keeps up with ever-changing AML regulations. Whether your prospective client is a corporation or an individual, our all-in-one AML solution covers every base, so your solicitors practice is protected.
Our fully automated AML platform performs a wide range of UK and international anti-money laundering checks using over 500 Watch Lists, which are updated every day.
By switching your AML compliance to Verify 365, you will be in a better position to fulfil the SRA’s and HM Land Registry AML requirements, undertake instant sanctions checks and screening for Adverse Media, checks for PEPs, SIPs and PSCs, as well as get assistance with Enhanced Due Diligence and ongoing monitoring, all in one place.
To find out more – get in touch with me firstname.lastname@example.org, REF: Verify 365 Address Verification Service