Finance News

Covid-19 outbreak highlights necessity of electronic ID checks

New restrictions on movement and the fear of contamination of documents have triggered a rush to adopt electronic verification.

Rozi Jones
|
26th March 2020
computer tech completed adviser
"If documents are sent through the post, will firms want to take the risk that their employees are exposed to contamination?"

The coronavirus outbreak spells the end for ‘outdated’ paper-based ID checks, according to anti-money-laundering experts SmartSearch.

SmartSearch is seeing a surge of interest in electronic ID verification as document-based checks become practically impossible on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.

SmartSearch says firms relying on paper-based ID checks now need to switch to electronic processes to avoid a freeze on their business.

John Dobson, chief executive of SmartSearch, said: “In spite of all the evidence that EV is more reliable and more cost-effective, more than half of firms in regulated sectors still rely on document-based identity checks. The coronavirus pandemic spells the end for this outdated approach.

“As long as the current restrictions on movement are in place, prospective clients will not be able to present documents in person. If documents are sent through the post, will firms want to take the risk that their employees are exposed to contamination? And if those staff are working remotely, will it be permissible to send documents containing sensitive personal data to their home addresses?

“Electronic verification solves all of these problems – no documents are required and the whole process can be carried out remotely regardless of location.

“We can get firms set up to use our service inside 24 hours, allowing business that would otherwise be frozen to proceed, with absolute peace of mind that all the required due diligence requirements have been met.”

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