The changes to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) introduced earlier this year has drastically changed the AML landscape for property and Letting Agents.
We all know that identifying high risk clients and managing them is in the best interest of everyone involved in the buying chain, but the introduction of the AML 4th Directive earlier this year ensured that the task has now fallen firmly at the feet of the Estate Agent. The situation is further complicated by the fact there is no contract between an Estate Agent and a buyer, meaning a buyer is under no obligation to undertake the Anti-Money Laundering checks when asked to do so.
Getting hold of ID documents from clients to allow verification is a difficult task in itself, but then comes the responsibility of ensuring that the document is authentic really is the stuff of proper fraud bureaus, isn’t it?
It might seem a bit farfetched that your local branch in Little Sniffing is going to get a fake Passport through its doors, but everyone knows that the property sector is a high-risk area for money laundering, so it’s actually not as Hollywood as you’d think.
On top of this, how Estate Agents store this documentation will be under further scrutiny next year with the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. Whilst no one disputes the benefits of identity checks, it all amounts to a lot of admin for the Estate Agent, who quite frankly already has plenty to do.
This is where Credas can help. It provides a simple, quick and secure way of verifying someone’s identity using real-time facial recognition technology. It offers next generation ID capture and verification for estate agents to help you easily and quickly comply with AML checks and regulations.
Buyers and sellers can verify their identification in their own time, using an app on their own devices. Not only will it confirm the ID is real, it will also ensure that the same person is sending it. Clients don’t have to submit lengthy forms or get confirmation from someone else that they are who they say they are, and it only takes minutes to complete the process, saving both time, stress and money. All files are then stored in a secure cloud environment so there’s no need to worry about that stray photocopy being left on the printer, or even worse, the floor!
Another consideration is the customer service angle; property buyers are far more likely to say yes to a quick, unobtrusive facial recognition ID check that they can complete in their own time, rather than having to produce various documents which they don’t have to hand and have to bring into the office or branch.
With ID checks becoming a key part of an Estate Agent’s role, why wouldn’t you look to automate and streamline this process to make everybody’s lives easier – and also help stamp out fraudulent activity?