A former IFA has launched an IOS mobile app allowing intermediaries to take digital scans of documents called ValidID.
The app is designed to scan documents such as passports and driving licences which can then be stored, reprinted or sent elsewhere, while client documents can be prepopulated with the scanned data.
ValidID has been developed by Wirral-based Professional Office, the firm behind Sanctions Search which checks whether clients are on the Financial Sanctions list. It has an existing user base of 8,000 mortgage brokers, IFAs, insurance brokers, solicitors and accountants.
Professional Office’s director and former IFA Chris Clare (pictured), who labelled the app a “cool toy”, remembered losing documents in the post as an adviser and having to waste time and money sending files back and forth by recorded delivery.
He said: “The app is designed to improve processes and reduce risk which is what the regulator wants.
“Rather than having to take and copy documents from client’s using paper, you can use our app to take digital scans of documents, and use these scans to perform a ValidID check on the client.
“Intermediaries will no longer be required to take a rainforest of paperwork from the client with all the risks that entails.
“Nothing to photocopy, nothing to store, safely it is all kept for you by our system in your own secure SanctionsSearch.com or ValidID.co.uk account.”
An Android app is in development following the IOS offering, which has been tested for a month after a three year planning stage.
Clare hoped lenders will eventually accept a PDF of client documents from the app to make transactions more seamless and paperless.
He added: “We want lenders to get on board with accepting a PDF direct from our system – that would make everybody’s life easier and the document wouldn’t need to be exposed to any more risk than is necessary.
“First we need to establish trust with lenders so they understand everything about the technology.
“Change is always hard to establish in this industry because there are so many competing interests but we believe what we’ve created mitigates certain risks within the advice process.”