Convey Law has started piloting an integrated approach which checks information against data held by the government to help verify a client’s identity.
The Document Checking Service (DCS) is a government initiative designed to offer organisations the ability to check information contained in a UK passport against government records.
The response received is only ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and no other information is returned or shared.
Lloyd Davies, managing director of Convey Law, operations director for the Conveyancing Association and deputy chairman of the Society of Licensed Conveyancers, said: “This is a significant move forward for our industry in looking at solutions to keep our clients and their properties safe from criminals.
“For the first time we are able to validate passport information against Her Majesty’s Passport Office; our IT system can now use the verification of passport data to identify our clients effectively.
“Many property lawyers do not see their clients in person and hence robust identity verification procedures are critical in ensuring that our clients are who they say they are.
“Our IT system can now use the passport data verification from the pilot in addition to our existing biometric facial recognition processes and additional electronic data sets to identify our clients effectively.
“It is very encouraging to be a part of these developing government initiatives.
“After many years of campaigning, we are making progress on electronic signatures as well as the establishment of the UK digital identity and attributes trust framework, which, once finalised, will set a standard against which providers of electronic identity verification can be accredited for the first time.
“This will allow for innovation in terms of risk and identity verification and help to make our property transactions safer.”