Smartsearch: Coronavirus outbreak spells the end for paper-based ID checks

Jessica Nangle

March 26, 2020


The spread of the coronavirus means firms relying on paper-based ID checks need to switch to electronic processes now to avoid a freeze on their business, according to SmartSearch.

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

Relying on documents makes it impossible to comply with regulations, which SmartSearch claims will mean firms will not be able to serve clients or take on new 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 The coronavirus pandemic spells the end for this outdated approach.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?

“EV 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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