August 11, 2021

Digital ID Verification: The Future of Conveyancing

Words by
Perfect Portal
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The client onboarding process has long been the bane of solicitors and fee earners workloads. Due to the high number of administrative tasks involved, such as manually scanning and verifying documents, traditionally, ID verification could take days or even weeks to complete.  

In contrast to other industries, the legal sector has not embraced digital processes and solutions at the same pace as many other industries. But as more law firms realise how advantageous overhauling manual ID verification can be, more firms are adopting these technologies. By using a remote and cost-effective approach, the digitalisation of the client onboarding process looks to be the future of conveyancing.

What is digital ID verification? 

Digital ID verification refers to the process that validates a person’s identity using computer technology. Demand has increased for these time-saving processes due to the ease and convenience it provides for all parties, which has led to a plethora of ID verification technologies being developed, such as biometric analysis and facial recognition.

The development of the modern ID verification check has been made possible by increased smartphone technologies, whereby you can gain device access through facial recognition or fingerprint scan. Due to the increased functionalities available, clients now expect more from the technologies law firms offer them.

Digital ID verification promises a more seamless experience for clients and fewer administrative tasks for law firms, enabling them to work through cases quicker and more efficiently.

New, safer technologies 

While a quicker and improved user experience is a key motivation for digital ID verification to become standard in residential conveyancing, it is also considered a formidable weapon against rapidly rising money laundering and fraud in the UK. By eradicating manual ID checks and replacing them with new technologies which use the latest security measures and AML checks, firms can mitigate their risk of fraud.

Due to the growing evidence that shows how effective digital ID verification is for fraud and money laundering reduction, the Government is also keen to accelerate the progress. This led to the creation of HM Land Registry’s ‘Safe Harbour’ guidelines which offers law firms protection when following the accepted standard of digital identity verification solutions.

It aimed to encourage firms to use digital ID verification methods, and in return, they would not be penalised if any fraudulent activity occurred despite correctly adhering to the regulations.

The impact of COVID-19 

We can all agree that no area of life has been left untouched by the COVID-19 health pandemic that has swept the world, and residential conveyancing is no exception. While digital ID verification was growing in popularity before the pandemic, the methods used in response to the crisis, such as remote working, made the need for a digitalised legal sector even more apparent.  

While a CLC discussion paper released in January 2020 predicted that the entire conveyancing process would be fully electronic by 2030, recent developments suggest this may come sooner than expected.

Moving forward 

There is no denying that the digital verification of ID and funds provides positive outcomes across the board for both law firms and their clients. From a significant reduction in client onboarding time to fee-earners time being freed up by no longer having to complete the administrative tasks that come with manual ID verification, the benefits are transformational for the sector.

Not only do online solutions offer an added layer of protection to the onboarding process, but it also delivers a more secure alternative that removes the need for staff to handle copies of confidential documents, reducing the risk of human error.

However, of course, the key to a successful transition from manual to digital ID verification requires secure and compliant technologies that are easy for clients to use. With Perfect Portal's app, clients can verify their identity quickly and easily when and where is convenient for them. 

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