Need for Identity Verification in Real Estate and Its Real-World Use Cases

Need for Identity Verification in Real Estate and Its Real-World Use Cases

The real estate industry is in dire need of identity verification processes. The reason being, the transfer, and flow of illegal money across the globe. Criminals are always on the search for opportunities that could contribute to their embezzle funds transfers. Money laundering and terrorist financing are made possible for criminals to conduct it through real estate. Fraudsters have found tricks to fool the real estate agency through which they have learned the ways to clean the ill-gotten gains before enjoying them.

Study shows that the real estate has reached to the crimes of worth $1.6 trillion annually. The lack of a monitoring system estimates this value to increase in the coming years. Here comes the need for identity verification. Identity verification of the property seller, property buyer and the entities that are offered with certificates for multiple purposes. There is a need to verify the person involved in dealing with real estate. This will reduce the chances of bad actors if they are screened through various verification parameters. This step is not as complicated as it seems. Online customer identity verification services are available which help you verify the identities in real-time providing a streamlined process.

In the past few years, the criminals have exploited the real-estate sector to launder their black money and to convert it into white money. Panama Leaks is one of the recent money laundering cases that jolted the regulatory authorities from their deep slumber regarding the need for regulatory scrutiny of the real-estate sector. 

How Real-estate is exploited?

Money launderers find the least regulated regions and then launder their money to buy real-estate. Later the criminals would conduct several buying and selling transactions and incorporate the black money within the sale proceeds of the real-estate. Real-estate is exploited in the integration phase of money laundering. 

Local Legislations and Real Estate

For the accurate and transparent transfers of property, local regulators are active. UK, Germany, Canada, Singapore, Australia states are all adopting efficient ways in real estate to streamline the process of customer verification. To avoid reputational damage to a company, now the organization that complies with local regimes is considered more reputable. 

The UK has given the time till 2021 to the real-estate owners to get registered with the concerned authority. So it’ll filter out the money launderers. The registers of real-estate owners will be shared with the public. So, businesses will have the ability to identify criminals among the legitimate sellers of real-estate. 

By implementing an Electronic Verification System (EVS), real estate agencies can deter the risks of fraud. It is important to screen the customers against electronic databases that contain the lists of exposed persons either they are money launderers, politically exposed or terrorists. These updated lists would help in verifying the identity in seconds. It is a smart way to protect your real estate business from criminals. 

Use Cases of Identity Verification In Real Estate

To strengthen the overall dynamic security measures, it is important to integrate digital identity verification services with the system. This verification system authenticates the customer based on several supporting shreds of evidence that could be official identity cards, bank accounts, and other documents. The following are some of the use-cases that are covered in real estate by identity verification.

Customer Due Diligence

 Identity verification is mandatory to perform Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) processes in the system to verify the customers against strict verification checks. This step serves the purpose when it comes to avoiding illicit funds transfers.

High-risk Transactions

Money launderers have smart tricks to transfer money across the world. It gets hard to track the path of money flow and to differentiate dirty and clean money. Real estate can verify each of its customers before proceeding with any transaction. The property documents should be verified to make sure that it is coming from an honest entity.

Updated Criminal Databases 

Identity verification API collaborates with the updated criminal records against which identities are verified. These criminal records include the list of politically exposed personalities, money launderers, cybercriminals, terrorists and similar entities. Against these sanction lists, each entity is screened to make sure that onboarding identity has not been a part of any criminal activity before or currently.

Compliance Requirements

Local regulators have proposed serious laws regarding identity verification of the customers. These laws came into effect as a result of criminal activities through real estate in various areas of the world. To avoid regulatory penalties, it is important to comply with the requirements of compliances strictly.

To wrap up, real-estate has a huge growth potential that will not tarnish with time but will enhance. The criminals are exploiting this sector for long. But now the regulatory authorities require this sector to practice customer due diligence on their buyers and sellers. It’ll reduce criminal exploitation of this sector. 

Digital identity verification and KYC screening of customers will help real-estate businesses to gain global risk cover against financial criminals.

Augmanted Intelligence Kyc

How Augmented Intelligence is next stop in ID Verification Services?

Augmented intelligence (AI), also referred to as intelligence augmentation (IA) and cognitive augmentation, is next level in Artificial Intelligence, fine tuning the overall automation process for different categories of tech industry including ID Verification services. Some skeptics believe that augmented intelligence will do away with human intelligence but in essence it is an effective way to make humans work in a refined environment with better productivity and trackable results.

From a purely academic standpoint, Augmented Intelligence is describe how normal human intelligence is supplemented through the use of technology. Over the years, we have seen technology supporting the daily work routines and even in some cases, social life of human beings through internet, software modules, social media and many other means. Now with concrete and results driven R&D at the helm, tech companies have been launching apps, softwares and programming modules that are making use of augmented intelligence to give an unprecedented boost to overall productivity of human beings. ID verification services are also another category of IT based services that stand to benefit from augmented intelligence.

Augmented Intelligence via Multiple Platforms

There are multiple platforms used by millions of users to gain access into social media website, their bank accounts, availing service from a ride sharing service and buying virtual currency from online exchanges among many other online tasks. Some prefer iOS based mobile devices, others are more inclined to use their Windows based Personal computers. So a product utilising augmented intelligence must also have a multichannel support so that an across the board access is available for a worldwide audience. Shufti Pro is one such product that believes on providing seamless identity verification services to its customers and augmented intelligence is cornerstone of the technology being utilised in Shufti Pro. It is supplementing the verification process with Artificial & Human Intelligence Hybrid.

The makers behind Shufti Pro also envisioned an effortless verification regime in which medium of verification never becomes a hurdle in the verification process itself. Shufti Pro easily integrates with pre-existing manuals and applications. API and SDK integration are available for Shufti Pro that are updated on regular basis in order to make the integration process hassle free for entire clientele of Shufti Pro. So, whether it is a Windows PC, Apple iOS or any smartphone with Android based mobile OS, Shufti Pro’s augmented intelligence works perfectly without any discrepancy in performance standards.

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How Augmented Intelligence is next stop in ID Verification Services?

Augmented Intelligence and ID Verification Services

Thanks to advances in the fields of cloud computing and mobility, we are generating and storing huge amounts of data. Processing that data to collect concrete information and verifiable credentials is core of ID verification services like Shufti Pro.

With hundreds of verifications required to be performed in any given second across the globe, the urgency given to Identity verification services is understandable. Only Augmented Intelligence can perform lightning quick verifications assisting human intelligence to skillfully validate each credential, document or personal detail provided by a potential client. In the absence of augmented intelligence, Identity verification services will take hundreds of man-hours and an unimaginable labour force to check each credential. This is the reason why Shufti Pro is not just a run of the mill Artificial Intelligence based solution but it also has the tendency of reducing the workload for human DEOs through augmented intelligence. Machine learning algorithms of Shufti Pro enable it to perform ID verification within 30-60 seconds processing time as well, setting new records in ID verification category.

Shufti Pro’s augmented intelligence backed verification services are must have product not only for banking organizations or financial institutions but for every business that is under the danger of being defrauded by identity theft or doctored credentials. KYC services from Shufti Pro are just one part of Identity verification services offered by this new age technology. It also offers AML Compliance services using enhanced modes of augmented intelligence that again helps institutions and online businesses to offset any financial risks that a potential customer or transaction can pose for them in future.

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id verification services

ID verification Services – Why Paper IDs are inferior to Digital Cards?

ID verification services are at the forefront of making online marketplace transparent and ensuring that each transaction made on cyberspace is authentic. The credentials used for that transaction are accurate and belong to same person who made the transaction. Even if a transaction is not performed, Digital ID verification services ensure that identity of a person is fully verified before any service is utilised by that person. One of the important aspect of digital KYC offered by many service providers is the kind of IDs that are presented for verification. Mainly there are two kinds of IDs available on global scale for verification.

Paper IDs

You might think that the days of paper IDs are far behind us but there are many countries in the world that are still offering paper based identity cards to their citizens. India and Italy instantly pop up in mind as both of these offer paper IDs to their residents even in 21st century. The Italian authorities have forbidden their citizens to even laminate their cards. In their defense, even when paper IDs are issued by Indian and Italian authorities, these IDs are incorporated by some “security features” to make these Paper IDs hard to forge or forfeit. No doubt that fraud prevention and practices to stop scams become a joke with paper IDs.

In India, world’s 2nd most populous country and 6th largest economy, paper IDs are still prevalent called “Aadhar Cards”. Another form of identity verification in India are PAN cards (Permanent Account Number) that can be used to make payments. Both of these lack basic technology to avoid identity theft and financial frauds. PAN cards in India are especially hard to verify as they lack any magnetic strip at the back or swipe card-like feature.

According to a research, paper based IDs and paper documents put people on much more risk as compared to digital forms of IDs and credentials. This makes them prone to identity theft and financial thefts as well because these IDs can easily be duplicated and even the so called safety features present in them. Not to mention that a paper ID that is not machine readable becomes very hard to verify for online businesses. Not only are there risks involved of identity thefts and fraudulent activities but there is a chance that digital ID verification services might just not work on these outdated modes of identity documents.

Digital IDs

Digital IDs are for sure the most accurate medium to provide flawless digital ID verification services in modern age to stop scams and perform fraud prevention. These IDs are machine readable and the information available on these cards can be double checked by 2-D codes or MRZ codes available at the bottom of these digital IDs. Digital Identity verification becomes much easier with digital IDs that have additional layers of security that can also serve to verify the identity of the person. Hologram technology is best example of this fact as high end Digital Identity verification services like Shufti Pro employ next-generation technologies to detect these holograms and ascertain the credibility of these IDs.

Digital Vs. Paper

Compliance needs and an urge for compatibility with modern age are the basic factors that drive this debate between digital and paper IDs. In a world of encrypted data and zillions of online businesses, digital IDs are definitely the way forward. Although there are only minor number of countries offering paper IDs but the online businesses need to make solid business strategies for these countries. Digital KYC is also deemed to be affected by the digital vs. paper debate. In a time where ID verification services are provided with the help of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning protocols, users with paper IDs have started to become irrelevant with passage of time. Many service providers might try to accommodate such countries where paper IDs are still coin of the reign but it will create unmanageable problems ranging from greater risks to down right falsified customer data.

Solution for ID Verification Services

Shufti Pro has sorted out a solution for its customers who don’t want to register clients with paper IDs. A Country Restrict Feature is available that enables our customers to completely restrict access of their services for countries that are issuing paper IDs to their citizens or non-magnetic PAN cards. It is a much more effective technique as compared to geo-tagging that only restricts access of IP addresses, a practice that can easily be circumvented by Virtual Private Networks, otherwise known as VPNs. So Shufti Pro helps in fraud prevention and provides full proof digital identity verification services. Digital KYC at its best powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning practices.

So now because of Shufti Pro, you can once and for all get rid of menace of Paper IDs and mitigate the risk of scams that is posed by developing a safeguard solution that has the full ability to ensure validity of Digital IDs.

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Crowd Funding

The Importance of Know Your Customer for Crowd Funding and ID Verification Service

In today’s world where most business and financial transactions are taking place online, the importance of knowing who exactly you’re dealing with has become essential. Not only since governments and regulatory authorities have implemented this requirement, but also to safeguard one’s business and financial interests. This is even more important when it comes to crowdfunding where potentially anyone can be an investor or a donor. The importance of knowing the background of who is sending the money and where specifically their money is coming from is of the utmost importance. The role of a ID verification service cannot be stressed enough in this scenario. Although, crowdfunding is not as regulated as other financial areas, steps are already being taken to ensure that it is. Before that happens organisations need to make sure that they are prepared. We will look at the concept of crowdfunding and the reasons behind the increase in regulations.

What is Crowdfunding?

Imagine you have a certain task or idea that you wish to bring in to fruition, there is just one catch you don’t have the money or resources. What would you do? Most people would go to a bank or a finance company to get a loan or maybe borrow from someone if the amount isn’t unreasonable. These days, however, there is another way you can get the funding you need. The way is crowdfunding, also known as crowd-sourcing, to finance your project and that too online. Through it you literally ask people to support your cause, project or idea and people donate, invest or lend you the money. For example, if you need $10k it would be difficult to get that amount from maybe a single individual, but if a thousand people were to give you $10 each then you could reach your financial goal quite easily. That is exactly what crowdfunding allows; the specialized platforms and sites that support it, have thousands of people who would fund you if it piques their interest or if you can offer them something in return.

Crowdfunding in itself is not a new concept. Without going into the history of it; it was done manually before it even reached the world of the Internet. For example in the US, presidential candidates rely on crowdfunding to support their campaigns and have been doing so for many decades. In fact many people relied on and still rely on crowd-sourcing to build hospitals, educational institutions and other projects to benefit humanity. The amazing part is all this was happening way before it became a popular financing method online.

Although there are several types of crowd-sourcing, we will use two examples to elaborate the role of — Know Your Customer, ID verification service and fraud prevention services. The two examples are ICO for cryptocurrencies and donation-based ones that are usually given with no expectation of return.

Risks and Threats Associated with Crowdfunding

There are several drawbacks to unregulated online crowdfunding. The first is the risk of fraud and this happens more often than you think especially during ICOs (Initial Coin/Crypto Offering) that are held by various cryptocurrency providers. In initial coin offerings people fund or purchase tokens or coins as they are more regularly referred to. If there isn’t a fraud prevention service such as Shufti Pro integrated then the purchasers that have used a credit card or debit card can later cry wolf and say that they never carried out the transaction. This results in charge backs and loss for the cryptocurrency provider.

The second threat is money laundering. People have been using crowdsourcing platforms to

launder money. This is due to the lack of proper Know Your Customer processes and id verification service. They often get away with this crime and when they do get caught by other means, all the venues they used to launder money including the crowdfunding platform is brought under investigation. To put in to perspective the severity of this threat, imagine what would happen if it was ever found out that the presidential campaign of the current US president was funded by laundered money. What would happen to the reputation of that president and the overall trust that people have in him? Luckily campaign funders are required to go through a KYC process that includes comprehensive background checks.

The third threat which is most critical in the post 9/11 era is that crowdsourcing platforms can be made a basis for finance terrorism and without proper ID verification service these financiers can be hard to identify and catch.

ID Verification Service and Fraud Prevention Service to the Rescue

Realising these hard facts, platforms that provide crowdsourcing service and cryptocurrency providers that carry out ICOs have turned to specialist companies for ID verification service and fraud prevention services. These companies have the software, hardware and expertise to provide real time as well as offline verification of an individual’s identity. They also offer proof of purchase in the form of recorded verification videos that can be accessed by crowdfunding platforms or ICO providers. Hence, any potential charge-backs can be deterred and/or disputed. In a worst case scenario the complete verified information of the individual is there so that they can be traced if required. These service providers also counter identity thefts and usually have databases that are ultra secure. So platforms and website owners can have peace of mind that their customer’s data is in safe hands.

Selecting an ID Verification Service

Having mentioned the value of verification service it must be said that not all companies offering fraud prevention services are the same. Companies understand that customers usually do not like waiting on or going through long KYC processes. That is why it is important that these platforms take on a company that gets the verifications done in minimum time and that too in seconds.

Most verification companies boast about implementing machine learning and advanced AI systems to catch documentation fraud, identity theft, real-time liveness verification, etc. But the better ones go the extra mile and offer a hybrid solution that includes a backup of human intelligence on top of the AI. This adds a time tested human touch to reverify the entire process and all this is done in seconds as well.

Also, given all the attention about user data privacy there are a lot of new regulations that are being launched. In order to avoid any fines or issues because of these new laws it is important that crowdfunding sites thoroughly check the ID verification service provider. They should be up to the mark with regard to compliance with all such rules and regulations.

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