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Hashching pilots biometric identity verification to allow brokers to satisfy KYC banking regs


Hashching, a website for Australian home buyers to choose mortgage brokers, will begin to pilot a biometric identity verification service this weekend that would allow brokers on its platform to satisfy strict “know your client” (KYC) banking regulations by asking a customer on a video call to hold up a proof of identity to the camera on their computer or mobile phone.

According to a report in Financial Review, the company has admitted 1,700 brokers to the platform and processed $2.6 billion of mortgages since launching 15 months ago.

KYC verification for mortgages is still conducted with in-person meetings, either a bank branch or through a visit from a bank or broker representative. Hashching co-founder Mandeep Sodhi wants major banks to attempt to change their bureaucratic internal processes that have made banks resistant to change.

“We want lenders to try it, we will be promoting it to them, we want to collaborate with banks,” he said. “We want to take the risk and then present the results to them.”

The biometric identity verification solution was designed with consulting firm e4 and uses Microsoft Cognitive Service’s Face API. The app scans the applicant’s face along with the picture on their driver’s license or passport. An algorithm reads both faces before the broker is provided with a prediction of correct identity, based on a percentage confidence level. It is ultimately up to the broker to determine whether they are comfortable that identity has been properly established.

The system also accesses the Attorney-General’s Documentation Verification Service (DVS), which checks the presented ID against government databases and provides a confirmation of authenticity in seconds.

The system also maintains a record of the interview on Hashching’s servers for seven years, allowing brokers to present a digital file to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission should there be an audit or a case of fraud.

Around 150 brokers will pilot the technology.

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