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AML fines rise in UK; fraud risks widen; digital ID efforts expand

AML fines rise in UK; fraud risks widen; digital ID efforts expand
 

The United Kingdom is issuing more money-laundering fines in real estate. Elsewhere in the UK, legal experts debate how to digitize the land registry. Meanwhile, a marketing survey shows support for some digital IDs.

OneID teams with IDVerse on identity verification

UK government-certified digital ID startup OneID is partnering with IDVerse, formerly OCR Labs, to sell additional identity verification options.

The deal will allow OneID customers to choose from a broad range of UK government ID profiles, not just the bank profiles it currently uses. IDVerse holds 20 certifications for right to work, right to rent and disclosure and barring service (DBS) from the digital ID and attributes trust framework (UK DIATF).

OneID chose IDVerse for help extending “our reach to those who don’t bank online and to offer global ID capabilities,” said OneID’s marketing executive Adrian Field.

OneID reportedly plans to use IDVerse’s Zero Bias software which employs proprietary generative AI to verify digital identities. The company rebranded itself in May, offering new features, such as biometric verification and liveness detection, document verification and video KYC.

Vendor: 76% support digital IDs as proof of professional credentials

More than three-quarters of surveyed UK residents support using digital IDs to prove identity and professional credentials, regardless of the job role or sector, according to a survey paid for by ID Crypt Global, a London-based decentralized identity software maker.

Public relations agency Proper PR conducted the survey.

It asked 1,079 UK residents about their attitudes toward allowing strangers such as sales staff, real estate agents, plumbers and electricians into their homes.

Half of respondents said they ask for IDs before letting someone in and only a quarter ask for proof of employment. Even if a physical ID was provided, 59 percent say they would not be fully confident that the situation is legitimate because physical IDs can be easily faked, according to the company.

“We give so much information to online companies that, for most of us, there already exists a thorough online identity,” says Lauren Wilson-Smith, CEO of ID Crypt Global. “Why not put this to good use in the real world as well as in the virtual world? Verifying a stranger’s identity is only the start of such applications, but it solves a genuine problem facing people every day.”

AML fines rise in real estate, digital IDs needed to prevent fraud

The average anti-money laundering (AML) fine issued to real estate agents is up, according to UK verification check company Credas Technologies.

The average fine in fiscal 2022-2023 reached 5,350 pounds (US$6,880), a 49 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year.

The only people getting fined more heavily than real estate agents are leasing agencies (£9,050/$11,637), art market participants (£10,000/$12,859) and money service businesses (£1.5 million/ $1.9 million) Real estate agents also hold the worst record for the number of fines, accounting for almost half of all 544 penalties.

Money services and real estate agency businesses have received the highest penalties since the introduction of AML, terrorist financing and transfer of funds regulations came along in 2017, reaching £6.2 million ($7.9 million) and £2.5 million ($3.2 million), respectively.

Legal experts are calling for improvements to the UK’s digital conveyancing, the process of switching the ownership of property from one person to another.

The nation’s HM Land Registry (HMLR) plans to convert buying and selling property into paperless transactions by 2025. The agency started accepting electronic signatures in 2020 with the industry adopting online ID checks.

Digitalization, however, has increased fraud. Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at The Conveyancing Association, noting that the current system can’t prevent fraud. An important question posed by the conveyancing community is how can HMLR’s plans to minimize risk and determine liability.

“With digital ID, the reduction in fraud is huge,” Rudolf said during a webinar hosted by Thirdfort, a British identity check and fraud prevention firm.

DIATF issues guide on expired IDs

The UK has published a policy document on the Digital Identification and Attributes Trust Framework offering guidelines. It also has additional details on how digital identity and attribute firms should treat expired identity documents.

The government says using expired documents is acceptable in some circumstances, but companies can only accept passports, for instance, up to a year after they have expired.

Companies conducting checks as part of a trust framework in which they are certified must make sure that their treatment of expired documents is compatible with relevant government requirements.

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