London-based Lantana Estates Ltd (pictured) is one of the first agents to use a new digital identity scheme that aims to create a faster and more secure home buying and selling process.
The MyIdentity platform developed by Etive Ltd entered a beta testing phase in November and is already proving “easier and quicker” to use for both property professionals and consumers.
Lantana was able to carry out the identity verification (IDV) of their clients using both Digidentity, an identity service provider (IDSP) which is working to the MyIdentity scheme standards, and a non-scheme provider.
The direct comparison proved that the MyIdentity scheme is far superior in enabling sufficient identity verification both pre- and post-sale and particularly relevant to the conveyancing process, where house-buyers often need to prove their identity multiple times.
Focus on usability
Bella Chavrimootoo of Lantana commented, “We found the non-MyIdentity process was more difficult as sessions timed out for the client and required a lot of going backwards and forwards to the client trying to get them to do their identity verification. We had to chase-up quite a lot and explain to them that the emails they were receiving from the identity provider were not spam.”
Stuart Young (pictured), Managing Director of Etive, said, “Focusing on the consumer’s needs are critical because if it works for them then it will work for the estate agent and all those that follow on in the transaction process. Aligning to when a consumer has the time to do their identity verification is important. This is typically in the evening after work or at the weekend.”
Using a certified identity service provider helps to streamline the home buying and selling process and increase the barriers to fraud. These changes also meet current AML and DCMS requirements, so ensures greater transparency of compliance.
Most importantly, it removes the need to process paper documents, enabling consumers to maintain an approved digital identity on a smartphone that is equal to a passport, driving licence or bank statement and only have to prove who they say there are once during the entire transaction.
The scheme has already received backing from the government, with Matt Prior (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) taking part in a recent panel discussion on the potential impacts of the Trust Framework for digital identity set out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Bluestone Mortgages has also confirmed its participation in the pilot with Andrew Davies, Chief Compliance Officer, claiming it will support their mission to “further streamline the mortgage process in a safe and secure way.”
Stuart added, “We’re really pleased with the initial drive and focus from the industry and their continued input to improve the home buying and selling process, especially around better tackling fraud. As we recently saw with the Vicar who lost his Luton property to identity fraud, we need to continually strive to increase the barriers to property and mortgage fraud and work together as an industry to create these barriers.”
MyIdentity is an industry wide trust scheme striving for an acceptable source of identity verification that works to one set of Government-backed standards. The pilot is running throughout this year.
This infographic shows how the system works: