HashChing has announced that it is making e4’s Virtual VOI platform available to all its partner brokers, following a four-month trial of the app.
Developed by South African regulation technology company e4, the Virtual VOI platform aims to reduce the cost and time of the verification of identity (VOI) process of mortgage writing.
Billed as Australia’s “first real-time, ‘virtual’ alternative to face-to-face ID verification” for home loans, the platform enables brokers to make secure video and audio calls to customers and run biometric facial recognition software to match the live customer image to the ID documentation (driver’s license, passport) supplied and uploaded as part of the call.
In addition to the facial recognition, all Australian issued identification documents can be authenticated to the Australian Attorney General’s Department Documentation Verification Service (DVS), with the verified results being passed back to the verifier (i.e. a lender or broker) for review.
On completion of the call, the platform compresses all video and audio records, and produces a VOI report. These records are then stored for future use and as record of due diligence should any dispute arise.
According to e4, the Virtual VOI is a way for a lender, broker or institution to “identify their new customer to regulatory standards from anywhere with an internet connection in 10 minutes or less”.
HashChing had been undertaking a four-month pilot programme with e4 to trial the product and last week rolled the platform out to all is partner brokers.
The company said it hoped the digital verification system could reduce the costs of establishing identity and “substantially boost lead conversion rates for brokers”.
According to HashChing, the platform can speed up the home loan process on HashChing by several days.
HashChing CEO Mandeep Sodhi commented: “Our new virtual ‘verification of identity’ (VOI) solution reduces both the cost to lenders and the overall time required to complete the mortgage application process.
“Now that customers no longer need to physically present their proof of identity documents to the broker, they’re free to complete the entire home loan process digitally, enabling them to connect to any broker in the country who offers the most suitable deal. For brokers, it means they’re not limited to leads in their immediate geographic vicinity.”
HashChing co-founder and CIO, Atul Narang, added: “Given we’ve simplified all of the other steps in the home loan process with technologies such as machine learning and predictive analytics, conquering the [Know your Customer] requirement was really the last hurdle we had to tackle to create a completely digital process.
“HashChing’s new VOI solution brings transparency to the process, and since it captures the user’s current location while the call is running, it also reduces the likelihood of fraud.
“At present, the average time for settling a home loan is 60 to 90 days. Our goal is to ultimately whittle that down to a week,” he said.
Over the past few years, the industry has seen a new wave of technological advancements entering the financial sector, with several aiming to improve the way identity checks are done.
However, some in the industry have raised concern over whether virtual identity checks such as these meet the face-to-face requirement of the Australian Registrars' National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) Verification of Identity (VOI) Standard.
Sean Simmons, co-founder and general manager at ZipID, says that the problem is the face-to-face legal requirement.
He told The Adviser: “The tension point is between established regulation and digital technology.
“The key atomic elements of the current regulations involve original or certified documents being used. It goes further to say that they are presented at a face-to-face meeting. The question that I guess technologists are grappling with is how to digitise solutions that can respond to the requirements of using original documents in face-to-face meetings.”
Find out more about the changing face of VOI in the June edition of The Adviser, out at the end of May.