The specialist lender has announced that it is now accepting identity reports for broker customers via the IDme and ZipID apps.
Following on from a similar announcement made by the NAB Group, Bluestone has confirmed that it is now able to accept verification of identity (VOI) reports through the two applications, developed by MSA National and Equifax, respectively.
Further, it said that the apps are free for Bluestone-accredited brokers.
The lender said: “Utilising these services can assist you in delivering a faster VOI process that enables you to focus on value-added activity with your customer.
“Both apps simplify the process and enable you to capture and transmit your customers' identification verification to Bluestone securely.”
For example, Bluestone has suggested that one pain point comes from marrying up middle names on documentation, noting that Victorian driving licences do not include a full middle name but rather just the initial. As such, the VOI process sometimes requires additional/alternative documentation, slowing down the turnaround times.
App VOI checks could become mandatory
Speaking to The Adviser, Bluestone’s national manager for sales, marketing and distribution, Royden D’Vaz, added that while the apps are currently optional, they could become mandatory in the future.
Mr D’Vaz said: “The verification of ID is a huge pain point for brokers and lenders, and one that more often than not causes delays.
“But these are simple apps that brokers can download, get it all done quickly and it gets sent to us and we pick up the charge.
“We just see this as a natural progression for VOI; it’s much more accurate and the possibility of getting fraudulent ID is not going to be there.”
He added: “I imagine more and more lenders will be jumping on board with these. And, eventually, I think we could even make it compulsory in time because it’s the best way to go and it’s the most efficient way of doing it — for the customer, for the broker, and for us, as a lender.”
MSA National’s managing director and chief legal officer, Sam Makhoul, told The Adviser that MSA’s app was developed to “help lenders meet the tighter regulatory controls regarding identity fraud”, citing CBA’s recent experience of how “devastating the consequences can be” if they are not met.
He added that the app also makes it easier for lenders to keep brokers up to date with regulatory changes “without the need to undertake expensive national road shows”, while brokers can save on filing and security storage (as all information is stored on secure severs).
Mr Makhoul commented: “A lot of brokers are time-poor and unclear on what reasonable steps need to be taken to verify identity. There are so many different regulatory requirements.
“The app makes it easy by guiding the broker step by step, screen by screen through a compliant workflow. One compliant report for any lender.”
The MSA MD noted that as the app was developed by lawyers for the certification of identity after settlement (“we developed the app to ensure VOI was done to our standards”), any instructions MSA National receives regarding a settlement that had utilised IDme is “certified as a matter of course, as we don’t need to look into it”.
He said that this, therefore, helps speed up the property journey process.
Mr Makhoul continued: "This app will evolve quite a bit because it's part of the end-to-end solution, so just watch this space."
Aside from IDme and ZipID, another similar VOI technology that has been coming to the fore recently is e4’s Virtual VOI, which was adopted by HashChing earlier this year.
[Related: Virtual Identity]
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