HM Land Registry (HMLR) has published its first Digital Identity Standard, which offers conveyancers a ‘safe harbour’ if they use it to verify their client’s identity digitally.
As a result, HMLR would not not seek recourse against conveyancers who comply with the standard in the event their client was not who they claimed to be.
The report outlines that it can apply to both residential and commercial clients.
Half of conveyancers want SDLT scrapped
The decision from HMLR is for the standard to act as a catalyst for the market to utilise digital identity verification tools.
It also provides enhanced security by requiring the use of smartphones to extract encrypted information contained within the chips of documents such as passports.
As well as this, the standard requires that the self-taken photograph, or a live video, must be biometrically matched to the photograph extracted from the encrypted chip.
Martin Cheek, managing director of SmartSearch, said: “This is a really positive step in terms of the endorsement of electronic verification as the standard method of checking ID and documents.
“Regulated sectors such as financial services and the property market have really had to respond to the increase in fraud and money laundering attempts that we’ve seen over the past 12 months since the outbreak of coronavirus, as criminals have taken advantage of the gaps in security.
“At SmartSearch our services will be compliant with this new standard, as paper-based documents are too easily forged these days.
“So, the more institutions such as HM Land Registry that push forward the digital ID agenda, the more effective the fight against fraud will be.”