Does the property industry need more technology systems in order to improve AML?

hands typing on laptop

The answer in short is Yes and the Land registry have just unveiled a new Digital ID verification process that will enable conveyancers to securely and conveniently verify their client’s identity. This new system although optional will also offer conveyancers protection if the client does not turn out to be who they say they are, this would apply to residential and commercial clients.

Abbie Purslow of Land registrar hopes more firms adopt the standard as she said a big advantage for conveyancers would be the ability to claim ‘safe harbour”. Conveyancers who can show they followed this standard of ID checks would not be liable to claims by HM Land Registry for compensation in the event of fraud.

The introduction of this new technology is another milestone for the conveyancing process. The process requires an individual to prove their identity via a mobile phone app that analyses their facial features and compares it to the microchip in their UK passport or European national identity card. This will hopefully make identity verification much more convenient as it can be done at any time and without the need to meet the client physically. The hope for this new technology is that it will prevent fraud and money laundering.

Mike Harlow, General Counsel, Deputy Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Land Registrar comments:

“Proving your identity when buying or selling your property can be a pain. But of course, it is essential to the security of such high value transactions. This new standard for digital biometric identity checking marks an exciting milestone towards a truly digital conveyancing process.

“In a challenging year, we set up a cross-industry forum to support our conveyancing colleagues. First, we brought in electronic signatures to remove any need for paper in conveyancing. Now through this same collaboration we are able to bring a new digital identity standard to reduce the risk of fraud and make transactions a more digital, easier and faster experience.”

The release of this marks another key step toward the future of conveyancing. It provides a clear blueprint for the need of technology to improve AML in the conveyancing process.

HM Land Registry will continue to develop the standard by widening the scope to incorporate different legal entities.

More details of how the HM Land Registry are encoring the use of digital technology in identity verification.

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