How COVID-19 has forever
impacted the identity
verification industry

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted each of our lives in ways we never thought possible. Whether you lost your job, suffered with your mental health or if you/someone you know fell sick with the virus – there’s no denying that this once-in-a-century event had negative effects that will stick with us forever.

For the identity verification industry, the impacts were widespread. If you are following us on LinkedIn, you will have been receiving regular news updates from us that we felt were important for businesses and individuals to be aware of.

An increase in the need for digital transactions gave fraudsters the opportunity to take advantage of an already-stressful situation.

This was particularly the case when it comes to the scheme allowing early withdrawal from superannuation accounts. With thousands of Aussies hoping to gain access to their funds – and quickly – and no way for super funds to authorize these withdrawals, the possibility of fraudulent activity was high.

According to an article from the Australian Financial Review in May 2020, the Australian Federal Police began investigating a “small” number of fraudulent applications to the access scheme after the Australian Taxation Office discovered personal details were being hijacked “in a bid to defraud the program”.

In other distressing news from overseas, fraudsters managed to steal tens of millions of euros as they did not have formal citizen verification procedure in place. While other German state governments were asking users to upload scanned documents to prove their identity or were asking users to download a form and mail it, North Rhine-Westphalia was only requiring local residents and companies to fill a form on its site, without any additional verification of their identity. You can read more about this here.

What’s more, COVID-19 has created additional challenges for businesses in how they comply with customer verification obligations under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime. Luckily, AUSTRAC put together some information over on their website and they also introduced a new customer verification AML/CTF Rule to support the initiative which you can read about here.

The importance of technology was highlighted during these trying times with the creation of the COVIDSAFE app. Established by the Australian Government to help speed up the ability to contact those exposed to the virus, it is hoped that this virus would be downloaded by 8 million Australians to help us all stay safe and to speed up the easing of restrictions across the country.

Whatever your circumstances – and no matter which industry you belong to – the coronavirus crisis has shown there is real value in ensuring you have the option to digitally onboard customers.

We are all in this together and Scantek wants to help your business fight the impacts of COVID-19 by saving on time and operational costs. Our web and mobile application offers you the ability to verify customer identity instantly and onboard new customers quickly and easily. In a time of uncertainty and self-isolation, digitalisation is a critical solution and, according to Asia Money, digital banking is no longer optional.

We hope this article helped to shed some light on the situation for the identity verification industry. Scantek is here to help you every step of the way so reach out to the team at any time for a free demonstration.

(And if you need a bit of cheering up, check out this post on our LinkedIn page*. We’re all in this together – and we all need the occasional giggle to help get us through!

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