What does an online identity check actually do ?


When you need to carry out an identity check, a person will have given you their name, date of birth and current residential address in order for them to place an order with you - whether that is forming a limited company, asking you to help them find a house if you are an Estate Agent etc. You need to be able to confirm their details are not made up

When you provide the details to us, we check a number of different databases to see whether the details you have provided appear to match with details we have found with our data partners.  Our systems check Experian, Equifax, Lexis Nexis, financial records, electoral register, and the telephone directory to locate information about the named person at that address and with that date of birth. We also check the death records in case the person is deceased and someone is using their legitimate previous identity, and we check sanctions lists to see if the person is  potentially known to the authorities and the PEP, or Politically Exposed Persons register,  which can alert you to the fact the person may be a PEP

This all goes to produce a report for you

If we find enough information on the various systems to be able to confirm the details you provided, then they pass. If not, they fail.  If they fail, there is usually a reason. It may be they have recently moved. It may  be that they moved a while ago but they set their residential address to their parents house for all their financial transactions  because they move around a lot. They may have recently married and all their details are in their maiden name. etc. There are a variety of reasons where they may legitimately fail without them being a "wrong 'un"

Whilst we provide a Pass/Fail report based on the information we find, you can then use that in conjunction with your own knowledge of the customer to determine if you want to proceed.  For example a person may be flagged as a potential PEP but when you compare the information provided in the report to the person, you may identify that the PEP is not related to this person, or if it is, that being a PEP does not affect the transaction they wish to carry out with you.

PEP and Sanction lists checks are based on peoples names, and, where possible, dates of birth - but not addresses. If someone moved house, you wouldn't want them to suddenly disappear off a PEP check because the house details didn't match and so there can be false matches, but any information we have is provided in the report for you and your MLRO to be able to be guided by


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