Document-Based Customer ID Verification is Costing UK Businesses Many Millions

Credit reference agency Callcredit says UK businesses that are still verifying customer identities by manually checking documents such as passports and driving licences, could save millions of pounds by switching to a system of electronic ID verification.

Anti money laundering legislation has made customer identity verification mandatory for all financial services companies as well as organisations such as lawyers, accountants, estate agents and insurance companies.

Recent consultancy with a number of users of CallML, Callcredit's own electronic solution, has confirmed that an electronic check not only costs a fraction of a manual document check - typically less than 10% - but is also more robust and far more consumer-friendly. Callcredit says the inconvenience of supplying personal documents will inevitably prompt some customers to go elsewhere.

To help organisations estimate how much they could save by implementing CallML, Callcredit has developed a simple benefits calculator.

Product director Graham Lund explains:

"The calculator allows organisations to input various details such as the number of document checks they make, how much they cost, the verification rate they achieve and the cost of lost customers. We provide standard cost and performance figures for CallML from which they can make a direct cost/benefit comparison."

CallML is an online ID verification system which has been specially developed to meet the requirements of anti-money laundering legislation. It uses a wide range of approved and independent data sources, including the Electoral Roll and a full credit database, to confirm identities in seconds - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

CallML is already used by numerous companies, including a number of major UK banks and building societies, to satisfy their 'Know Your Customer' requirements.

Julie Heeson, manager of Bradford & Bingley's Direct Savings Unit, endorses the benefits of online ID verification:

"Since introducing CallML we have moved to a same day service on new account opening and have reduced the cost of processing every application by several pounds. Also, there has been an increase in applications for our savings products, which we partly attribute to the added convenience."