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Hashching Builds Australia’s First Facial Recognition System for Home Loan Verification

November 25, 2016 Financial No Comments Email Email

HashChing, Australia’s first online marketplace for home loans, is launching a pilot for a new biometric identity verification service.

The new feature, which will be trialled with a small test group from 1 December 2016, will enable HashChing brokers to satisfy the strict ‘know your client’ (KYC) banking regulations using a completely digital process.

KYC verification, which is typically conducted with time-consuming face-to-face meetings, will be accomplished via video call, where an advanced facial recognition algorithm compares the customer’s face with the picture on their driver’s license or passport in real-time.

The system also connects to the Attorney-General’s Department’s Documentation Verification Service (DVS), which confirms the authenticity of presented ID against government databases within seconds.

The digital verification system speeds up the home loan process by several days, and for brokers, it can make all the difference between a cancellation and a converted lead.

“Australia is still behind its global peers when it comes to the mortgage application process. This new feature we’re piloting enables consumers to connect to our partner mortgage brokers in the way that is most convenient to them, whether by laptop, tablet or smartphone,” said HashChing’s CEO and co-founder Mandeep Sodhi.

“KYC verification is a major pain point for most mortgage brokers, and this new virtual ‘verification of identity’ (VOI) solution reduces both the cost to lenders and the overall time to complete the mortgage application process.”

HashChing co-founder and COO, Atul Narang, said that HashChing was aiming to digitise the entire home loan process to make it faster, more efficient, and easier for both brokers and consumers.

“Consumers benefit because they don’t need to visit the bank branch or broker representative in order to prove their identity. Brokers, on the other hand, have the comfort of knowing that any communication that happens with the customer is recorded and can be accessed in the future for any type of auditing or fraud cases,” he said.

“Given we’ve simplified all of the other steps in the home loan process with technologies such as machine learning for automated match making and predictive analytics to target the most suitable deals, conquering the ‘KYC’ requirement was really the last hurdle we had to tackle to create a completely digital process.”

Removing the need for customers and brokers to meet face to face means customers can connect to any broker in the country who offers the most suitable deal. For brokers, it means they’re not limited to leads in their immediate geographic vicinity.

The new technology was developed in partnership with consulting firm E4. Stuart Hosford, managing director of E4 Australia, said that identity verification for the purposes of anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing (AML/CTF) remains a high priority for governments and regulatory bodies globally.

“In many ways, the need for compliance to these current and evolving regulatory requirements puts financial product providers at odds with their customer satisfaction goals.

“However, regulatory compliance need not come at the cost of customer convenience. Our partnership with HashChing is highly complementary given the innovation that they have already delivered to the market,” said Hosford.

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