Recent research suggests that a large number of Estate Agents, Letting Agents and Landlords across the UK have been duped into signing up with uncertified Digital Identity Service Providers (IDSP) to complete ID checks.
These services merely copy the language of government guidance found online, to fake the credibility of their products. However, they are not verified, and are putting the compliancy of the agencies and landlords who use them, at risk.
What is the Criteria for a Certified Provider?
Organisations providing digital ID checks who wish to be certified, are required to undergo an accreditation process to be officially eligible to be used for the purposes of Right to Work, Right to Rent and DBS. There is an initial assessment by UKAS and DCMS that needs to be passed in order to obtain certification.
Government assessments check for criteria such as:
- Protection against Fraud
- Enhanced Privacy and Data Minimisation to avoid misuse
- Inclusive Solutions and removed barriers to Inclusion
What are the Risks of Using an Unofficial ID Checking Service?
Legislation took effect in April 2022 to allow agencies and landlords to work with IDSPs to utilise Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) and carry out digital identity checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (including Irish passport cards).
The Home Office recommends that those carrying out these checks use a certified IDSP. In addition, they strongly advise that the chosen IDSP needs to meet relevant scheme guidance. That is, the standards set out in the Government trust framework.
These frameworks are put in place so that business and landlords can conduct checks in a safer way. And therefore, can assure prospective tenants’ identities and eligibility using consistent and more secure methods.
Without a certified provider, there is an increased risk of non-compliance with Right to Rent policy. Applications vetted using unassessed technology may provide questionable results. Especially regarding the authenticity of ID documents – meaning that fraudulent applications are more likely to slip through the cracks.
Which IDSP Provider Does The Lettings Hub Use?
Customers of The Lettings Hub can rest assured that since the inception of our Know Your Customer product range, we have been partnered with the fully certified Identity Service Provider HooYu. They are also the trusted provider to UK brands including NatWest, Virgin Money and Simplify.
HooYu is one of only a small number of identity services providers in the UK to have achieved the trust mark of a government digital identity provider certification. The certification – known as the Digital Identity Certification Scheme (DICS) – was awarded following a comprehensive audit of the effectiveness of HooYu identity verification methodologies. And, a detailed review of HooYu governance, systems, controls and policies.
From October 2022, HooYu have been providing The Lettings Hub with legitimate Know Your Customer (KYC) ID checks using facial biometrics, Identity Document Validation Technology and extensive database searches to maintain regulatory compliance in relation to:
- Identity Verification
- Right to Rent checks
- Anti-Money Laundering checks
The Lettings Hub have been so confident in our technology since using this provider, that we even created a Fraud Prevention Guarantee to pledge that we would cover the costs of any Home Office fine or any court proceedings to evict a fraudulent tenant that we approved.
How do Agents and Landlords Check the Certification of an IDSP Provider?
The government provides a live list of certified IDSPs. If a company or scheme does not appear on this list, it is not certified.
You can find the official Government list here under section 6 of the Government guidance on IDSP certification.