Verifi Identity Services

Verifi Identity Services Limited (“Verifi”) is a leading provider of online electronic identity verification (“EV”) solutions and PEP screening to companies requiring name, date of birth and address verification of their customers.

Verifi was founded in 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand by legal and financial services professionals Tyler McNamee and Vincent McCartney, and interactive pioneers Karl von Randow and Matthew Buchanan of Cactuslab. Together they provide over 30 years of global financial services experience and 30 years of modern, functional and accessible web solutions.

Vincent McCartney — Managing Director

Vincent is a financial services professional with more than 15 years’ experience in retail and wholesale financial markets across the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. He has significant expertise in developing opportunities in the financial services market and implementing large-scale wholesale partners across Australia and New Zealand. Vincent has developed, launched and managed several successful financial trading products and project managed the roll-out of business-critical online trading platforms, including client migration and integration of equity trading into large banks.

Tyler McNamee — General Counsel

Tyler is a lawyer with 17 years’ corporate and commercial legal experience in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. In addition to his role with Verifi, he is head of legal (Australia and New Zealand) for global online financial services company CMC Markets, where he’s responsible for all legal matters in Australasia and and Asia, along with strategy, project management, commercial and marketing matters. Tyler also co-founded and serves as a director for Wired Dog, a cross-platform IT consulting company.

Karl von Randow — CTO

Karl is a highly successful developer and co-owner of Cactuslab, a web and app development studio in Auckland. He is the creator of Charles Proxy, a popular debugging tool used by thousands of companies around the globe, and a co-founder of Camera+, one of the most popular apps in Apple’s iOS App Store. Karl runs Auckland’s monthly iOS development gatherings, and was previously involved as an organiser of the Auckland Web Meetup group. He is also a co-founder of Letterboxd, a social network for film lovers that launched in late 2011.

Matthew Buchanan — Creative Director

Matthew is a creative director, interface designer and typographer, and a co-founder of both Cactuslab and Letterboxd. He has a background in publication design, and has been designing and building for the web since 1994. Matthew is a Fellow of the Designer’s Institute of New Zealand, and has spent six of the past eight years on the judging panel (the last three as convenor) for our national design awards, the Best Awards.

AML & Phase 2

The recently passed Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill will usher in “Phase 2” of New Zealand’s AML/CFT laws.

Phase 2 will bring a number of industries into the AML/CFT regime during a phased implementation period:

  • Lawyers and Conveyancers — 1 July 2018 
  • Accountants — 1 October 2018
  • Real estate agents — 1 January 2019
  • High-value goods dealers — 1 August 2019
  • NZ Racing Board — 1 August 2019

Cloudcheck can be customised to suit each industry’s specific needs in a cost-effective manner, in order to make the transition to the AML/CFT regime as simple and painless as possible for businesses.

The push for electronic verification

With the enactment of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, the New Zealand government made it clear it was serious about meeting the obligations developed by the Financial Actions Task Force. FATF is a global, inter-governmental body whose purpose is to develop and promote national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The result is that businesses now have much greater obligations to verify the identity of their customers. The New Zealand government has recognised the potential for the new regime to impact an organisation’s ability to do business efficiently and, as a result, has made genuine concessions to help organisations manage compliance costs. In fact, electronic verification (EV) has the ability to not only reduce inefficiencies in current identity verification processes, but also to improve the customer experience.

EV has a number of advantages that make it a workable and efficient solution for organisations:

  • it is a highly cost-effective way of complying with the identity verification requirements;
  • it is a reliable method of identifying irregular details and suspicious customers;
  • it removes human error;
  • it separates customer-facing staff from the due diligence process; and
  • it minimises the inconvenience to customers, particularly versus producing paper identification documents.

The Identity Verification Code of Practice 2011, together with the Identity Information Confirmation Bill and the Electronic Identity Verification Bill, set out ‘Safe Harbour’ procedures for meeting the requirements of the AML/CFT Act.

The Safe Harbour provisions for EV require an organisation to:

  • verify a customer’s name from at least two reliable and independent electronic sources;
  • verify the customer’s date of birth from at least one reliable and independent electronic source; and
  • verify the customer’s address from at least one reliable and independent source.

However, it is important to note that it is still up to the organisation to determine which types of electronic data it considers reliable. In assessing reliability, the Code requires an organisation to have regard to:

  • accuracy;
  • security;
  • privacy;
  • the method of collection;
  • whether the source has the ability to link a customer to the claimed identity;
  • whether the source is maintained by a government body; and
  • whether the information has been additionally verified.

Accordingly it is vital that when an organisation selects an EV provider, it does so on the basis of being able to choose from a variety of sources in accordance with this requirement. Different organisations will typically have different risk thresholds depending on their business, and whilst a particular data source might be acceptable to one organisation it may not be suitable to others.

Potential data sources include data related to:

  • Passports
  • Births, Deaths & Marriages
  • Driver’s licence
  • Vehicle registration
  • Electoral roll
  • Citizenship
  • National identity cards such as the 18+ card
  • Property ownership
  • Utilities (e.g. water, electricity)
  • Companies Office records

With a large number of potential sources, the likelihood of new sources becoming available in future and the necessity of maintaining sources that may change (as data providers modernise and improve offerings), it is clear that the sensible option for organisations who wish to implement EV is to select a third-party provider. The Code specifically contemplates this via a statement allowing organisations to obtain multi-source verifications from a single provider.

When selecting an EV provider and platform, an organisation should carefully consider factors such as:

  • the platform’s range of data sources;
  • the platform’s ease of integration;
  • the ability to select which data sources a customer can verify against;
  • transparency into the methodologies used by a platform giving the organisation complete comfort with the process and a verifiable approach for the organisation’s own reporting obligations;
  • the platform’s level of security and accessibility;
  • the ability to brand the platform to the organisation’s brand;
  • the ability to perform verification directly via API as well as via a hosted service; and
  • whether the platform will scale to support the inclusion of new data sources as they become available.

The last point is crucial to organisations, as both regulators and the private sector evolve and approve additional data sources for access. For instance, the electoral roll is not currently available but would be an excellent data source. It is critical that when a new data source becomes available, organisations are able to ‘turn on’ the new source without having to perform further internal development to their IT systems. A flexible and scalable platform provides organisations with the highest possible success rates for EV at any particular time.

Verifi’s Cloudcheck platform was developed specifically with these factors in mind. Most importantly, Cloudcheck allows an organisation to select from a ‘menu’ of data sources that are then presented to a potential customer when performing EV.

Cloudcheck can be integrated into an organisation’s application process with minimal development, either via a web-based app operated by your staff; via a branded EV page emailed to your customers; or directly via the platform’s API. In addition, the platform is continually being improved, with new data sources added as they become available, without the need for our customers to perform additional development work. A single integration exercise to add Cloudcheck allows an organisation to remain at the forefront of EV into the future.