Address verification

Digital identity verification that protects your business and safeguards growth.

Why somebody might require proof of address from you?

It's an obvious fact that to grow a business you need to scale it. Scaling requires successful attracting and onboarding of new customers and working personnel. After you've attracted new people you need to make sure they are eligible and obtain their personal data, as well as the proof of their identities, which includes proof of address.

One of the most important steps of this process is verification. Verification is a method, designed to ensure that the person behind the login is real and the information he/she presented corresponds with the reality. In our case, an address verification tool is the main part of KYC (know your customer) procedure, which is mandatory for compliance, required for business activity.

Instruments used as an address verification tool

The majority of systems now use a mix of verification procedures like biometric verification plus document verification. These have proven to be the most reliable methods. Further, an address verification service can even ask the user for a bank statement as proof of address. If the user lives in the country where the company is located, they are likely to be asked to present a local address.

The customer’s document verification is usually trickier and requires a developed system of verification. This process consists of submitting various documents proving the customer's ID. It is then followed by a whole procedure of careful inspection. As well, the confirmation procedure checks the documents templates, used in the country of client's residence.

Local vs international address verification service process

Obviously, it's easier for the algorithm to recognize the local addresses like the UK proof of address. Checking documents globally is a tougher task. But it shouldn't be a problem when using an appropriate solution. Web platforms like Identance offer online instruments that can be used for verification of foreign users. They have access to a global database with document templates and use the programs that recognize most of the world's languages.

The main goal of the verification instrument is to standardize the addresses to be able to compare them with different templates. This can be problematic since the statistics show that around 20% of addresses submitted online contain mistakes. Usually, those are spelling errors, wrong house numbers, and postal codes. Advanced systems should be able to recognize them and point to them for further corrections.

How can Identance help businesses and users verify their addresses

  1. The user submits the required proof of address documents like utility bills or bank statements on the platform. These can be scans or just regular photos preferably in good quality.
  2. The tool recognizes and extracts the data from the submitted documents. The algorithm also deciphers holograms and encrypted symbols.
  3. The program checks the documents for validity and signs of fraud, which can include material of digital changes in a document, like altered text or changed photos
  4. The algorithm requests access to a global document database to obtain the templates of documents and standardize the submitted data as a proof of address.
  5. Then the instrument cross-references the information on documents and compares it with a previously provided data to verify the user.

Pros of using Identance for an address verification and client onboarding

The Identance solution can even fill half of the fields on a document for the user. Thanks to its API, the verification system can be easily integrated and start working in a matter of minutes. This is especially important if we're talking about big international companies.

All the products, developed by Identance are:

  • Suitable for any type of devices;
  • Flexible and transformable;
  • Easily customizable and altered;
  • Implemented under white-label contracts;
  • KYC and AML compilable;
  • Supporting every kind of verification.

Identance has access to foreign document templates and postal address verification data. Therefore, the platform provides business solutions for every type of verification purposes, whether you need just one or a mix of them. The integration of such a tool in a business platform will make it able to quickly verify and onboard new clients. So, the advanced address verification system is a must.

Overall, modern operations often require a company or an individual checking the official documents. Nowadays, we’re living online. Sadly, fraudulent parties were migrated on the Internet, as well. Now the fraudsters can use fake proof of business address or alter the documents of real people for their own gain. Impersonating people is just one of the problems, the other ones include stealing of personal information, theft of funds, etc. Nowadays, human effort is not enough to fight the fraud effectively.

Therefore, special computer algorithms, AI technologies, and machine learning are now the ones responsible for catching the fakes. The first reason for the effectiveness of the international address verification options and other means of computerized data check is that even the smartest people can't process big amounts of data quickly and without mistakes. Second – is the ongoing machine learning process, which keeps track of old methods of fraudulence, as analyzing them gives the best results in fighting the new ones.

Address verification is a type of document verification. Only instead of checking the IDs, issued by the government, the system carries out a sophisticated address verification, using data, indicated on documents like letters, utility bills, etc. It can be used for general verification purposes to establish the identity. However, the best application for the address verification software is for securing financial transactions carried out using the credit card.

Initially designed by MasterCard, this kind of verification is now being widely used by other businesses and financial companies. It's one of the methods of fraud-prevention during the identification of a cardholder. The greater share of the use is dedicated to online banking transactions or transactions where the card is not present.

In this case, the address verification tool compares the billing address provided by the client in the process of the transaction with the address, provided by him/her earlier which is kept in the bank's records. The merchant sends a request to a processor of the card, which later responds with the “verdict” of matching or non-matching addresses.

However, this is just one case of the use of the address verification. Its technology gives a lot more options and purposes of use.

There are different situations where the customer might have to prove different addresses. Depending on the purpose of verification it could be a residential address, business address, or an international address. Usually, the list of documents for an address verification includes bank statements, utility bills, postal letters, etc.

To give the proof, the customer is asked to submit the list of recent documents, which means they need to be issued or received over the period of the last 2-3 months, depending on the situation. Sometimes, the documents should reflect both business and residential addresses. Usually, the list includes:

  • Utility bills for water, electricity, TV services, etc.;
  • Bank or financial statements;
  • A copy of an agreement of lease, signed by both the owner and the occupant;
  • Taxes invoice or a paycheck;
  • A mortgage statement (could be more than 3 months old);
  • Letters of official correspondence with some authorities;
  • Valid insurance documentation (whether personal or business), etc.

Most of the platforms don't accept one-time bills like invoices from the doctor's office or payments for other house services. The idea behind it is to present a document that proves continuous living or working on the same address.

One specific thing we should talk about in the end is the address verification API. Remember, we mentioned the AI-based solutions earlier? API is much simpler but also can deliver great results. In a nutshell, this approach lets machines connect to other solutions and services. Thus, they can exchange data automatically, without manual interference. As a result, powerful API-connected solutions can run address checks much faster, compare different databases, and verify identity.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that address verifications remain essential parts of KYC/AML procedures. Often, you face them during financial operations in banks or modern trading platforms. The nature of our centralized world requires people to pass various verifications, and the address one remains crucial for money-related operations. The same is true for businesses that can protect from frauds and other issues using modern verification solutions.

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