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Digital ID verification: do you know your customer?


You carry out due diligence on every property, because each one may carry risks. But what about your clients? Unfortunately, not every deal is legitimate, and not everyone is who they say they are. More legal professionals are embracing digital ID verification as the best way to protect their clients, and themselves.

What is digital ID verification?

Digital ID verification is a tool that validates a client’s government ID faster and more accurately than the human eye. It’s usually done through a device the client owns, like a smartphone, so it can be performed in-office or remotely. Digital ID verification helps legal professionals prevent identity theft and fraud, and comply with Know Your Client (KYC) regulations.

Why is digital ID verification important?

Title fraud is on the rise in Canada, with homeowners facing the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity, or even having their homes sold out from under them.

Fake IDs are getting more and more sophisticated

To carry out title fraud, the fraudster needs to successfully impersonate the real owner of the property. Verifying client identity with confidence isn’t just a best practice—it’s essential to preventing fraud.

Thanks to constantly improving software and printers, fraudsters can produce fake ID documents convincing enough that even an in-person visual scan isn’t always enough to spot them.

The rise in virtual real estate transactions during COVID was a perfect opportunity: fraudsters now often only have to pass themselves off as the legitimate owner for a video call.

New technology is making ID verification much more powerful

Digital ID verification tools work by having clients use their smartphone to take photos of themselves and their government ID. The photos are sent to the service provider, who conducts technology-assisted verification of the identity.

How should you implement digital ID verification at your business?

As a legal professional, verifying identities digitally will become an important part of your workflow, which means it will become part of your client experience. Implementing the right solution in the right way can make onboarding much easier, and help streamline your processes.

Minimize client friction

Friction means anything that slows down transactions, or makes it harder to do business with you. Additional security will always add some friction, so the key is to minimize that increase. Look for a digital ID verification solution that prioritizes a fast, simple, secure end user experience.

Ideally, you want your clients to interact with the verification service itself as little as possible. Some solutions have secure no-password sign-in, which can reduce friction significantly, since you’re not forcing someone to manage yet another password just to keep the transaction going.

Frequently asked question: How will my data be stored?

Clients are now more conscious of their personal information and other data that might be used by service providers. Many are also aware of the risk that a data breach at a provider storing their personal information could lead to their ID being stolen. You can address this concern by choosing the right provider.

Choosing a safe and secure solution, like Client ID Verification from FCT, lets your clients rest easy, knowing that they retain control of their own information, on their own device. Learn more about the best way to implement Client ID Verification for your business.


Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited. The services company does not provide insurance products. Some products/services may vary by province. Prices and products/services offered are subject to change without notice.

®Registered Trademark of First American Financial Corporation.

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