Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Checks

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As part of incorporating a company through Inform Direct some checks must be completed on the individual forming the company. To see why these are required please read our article on What checks must be performed to form a company?

The following information is relevant only when creating a company of which you are a stakeholder, where the checks will be performed online during the process. If you are an agent for incorporations, and therefore carrying out your own checks on your clients, then please contact us and we will advise of the one-off process required to get you set up and able to use our services for company formations.

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What is required for the checks?

To be able to run the checks, you must:

  • Be living in the UK – to provide an online service with a high enough chance of identity checking success we are only able to offer the service to such individuals currently.
  • Be a director, LLP member or PSC of the company being formed.

You will need to provide your full name, date of birth and residential address. During the process you will also be asked to do the following:

  • Using a smartphone or webcam, take a photo of yourself (a selfie).
  • Using a smartphone or webcam, upload a picture of an identity document:
    • Passport;
    • Full driving licence; or
    • National identity card

Onfido provide a list of supported documents by country.

What checks are run?

Using the information entered the following checks will be run:

  • A check to confirm your identity electronically, and that there is record of you living at the specified address.
  • A check against politically exposed persons (PEPs) lists, sanctions lists and other watchlists.
  • Your ‘selfie’ will be checked for a facial comparison against the identity document uploaded.
  • Your identity document will be checked:
    • For authenticity; and
    • That it hasn’t been recorded as lost, stolen or compromised.

How are the checks completed?

The checks are provided by Onfido.

Onfido perform the identity check by finding matches for name, date of birth and address from their sources of information, which include:

  • Credit agency data
  • Voting register
  • Government data sources (e.g. vehicle registrations, property ownership)
  • Utility registrations
  • ….. and many more

The same data is then used to check the PEP, sanctions and other watchlists for matches.

The document check uses OCR technology, machine learning to read and check the identity document. It checks many elements of the document to ensure they are not fraudulent.

The uploaded ‘selfie’ uses machine learning techniques to check for visual authenticity and is compared to the photo from the identity document.

The document and/or the ‘seflie’ may also be referred to a human checker trained in analysing and checking identity documents and likenesses.

During the process the documents uploaded are not stored by Inform Direct. They are uploaded directly to Onfido for processing.

Common failure reasons to avoid

Most failures have been due to identity data being incorrectly entered or due to the poor quality of the identity document being uploaded, more specifically:

  • The uploaded identity document is a scan, it must be a photo
  • The address entered as the person’s residential address is their business address
  • Information has been entered incorrectly (e.g. data of birth entered doesn’t match the ID document date of birth)
  • The identity document uploaded can’t be processed, most commonly because of:
    • The photo is not of the original document (e.g. it is a photo of a photo of the document)
    • The photo taken of the identity document has cut off some of the information
    • The identity document photo taken has glare on the data rending it unreadable
    • The photo of the identity document is of obvious poor quality (e.g. unreadable, out of focus)

Photo uploads of identity documents are required rather than a scan.

Where there hasn’t been a data entry error and the uploaded documents can be successfully read (see above reasons), the percentage of individuals successfully electronically verified is 89.7% (accurate as at the time of writing).

Therefore it is important to check that the data you have entered is correct; and that your identity document upload is a complete and good quality image.

How likely am I to pass (where i have entered my data correctly)?

Other than the reasons above, the most likely reason for not passing will be because yourself and/or your residential address can’t be corroborated by the data sources that are checked electronically. This is most likely to be caused by a one of these reasons:

  • You haven’t entered your full name
  • You have recently moved address
  • You have recently changed your name
  • You don’t have much presence in the data sources. Usual reasons for this are:
    • You do not have much of a credit file, e.g. you have no mortgage, credit card etc.
    • You are not registered to vote
    • You do not have utilities set up in your name

Will the check affect my credit rating?

No – Onfido leaves an Identity Generic Footprint (IG), otherwise known as a ‘soft footprint’, on the individual’s file. This footprint is not visible to lenders and will not affect an individual’s credit rating.

The footprint is only visible to the applicant when they request their own credit file from one of the Credit Bureaus.

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