New Biometric Technology to Speed Up Loan Approvals

Property agents should appreciate the flow-on effects of ground-breaking new identity verification technology, based on facial recognition, that is set to streamline mortgage approvals and speed up the whole property transaction process.

The solution, being hailed as Australia’s first fully digital verification of identity (VOI) process, is a response to the strict and time-consuming Know Your Client (KYC) identification requirements for lenders and brokers, that were introduced as part of the Government’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism measures.

The solution has been developed by HashChing, an online marketplace that links home buyers with mortgage brokers, and has now been trialled and rolled across its broker network.

HashChing CEO Mandeep Sodhi said it could cut days off the home loan approval process but the company’s ultimate aim was to slash the average time for settling a home loan from the present 60-90 days to just a week.

He said the system enabled customers to show proof of identity in a video call, either via a browser or an iPhone app.

It uses an advanced facial recognition algorithm to compare the customer’s face on the screen with the photograph on a driver’s licence or passport in real time and checks the authenticity of the ID against government databases, a process that takes seconds.

The system also keeps a record of the video call on HashChing’s servers for seven years.

Mr Sodhi said KYC continued to be a major pain point for mortgage brokers. “Now that customers no longer need to physically present their proof-of-identity documents to the broker, they’re free to complete the entire home loan process digitally, enabling them to connect to any broker in the country who offers the most suitable deal,’’ he said.

HashChing CIO Atul Narang said the new VOI solution brought transparency to the process and, because it captured the user’s current location during the call, also reduced the likelihood of fraud.

“Given we’ve simplified all of the other steps in the home loan process with technologies such as machine learning and predictive analytics, conquering the KYC requirement was really the last hurdle we had to tackle to create a completely digital process,’’ he said.

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