Consumers exposed to identity theft during lockdown due to poor remote identity practices, finds new survey

Over the past month financial firms have been shifting away from traditional in-person ID checks and towards remote verification. This ‘forced migration’ to remote identity verification followed the introduction of the government’s social distancing measures and the Financial Conduct Authority quickly emphasised remote identity ‘flexibilities’ included in its existing regulations, encouraging firms to process applications remotely.

But new research from secure-identity specialist Nomidio, undertaken by Opinium, highlights serious vulnerabilities in industry practices, with 1 in 7 UK adults confirming they needed to prove their identity digitally during lockdown. Of this number, which equates to roughly seven million UK adults, almost half (49%) were asked to email sensitive documents such as passports or driving licenses when applying for a loan or setting up a new account.

Despite around a quarter of consumers being asked to use biometrics to remotely verify their identity, only 20% were asked to perform a “liveness” test – widely considered a necessary step for biometric identity verification, with a surge in identity-related fraud the likely consequence.

Philip Black, Commercial Director, Nomidio commented“This research shows that some firms are playing fast and loose with consumer’s sensitive identity information. The industry has been scrambling to adapt to mass remote identity verification and it’s clear security and privacy have both suffered as a result.”

Black continued: “During this period it is imperative firms implement a biometrically-enabled remote identity system incorporating a liveness check, fortunately, this functionality can now be delivered as a service from the cloud. Our customer Hitachi Capital implemented Nomidio in just 24 hours to help administer Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme applications, following a four-fold increase in demand for remote applications.”

Author: Laimis Bilys