As one of the UK’s leading business finance providers and a key partner in the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Hitachi Capital needed to ensure its customers could successfully apply for loans remotely, quickly and easily to help get much needed financial support to UK businesses.
When applying for a loan, a key stage in the process is legally verifying the identity of the applicant, which in Hitachi Capital’s business finance division was typically performed by its experienced ‘introducers’, in-person. Since the introduction of social distancing in the UK this approach has no longer been possible, yet business owners still rely on Hitachi Capital as a key financing partner, now more than usual. That’s why the company turned to Nomidio for remote identity verification to keep loan applications flowing.
In the four-week period since social distancing was originally introduced Hitachi Capital has seen a four-fold increase in demand for remote identity verification using Nomidio. The remote identity verification service was originally designed to support the firm’s direct channel, but since the UK’s Coronavirus outbreak began in March, the decision was taken to roll out remote ID checks for Hitachi Capital’s much larger indirect business, where loans are arranged via brokers and other introducers.
As Jo Morris, Head of Marketing at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, puts it: “Fortunately we were looking at remote identity verification across the business before coronavirus hit the UK for our direct channel and had been live in production with Nomidio since November 2019.” She continued: “When it became clear we would need to support UK businesses incredibly quickly, at scale, as a partner in the CBILS we knew we needed a digital way to validate applicant identity for the vast majority of our business, which is handled in-directly via partners. The decision was taken to roll-out Nomidio across the entire business in March and we did it in just 24 hours.”
Since the introduction of the new service, all Hitachi Capital’s applicants need is an ID document such as a passport before they use their mobile phone to submit a selfie with the simple process taking around a minute to legally verify that the customer. Now, when an introducer submits a loan application the Hitachi Capital team simply provide the applicant with a link to undertake the simple Nomidio identity verification process.
Morris added: “As a key partner in CBILS we knew we would begin to receive a barrage of applications as part of the scheme. For our customers, being able to prove their identity from their own home, quickly and easily is important – particularly now. If we hadn’t already worked closely with Nomidio to build this cloud service we would have been racing to try and find a solution. As things stand, we’re able to deliver a consistent ID check that’s comparable to, if not even more convenient and secure, than our face-to-face process used pre-coronavirus. We very much expect groups from all areas of our business to continue with Nomidio for ID checks even after the Coronavirus crisis has abated.”
As part of the new process the loan applicant now takes a picture of their ID, such as a passport, and a selfie, which requires a ‘liveness’ action such as smiling to validate. Nomidio IDV then verifies the document is genuine and matches it with the live selfie. The only time the verification process requires a human touch is if an application is deemed suspicious and is therefore escalated.
“Our customers aren’t asked to download yet another app, rather they can complete the entire identity process from a website on their phone with a smooth customer experience.” Added Morris.
Because Nomidio is delivered as a service and has no footprint within Hitachi Capital’s own IT set-up the firm has been able to begin validating identities quickly and securely without a systems integration project, which was critical to being able to turn remote ID check on for the broker channel within 24 hours.
Philip Black, Commercial Director, Nomidio added: “For UK providers grappling with the shift to remote services I’d say keep it simple. Don’t try and undertake a large IT project now, you need to be nimble, look for cloud solutions that don’t need integration work. We’ve actually worked with Hitachi Capital for 18 months as we designed, tested and iterated the Nomidio identity service, so we know it’s robust, we know it meets security, privacy and compliance requirements. Hopefully others can benefit from this heavy-lifting now it’s packaged as a cloud-service you can spin-up in hours.”
“Coronavirus is causing distress and disruption on an unprecedented scale. We’re pleased to have played a small but important part in helping people across the UK to continue to access finance from Hitachi Capital, who are doing a great job at continuing to provide a vital service for the nation.” Added Black.