HM Land Registry has launched a new Digital Identity Standard that enables homebuyers to use their mobile phone to prove their identity, setting up a new standard to secure digital identity checks.
The new Digital Identity Standard, launched last Friday (12 March) by HM Land Registry, will provide conveyancers with a step-by-step list of requirements for when using digital services to verify their client’s identity securely and conveniently online.
Whilst the new standard is only optional, it offers a ‘Safe Harbour’ for conveyancers who meet the requirements. This means that in the event that a conveyancer’s client was not who they claimed to be, HM Land Registry would not seek recourse against the conveyancer if they operated in compliance with the standard.
As the standard removes the need to meet physically, identity verification should become much more convenient for conveyancers and clients as it can be undertaken at any time. In addition, the use of smartphones to extract encrypted information contained within the chips of documents such as passports should provide enhanced security and reassurance for homebuyers.
Mike Harlow, General Counsel, Deputy Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Land Registrar, comments:
“Proving your identity when buying or selling your property can be a pain. But of course, it is essential to the security of such high value transactions. This new standard for digital biometric identity checking marks an exciting milestone towards a truly digital conveyancing process.
In a challenging year, we set up a cross-industry forum to support our conveyancing colleagues. First, we brought in electronic signatures to remove any need for paper in conveyancing. Now through this same collaboration we are able to bring a new digital identity standard to reduce the risk of fraud and make transactions a more digital, easier and faster experience.”