When it comes to preventing fraudulent encounters in your company, what safeguarding step would you take first?
It’s checking how reliable someone is before entering into business with them (employees/customers). So, the primary step to start with is Background Verification (BGV)!
Checks for BGV change with the industry. But, one constant check is- Address verification!
How can you trust someone when he/she won’t even be truthful about where they live! Also, an address is a prime part of one’s identity. If one is faking an address, he/she is potentially faking an identity. Considering this, let’s dive deeper into what way of address verification will serve you the best.
What is address verification?
Address verification involves verifying the candidate’s claim of living at a location. Some use cases for address verification are companies hiring an employee, banks onboarding a new customer, or universities granting scholarships to their students!
In a company, an employee has access to sensitive information. Therefore, they need employees who are authentic & can be trusted. On the contrary, a bank must do money business with genuine customers only to prevent fraudulent encounters. In the third case, universities initiate scholarships to encourage & support students. They must conduct a thorough BGV before extending the scholarship to a candidate, so it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
In short, address verification is a necessity for most sectors.
Background Verification: A necessity
Let’s have a look at a study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE):
- In this study, a tip detected 43% of occupational frauds in various companies.
- Out of which, 52% of companies ran background checks on their employees. Some of whom were later found to be involved in fraud. An immediate action helped the companies identify & avoid potential damage.
- However, the remaining 48% of companies that had chosen not to screen their employees suffered huge losses and hampered their reputation.
Phew! BVG saved the day for the clever 52%, didn’t it?
According to an EconomicTimes report, the top for discrepant checks is address, employment, identity, and education verifications.
How to conduct Address verification?
Here are two ways to practice address verification:
- Physical Address Verification
This process of verification is carried out by a field officer who physically checks details like:
- Names of members residing with the applicant
- Applicant’s tenure of stay
The feasibility of such a test is tentative. Among the two types of addresses – Permanent and Temporary, the permanent one is considered more reliable.
- Digital Address Verification
Online address verification is easier! Here the candidate submits his/her documents digitally & the platform gets the address validated digitally.
The platform draws the longitude & latitude coordinates & hence confirms the existence of the mentioned location. This avoids the usage of fake addresses. However, physical inspection follows this process for maximum security. Software like Addressify API makes Digital verification user-friendly & trustable.
What documents are valid as proof of address in India?
The following documents are required for address verification:
- Bank statement with the name of account holder & date of issue (It should not be more than 3 months old)
- Utility bills (like gas, electricity, water, internet, etc.) qualify as proof of address.
- Current lease agreement with signatures of the landlord and the tenant
- Credit card statement that shouldn’t be less than 3-6 months old
Why are address verification services a critical part of BGV?
- Saving company reputation
- Ensures you protect your business from liability and risk of hiring misidentified candidates
- Reduces the risks of confidential details of your business from miscreant candidates
- Protects you from potential legal ramifications
- Time & money
“Prevention is better than cure”.
Here the prevention is to engage with candidates who have been screened & verified. Any candidate who is not upfront about address details might be hiding other identity-related facts. This is indicative of a lack of integrity. In the long run, BGV based decisions help save time & money.
- Company ethos in tune with legal bodies
In cases where an employee is involved in a questionable/criminal act, the concerned authorities need to investigate the matter. Here address checks can come in handy in locating the suspect and for other formalities.
- Is it a handy document
An address verification document serves as a critical piece of paper for office affairs. The address is necessary for sending important documents like offer letters, forms of application, and much.
- For a safer work environment
According to Bloomberg Law, public-facing employees have been screamed at, spat on, and assaulted for trying to enforce mask-wearing rules during the pandemic.
Given the rapid changes workplaces have experienced, it is critical to hire employees with complete background checks. If things go wrong, negligent hiring parameters are on the company.
Challenges with Address verification process
- Remote method :
With COVID-19 and remote working, verifying the applicants in a remote setup is not easy. Remote setups increase the uncertainty of hiring genuine candidates and making it difficult for companies to tell apart a fraudulent candidate.
Digital address verification can help here and avoid agent-level (physical verification) frauds.
- Logistical constraints :
Without adequate technological infrastructure, the address verification process cannot happen remotely. IDfy offers tools like Addressify API that make it possible to beat traditional methods and check addresses remotely.
- Structural errors
Many applicants make spelling mistakes, write abbreviations, and fail to mention specific address details like ZIP code, Landmark, etc. This can lead to inadequate or incorrect data, complicating the process.
One can solve this via capturing data directly from the ID documents. Some digital verification platforms provide this facility as well.
- Problem with blue-collar workers
The world of E-commerce ( like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, etc.) involves extensive buying and selling of products and services daily.
Most blue-collar workers are on the move, trying to make some quick money to support their families. They are likely to live at temporary addresses that are not considered the most valuable source to authenticate the address verification check.
How does IDfy offer address verification services?
IDfy’s address verification services include technological advances in online address verification. Using the latest tools and devices, we make this process smooth and efficient for your company.
- Conventional/physical address verification:
Our fleet of 1000+ runners collect images of the location and vicinity for 100% authenticity.
- Digital Address Verification
– Document capture & verification over a video call (in 15 mins)
– Geotagging for remote verification.
– Instant and live image capture.
A quick digital address verification eliminates all cases of fake addresses/identities. The candidates who pass this verification can then be verified conventionally via a physical visit for maximum security.
Your company’s security is a prime concern. So is the legitimacy of who connects with it (be it a customer or an employee). Ensure maximum security with BGV and prevent potential fraudulent encounters.