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No more risky business for lawyers through Thirdfort

Fraud is a social blight and Thirdfort is on a mission to remove this risk from property transactions so more people can move fearlessly. Working with lawyers, agents and other regulated sectors, Thirdfort automates ID and anti-money laundering checks to let good people get on with their work and make life easier for their clients.

We spoke to Jack Bidgood, co-founder and managing director of Thirdfort.

Onboard clients quickly, securely and entirely remotely

In a simple-to-use app, Thirdfort combines Open Banking technology, document verification and facial recognition technology to offer fast and fully remote compliance checks that can be completed by clients from anywhere. We spoke to Jack Bidgood, co-founder and managing director of Thirdfort.

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Fraud through UK property is a £216m/year issue and growing fast. Lawyers are on the front line and are required to carry out slow and painful ID and anti-money laundering checks involving physical documents and in-person meetings. These checks massively slow down property transactions which currently stand at 20 weeks to complete.

Thirdfort is consistently looking to use the latest technology to make sure they are offering the most robust and secure ID checks that are easy to use for clients.

The legal industry is very risk-averse. They want to make sure that when technology is adopted, risks are always mitigated. COVID has changed that mentality and this has created an opportunity for change to the status quo.

HM Land Registry Digital ID Standard

Thirdfort worked alongside the HM Land Registry to ensure that its upgraded offering was fully aligned with the HM Land Registry’s new Digital ID Standard. Thirdfort Standard incorporates technology from ReadID and ReadID partner iProov. The government-grade offering is at the helm of fraud protection and, crucially, means that those using Thirdfort Standard will be compliant with HM Land Registry’s Digital ID Standard.

Thirdfort uses Open Banking to get access to bank details as well. Getting the journey right was important; it should be an out-of-the-box solution for lawyers. They needed to educate the users on why they should use the app and what it does.

You never meet somebody that says; ‘I just bought a house the other day and that was really fast, enjoyable and it went really smooth and there were no problems on the journey.’ We want to change that.Jack Bidgood, Co-founder Thirdfort

The Digital ID Standard was unveiled in March 2021 to encourage digital identity checks in the conveyancing process and drive the industry towards a clear set of standards in e-ID. Those firms meeting the standard have been offered a ‘Safe Harbour’ to protect them from recourse - on the grounds that identity checks were inadequate - in any claims resulting from the registration of a fraudulent transaction. To meet the Digital ID Standard, providers must utilise a range of cutting-edge technologies including biometric facial recognition, NFC and liveness checking to remotely verify the authenticity of identity documents, such as passports.

Key take away for identification

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Improved customer journey

For lawyers, using Thirdfort Standard has had a big impact. Not only does it remove the chance of recourse should fraud occur, but they can also rest assured they are using the latest security technology to deter and detect fraudsters. It reduces their liability risks substantially. This is a very strong incentive for conveyancers and law firms to join.

Compared to the original services of Thirdfort the customer journey has improved, which has been reflected in the uptake of Thirdfort’s Standard ID check. Thirdfort has grown rapidly over the past year, off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent acceleration of law firm and conveyancer digitisation.

Thirdfort’s platform is now used to remotely ‘onboard’ over 30,000 clients each month – a ten-fold increase on pre-pandemic numbers - on behalf of more than 500 law firms and property businesses. By now about 10% of the UK market flows through the Thirdfort solution.