Categories
Verification

New Account Verification Rules – What They Hold for Consumers and Financial Institutions

The payments industry is changing faster than ever. Consumers are welcoming a number of changes and adopting the latest technologies. Customers globally are moving towards an online payments landscape instead of relying on cash and checks. There are over 140 online payment methods available globally. The use of online payments is also giving a boost to the already growing eCommerce industry. 

While cash is still the primary method of transaction, soon there will be a drop in global cash usage. This can be credited to instant bank transfers and mobile wallet payments. Some of the market-leading mobile wallet apps are:

  • Google Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Samsung Pay

Several other contactless payment methods are slowly changing the payments industry. So, it makes sense that the customer bank account verification methods need to change too.

Fraudsters Look for Weak Points

With the rise of digital payments, digital fraud is rising too. The Automated Clearing House is one of the most common targets for fraudsters all over the world. Fraud in the ACH channel is happening throughout global payments. Plus, there is a 40% increase in customers experiencing fraud events at some point in their lives.

ACH transactions are used widely throughout the USA because they are simple to use and affordable. Transaction fees on the ACH channels are lower than card fees and wire transfers. This is why the ACH channel is used all over the USA. This reliance is also attracting fraudsters of all kinds. 

The ACH payment process isn’t compromised. The fraudsters attack the processes that happen before the transaction. Most fraudsters try to get the payments into their accounts instead of the actual account.

These frauds happen with the help of fishing fraud, social engineering attacks, data breaches, and others. These attacks help fraudsters gain the information they need to steal customer identity data. Then, fraudsters can use this information for creating synthetic identities or to do account takeovers.

To protect customers, vendors, and institutions, better methods of account verification need to be employed.

New Account Verification Rules

NACHA, the ACH operating entity, is trying to bring about some changes in the industry. They’ve adopted a new rule that requires financial institutions to go beyond the old standard for providing security to online transactions. To combat account fraud, account validation is becoming a part of the process.

NACHA also stated that they understand the implementation of these rules will have impacts on booth payment originating institutions, and payment receiving institutions. This includes the increased cost as new tools will be needed to be implemented. If banks and financial institutions don’t have the right setup for account verification, they will need to rely on third-party verification software.

These compliance changes offer an opportunity to protect the payments and reduce the risk of fraud. It can also help in reducing non-sufficient fund payments, and user errors. If these new rules are implemented perfectly it can improve the user experience and also improve the brand reputation.

The best bank account verification software offers these results simply and seamlessly. Plus, it can stand tall in the customer’s expectations when doing online transactions. If the process is slow or frustrating, consumers often tend to switch over to some other service provider.

Financial institutions should always focus on improving customer experience while reducing the risk of fraud. It’s a tough path to walk on, but that’s what is expected. If a financial institution can provide a good onboarding experience, it can build a customer reputation.

Making sure that the customer keeps using the account after its opening requires account validation tools that verify data almost instantly. This allows customers to send and receive money with ease.

Bank Account Verification Solution by DIRO

Banks and financial institutions that don’t have any solutions of their own need to rely on third-party services. DIRO online bank account verification solution is the answer. It enables financial institutions to smoothen the customer onboarding process with instant bank account verification.

As the data is cross-verified directly from the issuing source, it also eliminates the use of fake and stolen customer data. Moreover, instant bank verification doesn’t hamper the customer experience, leading to better business-customer relationships.

Categories
General Verification

What is Signature Verification?

The widespread use of digital signatures has raised tons of questions. Most of these questions are related to user security. Numerous individuals and businesses see the benefit of transitioning from the traditional method of signing documents. The traditional method requires printing, scanning, hand-signing, and re-scanning of the documents and they are a huge security threat. Overall, they’re unsure how the digital signature verification process works.

The solution is to remove the mystery regarding the digital signature verification process.

How do Digital Signatures Work?

The terms digital signature and electronic signature are often used interchangeably, but they are very different from each other. The first point is understanding the difference between electronic and digital signatures. Digital signatures are a type of highly secure electronic signature, and they have a robust verification process. 

eSignature or Electronic signature on the other hand refers to any virtual mark (Like an image file) that is included in a document to signify approval. Digital signatures work by leveraging an encrypted system that is based on a standard technological framework called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Certified authorities provide individuals with a digital certificate, which is stored by them mostly on a USB stick. 

Whenever the individual wants to sign a new document, they’ll have to attach their digital signature to the document using special software. An encrypted “hash” that is specific to that document is then created. The individual that’s sending the document then has to match the digital hash with a public digital certificate, in turn verifying the signature. 

Most digital signature providers use a mathematical algorithm to generate digital signature keys. 

  • Public key
  • Private key

Whenever a signer digitally signs a document, a new cryptographic hash is created for the document. This is done to verify the authenticity and integrity of the document. The recipient of the digital document can decrypt the encrypted hash by using the sender’s public key certificate. Once that is done, a new cryptographic hash is created from the receiver’s end.

While verifying digital signatures, both the cryptographic hash are compared to check their authenticity. If the hashes match, the document is original and it hasn’t been tampered with.

The Role of Digital Signatures

Over time, digital signatures have become a norm for all businesses. In many regions, including parts of North America, the European Union, and APAC, digital signatures are considered legally binding and they hold the same value as traditional document signatures.

In addition to digital document signing, they’re also used for financial transactions, email service providers, and software distribution. Digital signatures are crucial in specific industries where authenticity and integrity of digital identity are important. 

Industry-standard technology known as public key infrastructure makes sure to authenticate a digital signature is valid.

Why Should You Use PKI or PGP with Digital Signatures?

Using digital signatures that are supported by PKI or PGP improves their strength and significantly reduces the possibility of security threats. You can reduce security issues that often come along with transmitting public keys, by simply verifying that the key belongs to the sender, and verifying the identity of the sender. Verifying the identity of the sender is crucial when you’re dealing with a digital signature.

The level of security of the digital signature is completely dependent on how secure the private key is. Without PGP or PKI, proving someone’s identity or revoking a compromised key is next to impossible. If the private key is not well protected, it could allow malicious actors to assume the identity of someone else and go through the process without proper verification. 

By relying on third-party verification services, businesses and individuals can verify digital signatures. This can ensure that the digital signatures are not being used by someone who doesn’t have the authority. 

As paperless, and online transactions are growing day by day, the use of digital signatures can help you protect and secure the integrity of your data. By understanding and using digital signatures, you can protect yourself, the information you share, confidential documents, and transactions. 

How are Electronic Signature Verified?

And how are electronic signatures verified? Numerous legislation like the ESIGN (The Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act), UETA (The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act), and eIDAS (Electronic Identification, Authentication and trust Services) offer the validity of electronic signatures. 

The process for verifying electronic signatures is a lot similar to traditional methods that are used to verify physical pen and ink signatures. Verification is essentially about proving an electronic signature was made by the intended signee by verifying the data, location, and time of the signature. This helps in ensuring that the document wasn’t tampered with. 

Categories
Verification

Employment Verification: Step-by-Step Guide

There are several instances where companies will be asked or will initiate a request to verify an individual’s work history and other details associated with their current or past employment. This process is known as “employment verification.”

The hiring process is when most companies do verification of employment, and the process includes professional reference checks. Businesses generally receive proof of employment verification requests from third parties. Lenders who receive loan applications, credit card applications tend to do employee document verification to make sure that the person who’s applying isn’t lying about their employment status.

Mortgage lenders also verify your employment by contacting your employer directly and by reviewing the latest income documentation. The borrower has to sign a form authorizing an employer to share their income information to a lender asking about employment verification. At that point, the lender typically calls the employer to obtain the necessary information. There are some steps that you need to take, but there are steps borrowers need to take if they refuse to verify employment. 

Businesses can use multiple methods to verify employment, including getting a “proof of employment verification” letter, paystubs, contacting references, or executing contracts and agreements. In this article, we’ve mapped out the main reasons for employment verification and how companies fulfill the requests, and why employment verification is important.

What’s Verification of Employment?

To approve mortgages, banks need to verify employment. The same goes for businesses looking to hire new employees, or banks verifying employment before onboarding a customer.

The mortgage lender needs to check that you are employed where you say you’re employed. They also have to take your level of income into consideration. This confirms that the borrower can bear their down payments, EMIs, and closing costs. 

Employment Verification: When is it Required?

Now that online job hunting and professional networking sites like LinkedIn are becoming famous, a CV/Resume is more than enough to verify a person’s employment status. However, many potential verifiers can demand better and more formal certification of employment. This happens mostly when a financial transaction is involved. There are several employment verification documents needed to fulfill the request.

1. Lenders Approving a Loan

Lenders that are reviewing loan applications definitely need to verify an individual’s employment status. This helps them in making sure that the individual can make payments on time. Not just employment, employers can also verify the salary details of an employee if a lender requests so. However, companies should be careful to abide by the local laws. Some locations like the State of California and New York City prohibit employers from divulging salary information during the hiring process, but this doesn’t often affect loan requests. Employment verification methods can differ from business to business, but the end result is similar.

2. Property Owners Issuing a Lease

Similar to loan providers, the employment verification requirements of a property owner are to verify an individual’s employment status to make sure they can make payments under the lease. Financial history is also an important part of completing the process. This can be done by acquiring bank statements from the individual.

3. Employers Hiring New Employees

Before handing out an offer to a new employee, companies often check the employee’s employment history. This is done by contacting the references, which also require formal documentation. This step includes asking for employment verification documents. 

4. Work Visa Holders Verifying Employment

To secure a work visa in a country, applicants are required to have secured a job in the country. Similarly, this is necessary during application renewals, if the individual has quit the job or has been let go, the work visa will diminish. Visa holders must inform the office that issues the work permit if they’ve lost their jobs.

Process of Employment Verification

In general, lenders verbally verify the information borrowers share on the Uniform Residential Loan Application. However, they can also choose to get the data via fax, email, or a combination of any number of methods. Lenders use this information to calculate several metrics to determine how likely a borrower is to repay a loan. A change in employment status can have a huge impact on your borrower’s application. 

1. Additional Information

Whenever a lender will verify employment, a lender will frequently ask other questions as well. The basic question a lender may inquire about is the type of employment. Lenders are also interested in verifying the position, salary, and work history. Most lenders only verify the borrower’s current employment, some lenders may also want to confirm previous employment information. This practice is more common for borrowers who have been in their current organization in less than two years. 

2. Verification for Self-Employed Individuals

Those who are self-employed and take on the mortgage have a different type of employment verification. In this situation, lenders need an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 4506-T. This form is a request for “Transcript of Tax Return” which allows the lenders to receive a copy of the borrower’s tax return directly from the IRS. In a self-employed situation, the lender may also have to ask for attestation by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to confirm income.

Common Employment Verification Methods

Companies should notify an existing or a past employee that they’ve received an employment verification request. This allows companies to make sure that the request is legit before providing sensitive details to an unknown party. This is also the first step to learn if you’re wondering how to do employment verification. 

1. PoE Letter

A PoE (Proof of Employment) letter is issued by an employer and it acts as a formal confirmation of a current or past employee’s status. PoE letters often include:

  • Employer’s business name and address 
  • The employee’s job title
  • Dates of the current/past employee’s employment
  • List of employee’s responsibilities
  • The employer’s contact information

2. Paystubs

Pay Stubs are often used for employment verification. It provides a record of an employee’s past income from the company. This information is needed when the individual’s applying for a loan, mortgage, or credit card. In some locales, providing a customer’s salary information is against the rules and regulations. 

3. References

Another method of verifying employment is by contacting the references provided by the individual. A reference can help in providing information about the employee’s roles and responsibilities throughout the organization. The reference (usually a manager) can verify if the individual ever used to work with the organization. 

4. Contracts & Agreements

These documents help in proving an employee’s relationship with a company, but most of the contracts and agreements only show that the employee accepted a job offer. One issue with this method is the lack of surety of the individual working with the organization. 

5. Third-Party Services

Businesses that need employment verification in bulk tend to use third-party services to reduce stress from internal resources. These third-party service providers complete the employment verification process on a company’s behalf.

What Information is Legal to Share?

Employment verification is a tricky process as the entity may require details that an employer is prohibited from submitting. As a matter of fact, employers can face huge penalties if they fail to abide by the rules. Health and Salary information is the most sensitive employee information that most businesses aren’t allowed to share. Here’s a deeper insight into what information is legal to share.

1. Health Data

Sharing information about an employee’s health isn’t legal in most areas. There is no way to know what a verifier wants to do with the information. Health and physical appearance-based discrimination hiring is a common practice.

Sharing information about an employee’s disability is a highly frowned upon practice. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, sharing information about an individual’s disability is considered illegal. 

Hiring employers can confirm whether the person they’re hiring will be able to fulfill the responsibilities of the position they’re being considered for. 

2. Salary and Earning History

Certain situations such as loan approval require entities to gain insights into the applicant’s earnings. Several locations such as the State of California and NYC prohibit companies from requesting previous salary information during the hiring process. This rule is set in place to protect an employee from having the salary for a new role being compared to the previous compensation. 

How to Respond to Refusal to Verify Employment?

Some employers completely deny a borrower’s request for employment verification, but it can be easy to fix this situation in some cases. You need to clearly explain to the human resource manager why you need to verify the employment of the borrower. Some companies will not provide any information without the verbal or written consent of the employee. There can also be state laws that a company has to follow before handing out an employee’s information.

As an employee, you should talk to your employer about this. You can also tell your potential mortgage lender about your organization’s rules and regulations. Some lenders may be willing to process an application without employment verification as another state’s law prevents them from verifying a certain type of information. 

There are also some cases where an employer will not verify employment for other reasons. If this clashes with your mortgage application process, then you should start searching for a different job.

Conclusion: Employment Verification

A lot of businesses suffer from employee scams and that’s why it’s essential to verify employee information. In high-risk industries such as the financial industry, employment verification is a need rather than a formality. DIRO online document verification can reduce the verification time by 90% while simultaneously providing court-admissible proof of verification.