Olly Thornton-Berry is MD and Co-founder of Thirdfort. He spoke to Legal Eye this week about ways technology could help protect conveyancers against the rising risk of identity fraud and money laundering.
Lawyers, and particularly those working in the property field, are more conscious than ever before of their susceptibility to fraudsters.
Olly explained how Thirdfort combines best in class technology, including AI driven facial recognition, document scanning and Open Banking into a simple mobile app for clients of conveyancers. A PDF report is generated that informs the conveyancer whether the person is who they say they are and that they ID documents are authentic and have not being tampered with. Also, because Thirdfort is FCA regulated, it offers the capability for the client to securely authorise their bank to release 12 months of digital bank statement (with the click of a button).
The application now has over 1,000 downloads a month, with around 60% of people choosing to digitally share bank statements rather than provide paper copies (which are inconvenient to get hold of and easy to fake, on websites such as https://www.banknovelties.net/). In contrast, when a client chooses to share their bank statements digitally, the conveyancer can be assured that this information comes direct from the bank and is authentic.
Thirdfort technology is primarily designed to reduce risk, however the technology significantly reduces the amount of cumbersome paper based admin for conveyancer and their client (no need to also get ID certified, printed out bank statements and request source of funds questionnaires). For instance, PM Property Lawyers have seen their client onboard time reduced from 20 days to 5 days with Thirdfort and a more than 80% reduction in client onboard admin.