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Identity Verification and Document Verification Service (DVS)

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Identity crime is one of the most common crimes in Australia with estimated annual costs of $3.1 billion. A stolen identity enables organised crime and can facilitate events like retail fraud, financial crime, money laundering, drug trafficking and terrorism.

In response, the Australian Government has created a national identity resilience strategy that aims to make identities harder to steal and easier to restore, protecting individuals and helping victims of identity theft. There are many projects attached to this strategy including the Document Verification Service (DVS).

The DVS works by comparing the personal information on an identity document against existing Australian government records for that person. For example, passport details will be checked against data held by the Australian Passport Office. 

Files are encrypted during this process so government agencies and businesses can verify identity while minimising their collection of personal information. 

The DVS is used as part of a broader range of identity checks used by organisations to prevent identity fraud. Organisations obliged to complete Know Your Customer checks must complete the DVS as part of their security protocol. 

Overall, the DVS makes it easier for organisations to satisfy their identity verification obligations, including those under anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) legislation. 

In this blog, we dive into what DVS checks include and how businesses use them. 

Why the DVS is important 

Everyday tasks like opening a bank account and applying to a private health fund happen online. The use of online platforms boosts efficiency, but also opens the door to fraud. According to PWC, in 2022, 51% of organisations experienced fraud in the past year and platform fraud had the highest incidence rate.

By verifying the identity documents that people provide with the relevant agencies, businesses can do better at ensuring the people they are dealing with are who they say they are. 

How the DVS works

The Document Verification Service (DVS) checks if the personal data provided on documents matches with original government records. For example, the details on a Medicare card can be checked directly with Medicare.  

Data used for verification is encrypted and sent to relevant agencies for an identity check. 

For privacy reasons, the agency being asked to verify documents is not given the identity of the organisation making the inquiry. The agency simply sends back a digital “yes” or “no” response to the asking organisation. 

What is a DVS Gateway Service Provider?

Businesses cannot access the DVS directly, they must work with an approved Gateway Services Provider. 

A Gateway Services Provider is a private organisation, like RapidID, that connects with Government agencies through the DVS service to verify the identity details on certain documents. The provider must comply with technical and privacy requirements of the DVS before being approved as a gateway for public and private organisations. 

What do DVS checks include?

There are currently 14 documents that can be checked with the DVS. They are: 

  • Birth certificates
  • Centrelink concession cards
  • Certificates of registration by descent (RD)
  • Change of name certificates
  • Citizenship certificates
  • Driver licences
  • ImmiCards
  • Marriage certificates
  • Medicare cards
  • Passports
  • Visas
  • Death certificates
  • Aviation and Maritime security identification cards (ASIC & MSIC)
  • Address Details from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) 

Why your organisation may need DVS checks 

Your organisation will likely benefit from DVS checks if your processes require proof of identity documents like those listed above. 

DVS checks often occur during processes like:

  • Opening bank accounts 
  • Applying for loans and credit cards 
  • Creating accounts in online marketplaces 
  • Enrolling in tertiary study 
  • Verifying employee candidate details 
  • Renting a property 

Industries where DVS is common 

The sectors currently making the most use of DVS checks include: 

  • Finance 
  • Legal
  • Real Estate
  • Medical
  • Education
  • Online marketplaces 
  • Gambling
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Security
  • Employment services  

Within each industry, more use cases are emerging. For instance, income tax professionals are now required to use document verification as part of compliance protocols. 

Do I need to use DVS? 

Some organisations are required to use DVS due to industry compliance standards. Others may choose to use DVS checks to bolster security and adhere to their own internal compliance standards. 

Organisations should consider using DVS checks to strengthen security. By verifying people are who they say they are, you can help reduce the risk of identity threat and other types of fraud. 

Taking measures to properly verify identity helps build trust and protect both your organisation and your customers. 

Why choose RapidID for a DVS check

A registered Gateway Services Provider, RapidID can help you verify identity documents in seconds

RapidID simplifies access to the DVS and helps organisations prevent identity fraud, increase onboarding conversion and meet compliance standards. 

Organisations using a DVS provider do not need to keep copies of identity documents which helps you protect privacy and reduce the risk of data breaches. 

By implementing DVS checks with RapidID, you add a crucial security step to your onboarding process without adding to your internal administration load. The service is provided through secure online systems and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Organisations can connect with RapidID easily through an open Application Programming Interface (API) or integration partnerships like Xref’s Trust Marketplace

Final thoughts 

Identity fraud is a pressing issue in Australia, and globally. Using stronger security measures helps lessen the threat to your organisation and customers. 

By using DVS checks, your organisation can take a stronger step toward reducing fraud by checking personal details directly with government agencies. This adds another level of security to your onboarding processes and workflows and helps build trust within your organisation and community. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how RapidID works, book a free demo today.

This blog was originally published on RapidID, an Xref company.

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