In a country where there’s a huge consumer credit gap, high inflation and poverty rates, loans are definitely in high demand. As a lender, this means you get a high influx of loan applications daily. And guess what? You have to verify the identities of every single borrower that passes through your funnel. Character is a key tenet of credit but you can only begin to establish that when you know who you are dealing with first. Refusing to prioritize identity verification in your lending business is quite similar to standing in the middle of Lagos Island market and throwing your cash in the air hoping to see who grabbed the notes.

Smaller lenders might be more accustomed to using some quick manual scans to verify borrowers’ ID such as:

Check for the issuer

Government-issued IDs are the most effective at confirming the identity of the borrower. Driver’s license, international passport, NIN slip/card, permanent voter’s card and any other government -issued ID applicable in your region of operation is many times more likely to give you authentic and adequate information about a borrower than a school or work ID might give you.

Check for alterations

Fraudulent characters might want to game the system and make alterations to valid IDs by swapping the information it holds with their own information. Pay attention to consistency in the background. Check that the ID photo has not been replaced with a passport photo with similar colored background, and that important information like name, date of birth, etc. have not been blurred out and replaced.

Check expiry date

IDs are invalid beyond the expiry date. It’s possible that many people don’t know this or just they just try to play smart and hope it goes unnoticed. Everything else might look right with the ID but once the date is off, please knock it off and request for a valid ID. This does not apply to all means of ID; permanent voter’s cards and NIN slips/cards don’t have expiry dates.

Compare BVN details to profile details

For those who lend via digital means, if you are integrated with a BVN verification service, you will be able to compare details such as name and photo with those uploaded on your platform by the borrower at onboarding. Any clear disparities are red flags and such users should be blacklisted immediately.

Verify with tech

While small lenders are used to these quick checks which are prone to human error, lenders can take a step further to check the authenticity of borrowers’ ID using technology. Companies like Youverify VerifyMe Carbon IVS  Pngme provide tech solutions that automate your identity verification process and verify the KYC documents you require for your loan decisioning.

VerifyMe offers a robust ID verification pool which includes BVN, driver’s license, voter’s card, address verification, TIN, NIN and CAC number verifications. Most of their services are also available via APIs so apps are able to simply connect and get to work.

The good news is that lenders operating on Lendsqr can always leverage on the already existing integration with VerifyMe and need not worry about any extra integrations or setup. You can <sign up for free> now to set up your organization on Lendsqr in just 5 minutes.

Government entities such as National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) also offer online verification services for authorized entities to conduct the required checks against their database.

The fact that all these methods and organizations exist to ensure businesses, especially lending businesses know who is who, already screams the importance of identity verification.

Essentially, to protect your business from the bad guys, you must first shine a light on who they are.

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