PetsForHomes Launches Biometric KYC
Preventing money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes has grown in importance globally as a result of the enormous growth in online financial transactions.
When bringing on new clients or conducting business with counterparties, all financial institutions are required to abide by the regulatory standards of their country. This is a part of an integrated campaign to lessen fraud.
As part of that campaign, most governments have required their countries’ financial institutions to ensure that customer identities can be 100% verified. Biometric KYC verification is the new gold standard for customer verification.
However, this trend has spread beyond the confines of the financial space, and the technology behind biometric KYC verification is seeing use in other industries. PetsForHomes, a Sydney-based pet classified advertising website, has announced that they have launched a KYC verification tool for breeders.
How does KYC verification work?
Know your customer (KYC) refers to the process of identifying a customer’s identity when transacting with them, and is most commonly used in the financial sector. This increased scrutiny is important to ensure that a customer can be verified as a real person.
Almost all banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, and digital payment service providers ask customers to submit to KYC verification before allowing them full access to their services.
By doing so, businesses and government agencies are able to track customer activity and determine whether customers are fraudsters. Customers with a record of fraudulent or illegal activity can then be blocked from making transactions.
What makes biometric KYC different?
KYC verification has been part of opening any bank account for a long time, only it is usually being performed manually. This process requires customers to submit identification to financial institutions where it is reviewed by employees and checked for authenticity.
In contrast, digital verification through a biometric KYC system is not only faster, but also easier for all parties involved. Customers can be verified almost instantly, allowing them to access the full roster of services offered by a financial institution within minutes of signing up.
PetsForHomes aims to make transactions safer for breeders and buyers with KYC verification
Creating an account in an online pet marketplace is often free and requires almost no verification of your identity. These marketplaces do not actually handle the transactions between breeders and buyers, they only serve as a place to list advertisements. The actual monetary exchange happens off-site.
As a result, many online pet marketplaces are rife with disreputable accounts that seek to defraud actual breeders and buyers.
When searching for pets for sale, you often only have the breeder’s name and the information displayed in the advertisement to reference. Doing more in-depth research into the breeder may be futile if they are a fraudulent account that is trying to appear legitimate. It is easy for fraudsters to get the details of more reputable breeders and use this information to entice buyers into transacting with them.
A common method employed by these fraudulent accounts is to ask for a deposit for the pet the buyer wants. Once the deposit has been sent, the fraudulent account can quickly be abandoned, since there was nothing tying the scammer to the account in the first place.
Reputable breeders can also have their reputation tarnished by these scams, as they are likely to have their information used by scammers who want to appear legitimate.
The solution proposed by PetsForHomes is the use of their biometric KYC verification tool. Breeders who join the PetsForHomes online pet marketplace may use this tool and get a special Breeder Verification Badge that can be displayed on each of their advertisements. This badge lets potential buyers looking for pets for sale on PetsforHomes know that the breeder has had their identity verified.
Regarding the recent launch of this tool, PR Manager Kate Teng said, ‘Our aim has always been to increase transparency within the pet community. When we started PetsForHomes, we planned to have accountability for breeders by being the only site to have breeder reviews. Implementing KYC verification is another step toward that goal. Our hope is that puppy farms and identity thieves will no longer be able to hide from the pet community, and will finally be stamped out.’
In combination with breeder reviews, PetsForHomes plans to leverage this technology so that buyers cannot be preyed upon by fraudulent or irresponsible breeders.