Novia partners with tech firm to offer biometric anti-fraud service to investment advisers

July 17, 2020

Novia Financial, the Bath-based provider of wealth management service for investment advisers, has launched a service to ensure the security of client documents using biometric verification.

The service, the result of a partnership with award-winning technology firm Credas, uses leading-edge technology to verify that a document truly belongs to the person making the transaction. 

It has already proved successful in other sectors by offering an additional layer of protection against stolen identification.

However, it is the first time it has been used in the wrap platform industry.

Novia was launched to market in 2008 to provide a comprehensive wealth management service or 'full wrap platform' for investment advisers and their clients. The firm now has around £7bn worth of assets under administration.

Novia said the system had proved valuable during lockdown when financial advisers were unable to visit clients.

The service offers real-time ID document scanning and chip reading, combined with identity and facial recognition technology – so providing a simple, quick and secure solution to regulated markets that require an identity verification solution

Subject to adviser consent, Novia clients who have historically required copies of ID and bank statements to verify their identity will be invited instead to take a ‘selfie’ by the software on a smart device, followed by taking a picture of a photographic identity document. 

The technology, which works by calculating distances between key features on the face, will compare both facial images to verify identity and check the integrity of the corroborative document.

Novia operations director Nick Raine, pictured, said: “Novia Financial verification measures that have served the business and our clients well over the last 12 years have been tested under lockdown. 

“Our adviser base has needed to adapt the operation of their businesses to meet remote working requirements. 

“The cornerstone of how we operate is the safeguarding of client money and assets and we are delighted to further enhance our offering with the adoption of secure biometric verification.

“Privacy is important to us all and technology such as this can be perceived as intrusive, so existing methods will still be available to those who do not wish to engage with it. 

“We are hoping the convenience and ease of use is received well by both the adviser community and our mutual clients, to allow us to adopt an integrated implementation in the near future.”

Cardiff-based Credas is the market leader in identity verification solutions that support businesses across multiple markets with compliance and due diligence processes.   

Its CEO Rhys David said: “We are delighted to provide this entirely remote solution to Novia and are pleased that our technology can help ensure they are verifying their clients documents securely and accurately.

“It’s great to be working with a business who are invested in using technology to improve their business processes and customer experience too.”


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