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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Facial-recognition tenant referencing tool now available to agents

PropTech firm Goodlord is for the first time offering ‘bank-grade’ facial recognition to letting agents.

As part of an update to its referencing service, Goodlord customers will now be able to use an authentication service utilising facial recognition to match photos of applicants to the photo on their ID. 

This biometric technology - now commonly used across airports and the financial sector - provides near-instant confirmation of tenants and guarantors’ identification, enabling agents to speed up and strengthen the referencing process.

The facility is part of the PropTech firm’s new system of four service tiers for tenant and guarantor referencing, which the firm says offers agents multiple combinations of features and services most suited to their needs.

All four tiers include the new facial recognition technology; some also include new Open Banking and fraud analysis technology features. For example, one anti-fraud integration can identify when an email address domain was created to help flag fraudulent income claims or provision of references.

Goodlord has also increased the size of its in-house referencing team to ensure it meets the growing demand it says it's seen since March. This increased capacity means the majority of references can be processed in less than 24 hours.  

“With the constant shift in customers expectations, the evolving regulatory landscape, and the possibilities afforded by technology, our customers can’t afford for us to stand still” explains Kat Wynne-Ellis, Goodlord’s head of referencing.

“With reduced capacity for in-person appointment, features such as facial recognition are more important than ever for ensuring safe, compliant lettings” she adds.

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    Interesting, and - while I'm all for better protection for referencing - this does feel a little bit "big brother" and not sure how it would help anyone other than referencing agencies. I have worked with some referencing agencies that are, to say the least, lazy as hell. They have just sent an email to the tenant's "supposed" landlord asking them to confirm they are "good tenants" and the same with contacting "employers". I use the quotation marks because in one case I ended up with a seriously bad tenant as a result who, once the bond and first months rent was paid, never paid a penny more so it was a pain to get rid of them to say the least. All this could have been sorted if the referencing agency had done serious due diligence and checks. If they do their job properly we don't need 1984 level facial recognition nonsense.

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