Traditional background checking companies are reliant on labour-intensive processes whereby checks are processed manually by human data processors. This typically leads to high prices, frustratingly slows turnaround times and comes with compliance risks as it is prone to human errors – you may recall that HireRight was accused by the U.S. Justice Department of having filed at least 665,000 flawed background checks between March 2008 and September 2012.

Onfido, a London-based company, has solved this problem by automatically aggregating and delivering data and only intervening when there is a problem. This has helped them make the process faster, more cost effective and less prone to human errors. They have signed up more than 400 clients from SMEs to FTSE 100 companies.

Onfido group
Onfido group

Clients use Onfido’s online dashboard to enter the applicant’s name and email address along with the checks that they want to carry out. The applicant then automatically receives an email with a link to an online form for them to complete and the clients are notified when the checks are completed. The checks are available instantly, 24/7, criminal record checks are offered at cost-price and the typical cost of Identity verification is only £10.

Husayn Kassai, co-founder and CEO, started Onfido in 2012 along with Eamon Jubbawy and Ruhul Amin. Kassai explains: “It’s our unique combination of technology, speed and price that is proving so attractive to clients, and the new funding will enable us to invest in even more in our technology.”

Their offering is particularly appealing to high-risk sectors such as banking and finance.

A report by the London School of Economics found that the UK has by far Europe’s largest illegal population, twice the illegal population of second-placed Italy. A leaked Home Office report claims some venues are running with a staff of 50% illegal workers, although the suspected murderer only revealed after a background check is not a common discovery! Almost two-thirds (62%) of employers say they’ve been affected by a bad hire in the past year, and in 2013 the average cost of an internal fraud topped £483,000 with a recovery rate of only 14%.

With the rise of British ‘fake ID factories’ and the knowledge that 9.2 million people in the UK (20% of the population) have criminal records, trust is a crucial ingredient in the new global economy and Onfido’s aim is building trust. Whether a company is operating in traditional services or innovating new shared economy services, Onfido’s tools put the control back in the hands of the client, providing them with the confidence to quickly start building trust with new employees.

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