By Harrison Midda, Senior Manager, Business Development
Transfer Agencies (TA) have faced many industry changes, particularly in 2020. Investors have had to adapt and so has the TA – fast.
TA is one of Link Group’s core services, supporting UK-based investment managers across all fund structures and asset classes.
Our role remains focused on contractual duties to service investors on behalf of corporate issuers. But we remain ahead of the curve by giving investors exactly what they need in a landscape that is not only changing by the year, but by the month.
Remote working in the UK became the norm almost overnight in March 2020. Travel was synonymous with risk, so investors required processes that moved away from the traditional to prioritise digitisation, speed, accessibility and transparency.
Just a year ago, our clients’ customers were required to show their original documentation, such as passports, for due diligence. There were few alternatives that could reduce time, effort and potential money spent on this process.
A major change in the UK TA space has been an industry-wide agreement that we can verify an end-user’s identity by allowing them to take and send a photograph of themselves with their documentation.
The word ‘selfie’ joined the Oxford Dictionary in 2013, but for investors and TAs the year of the selfie was 2020.
Digital identity verification: how does it work?
As of March 2020, 87 per cent of UK mobile phone users used a smartphone. We use them as a lifeline not just for communication, but for our calculators, online banking, games, address books, internet access, photos and much more.
Now, investors can use their smartphone to send photos to us for ID verification either via email or our online portal. The user simply holds their passport or documentation with them in their photo, removing the need for their physical attendance at a specific location.
Is there more risk?
There is no doubt that the internet has for many years been a beacon for progression and technological advances, even before 2020. But for many it can still represent an unnerving world where fraudsters can take advantage of their anonymity.
Investors must feel confident that their service provider protects them from online dangers, particularly with confidential documentation and transactions. The key is to build and sustain a relationship where clients and customers trust their provider to keep them safe.
Our clients have responded keenly to our new authentication processes because we are committed to delivering a simple service that provides a safe and reliable user experience.
Get in touch
Contact us to find out more about how we can deliver quick, easy and seamless solutions for your investors at the touch of a camera button.