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Here's how HelloV lets prospective employers run background checks via WhatsApp

Identity verification companies help employers confirm the identity of a potential hire, verify documents - and check if they are using a fake identity.

The service lets prospective employers check candidates backgrounds via WhatsApp.
The service lets prospective employers check candidates backgrounds via WhatsApp. (Unsplash)

Over the course of time, an average person comes into contact with a host of people that they might eventually employ - domestic help, drivers, security personnel, maintenance workers etc. And a lot of these jobs involve a certain level of trust, whether it is taking care of a family member or working around valuable property. A background check thus becomes vital. However, we know that it’s not the easiest thing to accomplish.

Previously, employers like a cooperative housing association would have to rely on word-of-mouth to gauge whether a prospective employee (domestic help, drivers, security personnel etc) was a good hire, in terms of background and trustworthiness. They would also have to do their own homework when it came to checking their criminal antecedents and check with the local police to be sure. While this should be mandatory, many employers do not do this — this can, and has, sometimes resulted in dangerous consequences.

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A few private companies have now stepped in to help users looking to find out whether their potential hire is a safe choice, by taking out the tedious bits and streamlining the process. These companies, like IDfy, Veri5Digital, Signzy, FaceX and HelloVerify all work towards ensuring a person whose identity needs to be verified is who they say they are, that all their documents are verified and are genuine - and perhaps most importantly, that they haven’t stolen another person’s identity.

Today, we’ll be looking at how HelloV, one of these services, allows people to verify a prospective employee - or check a potential tenant’s identity, using only their WhatsApp account.

How does this process work?

- To begin the process of verification, the person who wants to confirm the identity of the employee or new tenant, texts “HelloV” to the HelloVerify number on WhatsApp, which will then respond with a language selection query.

- The user must then select whether they want to verify themselves or someone else. If they choose “someone else”, they are presented with an option to verify an employee, a driver, nanny, domestic help and so on. The service also offers two options - ‘Know the identity’ and ‘know your contact’.

Here's what the employer will see while setting up a background check. 
Here's what the employer will see while setting up a background check.  (HelloVerify)

- If you choose to (for example) verify your driver, the service will ask you to input the name and mobile number of the person whose identity you want to confirm. You will then be asked to make your payment via an included link to proceed.

- The prospective driver will then receive a message from the HelloV service informing them of the person that has requested the background check on them.

The prospective employee will see a message asking them to grant consent before the background check is processed.
The prospective employee will see a message asking them to grant consent before the background check is processed. (HelloVerify)

- The person whose identity you want to verify will then be asked to upload a copy of their driving licence or another document in the same chat window, followed by clicking on a link to provide their consent to the background check. If the person does not give their consent, the verification process will not be completed.

Once the person has uploaded their documents and the process of background checking has been completed, the person doing the verification who initiated the process will receive a notification that it has now been completed and they can then click on a link to open the verification report.

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This report will provide the employer with the results of the ID check and criminal background check. A green mark (clear) indicates that details provided by the employee are accurate, an orange mark (alert) indicates that the information needs attention, while a red mark (negative) indicates that the details provided by the candidate do not match.

After the checks are completed, the report is then sent to the employer. 
After the checks are completed, the report is then sent to the employer.  (HelloVerify)

Since the service relies on WhatsApp, the company says it uses end-to-end encryption for its services to prevent third party access. It also states that a background check is never initiated without the consent and authorisation of the person being verified as well as the person requesting it — and that the service complies with industry-level security standards such as ISO 27001, Data Security Certified, SOC 1,2 and GDPR compliant.

HelloVerify says that it uses multiple data sources to gather information about people being verified, using artificial intelligence and machine learning to search, filter and find records from a proprietary curated database. It has also partnered with third-party information companies for accuracy, extracting the data from the documents shared with them and then matching it to the records from various repositories.

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