How we use Open Banking for secure employment verification

By Konfir

Open Banking revolutionised the world of finance when it was launched in the UK in 2018. Since then, we’ve seen its use grow consistently among consumers and businesses, spawning a vibrant ecosystem of startups thinking of innovative ways to cater to the financial market’s changing needs. Five years after its implementation, we are now seeing the expansion of the benefits of Open Banking to other areas of the economy — the background checking sector, and the hassle that comes with employment verification is one of them.

Open Banking enables consumers and businesses to share banking and credit card transaction data securely with trusted third parties who provide applications and services which save time and money.

It was designed with security at its heart and it has some strict restrictions in place as to whom can access the data — to be able to collect such information, with consent from the user, organisations have to be accredited as a data recipient. Open Banking also uses rigorously tested software and security systems and allows only apps and websites regulated by the FCA or the European equivalent to enrol in its Directory. Open Banking also puts the consumer in charge of their data, enabling them to choose how and when, access to their information is possible.

With Open Banking’s use expanding beyond finance, the opportunity for other industries to benefit from it is large — the number of consumers and SMEs actively using Open Banking powered services in the UK has reached 7 million and, according to the UK Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), Open Banking payments are growing 500% Year on Year.

Now, the time has come for Open Banking to transform administrative processes across industries, with employment verification leading the way. Running pre-employment verification and getting the necessary checks employees need before starting a new job has been a source of headaches for professionals operating in this space.

Employment verifications are required in various consumer life events such as moving jobs or homes. Companies and individuals face a barrier, having to prove on average up to five years — and sometimes longer — of work history. This sensitive employment data is currently shared in an unsecure way via email, PDF or phone calls to previous employers in a process that is also slow and prone to error and fraud. But Open Banking is changing this process for the better.

Employment verification made smarter

Konfir is simplifying and securing this process by combining Open Banking data with other data sources to assist in verifying a candidate’s employment history with a specific company. Konfir helps employers navigate the complicated processes behind this technology — and does it in a secure and reliable way. The company is a certified Attribute Service Provider (ASP) under the UK’s Digital Identity & Attributes Trust Framework (DIATF). Konfir is also the only certified solution under the framework for employment data.

After a verification request is created by a verifier — in this case, the company requesting the verification —, Konfir reaches out to the candidate to obtain their consent and request the connection of their payroll or banking accounts. If the connection is successful, the candidate’s transaction history within the requested period is automatically grouped, analysed, and normalised using a proprietary algorithm built by Konfir.

Candidates are verified using the collected data analysed in combination with other data sets and proprietary algorithms. Through this process, verifiers end up saving valuable time as there’s no longer a need to trawl through statements or wait for a previous employer to come back with important information.

With the help of Open Banking, Konfir is securely removing the administrative burden companies face when requesting or completing employment verifications. In a GDPR- compliant way, Konfir is working to accelerate all corners of the modern UK economy, streamlining the approval process by providing instant verifications and tools for employers, lenders, payroll systems, and employees across the country.

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