Helping business combat identity crime and streamline online services

5 May 2014

I am pleased to announce that the Government's electronic identity document verification service is now open for use by business.

The Document Verification Service helps businesses protect themselves against identity crime and also makes it easier for business to meet regulatory obligations to verify customer identities.

Recent research from the Australian Institute of Criminology shows that identity crime is one of the most common crime types in Australia.

The Document Verification Service (DVS) allows businesses to verify information on driver licences, passports, visas and Medicare cards directly with the issuing agency.

The system makes it easier for banks to detect money laundering using fake identities, and for mobile phone providers to check the identities of people purchasing pre-paid SIM cards, which can be used by criminals to mask their activities.

Interest in the DVS amongst business has been strong, with over 160 businesses approved for use, and 19 businesses already connected and using the service.

Opening the DVS to business is an important step in ensuring Australians can access government services online and growing Australia's digital economy. It is also part of the Government's efforts to reduce the red tape burden on business.

The service provides secure and automatic verifications in real-time. It also allows businesses to streamline processes, and help reduce costs to interact with customers securely.

Privacy considerations are at the forefront of the DVS design. The system is not a database and does not store any personal information. All DVS checks must be done with the informed consent of the person involved.

The DVS demonstrates that privacy and security need not be mutually exclusive and in many cases they can and should be mutually supportive.

The DVS is a collaborative initiative between the Commonwealth, states and territories under the National Identity Security Strategy.

Further information on the DVS can be found at www.dvs.gov.au