Verification of Identity (via PharmacyID)

What is PharmacyID?

PharmacyID is a network of pharmacies throughout Australia that perform Verification of Identity (VoI) functions, much as they have done for the past 150 years, but with the addition of digital functionality, making their VoI more secure, efficient and traceable.

Geoff Stockton, a retired Victoria Police Inspector, set up PharmacyID. Geoff formed the Personnel Risk Management Group (The PRM Group) in 1997 for the purpose of pre-employment screening. Geoff soon found that people would go to great lengths to hide their true identities, so he formed PharmacyID. Many of our processes today that require a person to identify themselves are done solely with digital processes, and these processes are subject to fraud or Identity Theft. 

PharmacyID fills the identity verification gap by combining the power of digital processes with a human face-to-face VoI. So, whatever application requires VoI, the digital processes are applied up to the point of having the person supply their documents of identity, in person, at a pharmacy. Once the documents, and the person, have been identified at the pharmacy, the process is complete. The whole process, from the start of the application to the VoI, is completely traceable and auditable.

What make PharmacyID such a secure process?

Before we talk about the attributes of PharmacyID, let’s talk about some of the existing processes and why they are failing.

Statutory Declarations: Statutory Declarations have been the mainstay of verifying peoples identity and documents for the past 150 years. There are lists of dozens of occupations of people who are entitled to witness Statutory Declarations. The problems are numerous. 

(a) seals or stamps are easily reproduced or can be purchased on the internet for as little as $16.00. If you want to replicate the stamp of a doctor, JP, solicitor, policeman, you simply need to get them to witness as real document, and then send the stamped document to a vendor on the internet and get an exact duplicate. Voila! You can now do your own certifying. Please see our “Walter Mitty” stamp that we purchased from the internet.

(b) The person witnessing the document is not qualified to verify that the document is real. Their job is to stamp a copy of an original document and state that the copy is a true copy of the original. They are unable to state that the document is not a fake.

(c) It is almost unheard of for a witnessing person (JP, doctor, solicitor) to be asked if they have witnessed a document. 

(d) Many documents presented to qualified persons require the qualified person to initial each page. This does not confer any security in the document and does nothing to prove its provenance.

(e) Because the process is paper based, there is no audit process. Try telling if a document was properly “witnessed” a year after the event!

PharmacyID

Digital Processes: All processes whether it be identification of a person identity to identification of a document uses digital processes, which are all traceable and auditable. From the time a person commences and application to the time the person/document is verified we have a full audit trail of the entire process.

Document Verification Service: PharmacyID is a Gateway Service Provider for the Office of Home Affairs Document Verification Service (DVS). All processes, where possible, incorporate the DVS check within the process.

Ubiquitous and Trusted: Pharmacists are trusted members of the community who have the authority to witness documents and sign statutory declarations. They are located in every community in Australia, so access to a PharmacyID member is usually very convenient.

Blockchain: Building blockchain into the PharmacyID processes adds a new layer of security that has never been available before. See more about blockchain applications under the heading “Blockchain Processes”.

Identity Theft: Identity Theft is rife in Australia. Some estimates say that it is costing Australians over $4 billion dollars per annum. There are several ways that Pharmacists can contribute towards helping Australians secure their identities:

(a)When a person makes an application and provides identity document details, these details are confirmed at the pharmacy with the pharmacist visually checking original documents and then confirming their sighting on-line (digitally). So, the documents never have to be copied and provided to someone you don’t know and whose retention and destruction processes are not provided to you. In other words, your original documents never need to leave your hands!

(b)The pharmacist checks original documents, not photocopies which no longer have security features such as holograms etc.,

(c)The document verification is backed up by a DVS check prior to the pharmacist checking the document.

(d)Inbuilt blockchain guarantees that documents and identities are secure and the owner of the documents is the gatekeeper who decides who has access to their documents. Any and all access is fully auditable in the blockchain process.

(e)The face-to-face process rounds off the process to ensure that the right person is presenting the documents.

For further information or to arrange a demonstration, please contact PharmacyID on 1300 937 487 or email info@pharmacyid.com.au.

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