What is CertifID?
CertifID is a real-time identity platform for real estate, mortgage and title industry professionals to authenticate parties in a transaction and securely transfer bank account information. For under $10, CertifID guarantees each wire transfer up to $1,000,000 against fraud. Easily implement CertifID into your workflow without disrupting your wire system, your bank or your software.
How does it work?
CertifID empowers any two parties to safely and securely exchange wiring instructions. Simply register a new account and begin sending requests to anyone involved in sending, receiving or changing wiring instructions in a transaction.
CertifID ensures the authenticity of transaction-related communications by overlapping four proven processes:
- Digital Verification: We ensure each user is connecting through trusted devices that they own or use on a regular basis by harnessing billions of digital records and metadata associated at the device level.
- Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA): We’ve created a series of customized “out of wallet” questions that only the authorized individual could know or answer—even if their personal information has been compromised.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): We require a unique one-time code that users must provide from a device that has been validated via text, call or Google Authenticator.
- Bank Account Certification: We confirm and display the institution routing information and allow the account holder to confirm his/her own bank credentials before funds are transferred.
How much does it cost?
Registering a CertifID account for your Enterprise (and all employees) is free. Once your account is activated, each request cost less than $10 to verify identity, ensure wiring information is accurate and guarantee the transaction up to $1,000,000. To sweeten the deal, CertifID offers unlimited requests free of charge during a trial period for all new enterprise accounts.
Can any company sign up?
No, in order to keep the CertifID ecosystem protected and secure, all Enterprises that apply for an account will be properly vetted before being granted access. We do this to ensure that cybercriminals aren’t able to impersonate a company and act fraudulently within the system.
After my company gets an Enterprise Account, how do we use the platform?
Once an Enterprise Account is verified, Enterprise Users simply log in and fill out the details of a request to either confirm wiring instructions or send their title company wiring instructions to verify the parties in a transaction and ensure funds are safe to transfer. Notifications will be sent via email when the status of a request has been changed, log in to see the details of each update.
We recommend that you get in the habit of sending a CertifID request prior to every transaction you make. This is the only way to ensure that your organization is safe from attack and that you are covered by the $1,000,000 CertifID guarantee.
How is my information safe on CertifID?
The team at CertifID takes every measure to keep you and your information secure. We start by collecting the minimum amount of user data needed and only store your name, email, phone number and wire transfer instructions on our servers in the least privileged encrypted environment. No other personally identifiable information is stored anywhere in our system. The other sensitive pieces of data we collect are cleared from our servers immediately after they are used (i.e. SSN for identity verification and ACH for payments).
Why is CertifID a superior solution to existing best practices?
CertifID does more than prove identity and confirm wiring instructions. The solution reduces the time and resources spent to verify this information using traditional best practices. In less than 60 seconds, create a request and in less than two minutes receive a response. In addition, each time you use CertifID you transfer the risk of an identity fraud to us via our guarantee of up to $1,000,000.
What are the different user permissions on the portal?
Please see below for an explanation of the 3 different user types on CertifID:
End User: An End User is anyone receiving a request (typically a buyer or seller) that doesn’t have an enterprise account who is confirming their wiring information or receiving wiring details from an enterprise. End Users identities are verified but are not required to create an account (i.e end user receives a request via email, goes through the identity verification process and confirms that the wiring instructions are accurate and funds can be transferred).
Enterprise User: Once an Enterprise has been verified for a CertifID account, the Enterprise Administrator will invite Enterprise Users to the platform. Enterprise Users have the ability to send their company’s wiring details (typically to a seller) or confirm wiring details (typically of a buyer) of any/all parties in a transaction. An Enterprise can have as many Enterprise Users as needed.
Enterprise Administrator: Once an Enterprise has been verified for a CertifID account, an Enterprise Administrator will be assigned. In addition to the capabilities of an Enterprise User, the Enterprise Administrator has the ability to invite Enterprise Users, input company wiring information, update payment/billing details, change user details (i.e. phone numbers), view all Enterprise User’s account statuses, and view all enterprise requests. It is recommended that every Enterprise has two Enterprise Administrators, although there are no restrictions on the number of Enterprise Administrators that can be assigned to an Enterprise.
Does CertifID replace my existing policies around Cyber Security and Disaster Response?
No. A comprehensive cybersecurity, information management, and disaster response policy includes many different categories including the training of people, the investment in hardware, using best practice software and implementing policies and procedures designed to keep the organization and its customers safe.
CertifID enhances an existing cyber policy by adding an additional layer of security by providing real-time identity management and the ability to securely send wiring instructions or confirm bank credentials before funds are sent electronically.
How does wire fraud work?
In a typical case of wire fraud, the perpetrator’s access (whether by hacking or taking advantage of poor security) sensitive identity data in order to insert themselves in the communication chain in the guise of qualified parties to the transaction. In almost every case, the lender or another party unknowingly end up wiring the closing funds directly to the imposter or his/her agent. Every time, the lender or wiring party believes she is following the request or instruction of the authorized real estate agent, mortgage originator, closing agent or banker when, in reality, the e-mail or even phone call has come directly from the perpetrator.
How bad is wire fraud?
Fraud is exploding in the mortgage, real estate and title industries as you read this, rising 480% in 2016 alone. (Source: IC3) No business in the housing or mortgage industry is immune. Title agents and closing agents might man the front lines, but lenders, brokers, real estate professionals and anyone involved in housing and mortgage transactions need to be on alert.
Wire transfers in real estate transactions have become a target for three reasons:
- They are incredibly lucrative – most wire transfers exceed $200,0000;
- They involve multiple parties – all communicating electronically;
- All the information needed to start a fraud is easily found online.
I just received an email inviting me to verify my identity on CertifID, what now?
First, be sure the invite has your correct information for the full legal name and phone number. Next, follow the link to CertifID and begin completing the information required to see the request. Once your identity has been verified, you will see the request details page. Here you should carefully review the details of the request and Approve or Reject based on the accuracy of the request. Be sure to take a screenshot or download this request for your files in the event that you may need to access them in the future.
I forgot my password, what now?
On the Sign In page click “Forgot Password” and follow the prompts through the password recovery process. There are a couple steps that will require access to your email, apologies for the inconvenience but we are doing everything we can to keep you safe.
What is 2FA (Two Factor Authentication)?
Two Factor Authentication, also known as 2FA, two-step verification or TFA (as an acronym), is an extra layer of security that is known as “multi-factor authentication” that requires not only sign in credentials (email/password) but also something that only, and only, that user has on them, i.e. a piece of information only they should know or have immediately to hand – such as a physical token.
I don’t have access to this phone or am not receiving codes for 2FA, how do I get into my account?
After entering your email and password on the Sign In page you will be prompted to select a method for 2FA, on this screen select “I don’t have access to this phone” and follow the prompts through the 2FA recovery process. You will be required to connect with your Enterprise Administrator during this process, apologies for the inconvenience but we are doing everything we can to keep you safe.
My last name has recently changed which name should I use to register?
If your name changed within the last 6 months please use your previous last name. If you are still having issues, you may need to include your date of birth or social security number. We will never store this information but will use it to try and generate a profile match to confirm identity before letting you proceed.
Someone sent me a request but I’m not seeing it in my inbox.
Sometimes email system settings prevent CertifID emails from making it through to your primary inbox. Please check your spam folders or any subfolders (i.e. “updates” in Gmail) where the invite might be stuck. If you still can’t find it, ask the sender to try sending a new request.
What information will be required from me?
The only information that End Users need is personal details (stuff you already know) to help verify your identity. Once identity has been verified, you’ll simply be asked to confirm wiring details (make sure they are accurate) or receive wiring information from the company making the request.
What if I don’t want to fill out the personal information?
No problem, we understand that everyone has their limits when it comes to sharing information online. If you chose not to complete the CertifID request, please reach out to whoever sent the request and inform them that you would like to use alternative means for verifying your identity and exchanging wire information. We must warn you though, this is exactly what the cybercriminals are hoping you will do so please be careful!
Types of requests: Confirm Wire Instructions vs. Send Wire Instructions?
There are two options for sending a request:
Confirm Wiring Instructions: Use this option when you want to verify wiring information that you received via email, phone call etc. before transfering funds. Simply enter the details that you have and ask the recipient (usually a seller) to confirm them.
Send Wiring Instructions: Use this option when you are sending your company’s wiring instructions to a prospective buyer. Remind your clients that you will never share wiring instructions outside of CertifID.
How do I send a request?
Simply log into your account and navigate to the “Request” tab. Here you can simply enter the details required to send wiring instructions to a potential buyer or confirm wire instructions before transferring money to a seller.
How long are requests active?
Once a request is sent, the recipient has 30 days to respond.
I sent a request but the intended recipient never received it.
Sometimes companies email system settings prevent CertifID emails from making it through to their primary inbox. Please have them check their spam folders or any subfolders where they could be stuck. If they still can’t find it, try sending a new request.
The request status says “CertifID” what now?
Great! This means that the recipient has been verified and that the wiring instructions are accurate. Now you can proceed with confidence to transfer funds.
The wiring instructions I want to send aren’t available.
Contact your Enterprise Administrator and ask to have the details you are looking for added to the portal. If you don’t know who your Admin is, sign into the portal and navigate to the Support tab for details.
What does the "Status" mean?
- Pending: Request has been sent to the recipient
- Opened: Recipient has opened the request
- ID Verified: Recipient has passed the identity check
- ID Failed: Recipient has failed the identity verification
- Rejected: Recipient rejected the request
- Expired: Recipient did not open request within a 5 day time period
- CertifID: Recipient was verified, the request was approved and is guaranteed!
How do I invite more users to my enterprise?
As an Enterprise Administrator, you have the ability to add more users to your enterprise. Simply navigate to the Users tab and complete the information required. If you are getting any errors regarding the email, please make sure the person you are trying to add has an approved email address for your enterprise.
How do I remove a user from my enterprise? Will they be gone for good?
Removing users is easy but it is permanent and cannot be undone. Navigate to the Users tab and View the user you would like to remove, then click “Remove User” and follow the prompts.
How do I add wiring account information?
As an Enterprise Admin, you are responsible for adding your company’s wiring instructions. Once you have added these instructions anyone in your organization can easily share them. Click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of the portal, navigate to “Wire Instructions” and then follow the prompts for “Adding Wire Instructions”. Feel free to add as many accounts as you’d like!
What do I do if the financial institution isn’t accurate?
After inputting your ABA and Account number we will run a verification that provides the financial institution which those numbers are linked. If you do not recognize the financial institution listed, please double check the details and try again. DO NOT agree to the financial institution unless it is accurate.
If you are confident that your ABA and Account number are accurate but not being recognized, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will work with you to remedy the situation.
Free trial, what’s the catch?
There is no catch! We want to improve the safety in this industry so we are doing everything we can to encourage trials and start fighting back against fraud. Every enterprise is given a trial period to try the product out for free.
Is the Enterprise charged per file, transaction or request?
Each request you send incurs a fee. However, in the first 3 months, you’ll receive 3 requests for the price of 1. This offer only applies to requests that are utilizing the same reference number as entered by the person sending the request, so be sure to use them correctly.
What payment options do I have?
CertifID accepts ACH and Credit Card. We utilize a third-party service provider and don’t store any of the billing information on our servers.
When will the Enterprise be billed?
Once you have an account set up your enterprise will be charged on the 10th of each month. Payment is due upon receipt and will be automatically charged to the default payment method set up by the Enterprise Administrator.
What is covered by the $1,000,000 guarantee?
If the enterprise receives a “CERTIFID” status to a request, CertifID will guarantee the transfer of funds in reliance on the “CERTIFID” request up to $1,000,000.
In the event that the system was somehow hacked, does the $1,000,000 protection apply to the enterprise or to the buyer?
It applies to the enterprise (title company, financial institution etc) that initiates the wire transfer. By extension, it protects the funds of others in the transaction.