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Tony Machin


Tony has led TrustID through a transformation program of significant upgrades in technology and services, delivering year on year growth. With previous experience in corporate finance and as CEO of a leading UK financial services organisation, he brings strong leadership and excellent knowledge of compliance and regulatory matters. In 2018 Tony joined a group of like-minded identity validation experts and founded the Association of Document Validation Professionals (ADVP). He was chair of the organisation from its creation until the end of 2020.

The TrustID Document Helpdesk: a look behind the scenes

Illustration showing a man and a woman on their phones next to an identity document scanner

One of the things which we’re particularly proud of at TrustID is our Expert Identity Helpdesk Team. They are widely regarded as the best in the industry and are experts in identity document validation and legislation. The team offer a unique and valuable service to our customers and are regularly consulted by other identity checking service providers. Read on to find out more about this expert team and how they work…

What does our Document Expert Helpdesk Team do? 

Our Expert Identity Team is available 7 days a week. Our support hours cover 8 a.m. to midnight at the moment but this will soon increase to a 24/7 service. The main responsibilities for the Document Team include:

  • Reviewing submissions from customers using our online validation service (TrustID Cloud)

Our Document Helpdesk Team review thousands of online documents every week. Our system is set to send ‘high-risk’ documents through to our human experts as well as any poor-quality images and those which are suspected to be fraudulent. They assess these documents and return a result to our customers within 1 business hour. The team identify thousands of fraudulent identity documents each year.

  • Confirming the Right to Work status of document holders

If customers are using our Right to Work service, after validating the documents submitted, the Helpdesk Team also assess whether the documents give the holder the Right to Work in the UK. They advise our customers if they need to provide additional information, for example, term dates for students. We train our team on the latest Right to Work legislation, meaning that our customers don’t have to be experts to remain compliant.

  • Assessing referrals from customers
    Those customers who are checking documents with our ID scanners can refer any documents which they are unsure about to our Helpdesk Team. The ID scanners check security features which aren’t visible to the naked eye, including chip data and ultra-violet images and often it’s these areas which our Helpdesk Team assist with.
  • Spotting fake documents
    We often get asked whether our Helpdesk Team find any fake identity documents. Well, in 2020, they identified over 1600 fake or fraudulently obtained documents. The holders claimed to be from 52 different nationalities (read our 2020 blog for more information) and included passports, ID cards, visas and residence permits.
  • Supporting set-up, additional credits and account support
    Customers contact our Helpdesk team to request additional credits for our online verification or Right to Work service or if they have technical questions about how our services work. Our team can get customers set up within minutes and train new users remotely to get them up and running the same day.
  • Sharing intelligence
    We work closely with various agencies to share intelligence around fraudulent document trends. Our verification services check against a national database of known fraudulent documents and our Helpdesk Team also share the intelligence they are gaining from suspicious documents to further enhance that database.

How has the Helpdesk Team changed? 

Over the past few years, we’ve worked hard on growing, training and developing our Expert Identity Team. Between March 2019 and March 2020, the team more than doubled. In November 2019, adding staff to cover the evenings and weekends meant we could extend our support hours and in mid-2020, we also recruited additional resource to cover the busiest, lunchtime periods.

As the Identity Helpdesk Team has grown, so has the depth and breadth of their knowledge. The training process is stringent and led by ex-Border force staff. We train our staff on security features across global identity documents as well as Right to Work legislation. New starters spend months shadowing our most experienced staff before checking documents independently. When the team see an example of a ‘new’ fake document, they also share the information between them, so they are constantly building their knowledge.

How does our Helpdesk Team help customers? 

The Expert Identity team are available to all of our customers at no additional cost. They offer a unique service which brings many benefits to our customers:

  • Additional peace of mind Whilst most of the identity documents our customers see are authentic, our expert Document Helpdesk team examining them means that our customers can be more confident that suspicious documents will be picked up.  For our Right to Work customers, this extra check also means that they can be confident in their compliance.
  • An expert opinion Some of the fraudulent documents which we have identified have been very ‘good quality’ – they have been produced to a pretty high standard and wouldn’t be easy for someone without advanced training to spot.  Having our Document Team examine them gives our customers an additional level of security to protect their business from fraud or illegal working.
  • Support compliance and react to changes in legislation Our Helpdesk team are also helping businesses with Right to Work compliance. With hundreds of document combinations possible across the Right to Work lists, this can sometimes be complex. When legislation changes, such as post-Brexit, our team are quickly retrained to navigate new Right to Work scenarios. We were quickly able to react to the temporary changes to guidelines due to Covid-19 and ensure that our customers could continue to recruit efficiently. For those businesses relying on remote on-boarding, for example in retail or hospitality, our services can offer significant benefits: having our expert helpdesk team as their ‘outsourced’ Right to Work team ensures that they remain compliant without having to ask remote managers to become experts in the latest legislation.

In summary, our Document Helpdesk team are an extension of our customers’ team, giving them an extra layer of expertise and additional protection against fraud, illegal working and modern slavery.

Want to find out more?

If you’d like to discuss how our expert identity helpdesk team could help you, please get in touch!

Click here to contact us!

What being ISO27001 certified means

Our ISO 27001 accredited certification lets you know that we follow information security best practice, helping to eliminate or minimise the risk of a security breach, keep information secure and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.

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