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Proof of Address Must Fall

– Cenfri

In this blog, Cenfri’s Matthew Ferreira, Albert van der Linden and Barry Cooper discuss where proof of address comes from, why it doesn’t necessarily align with the elements of Good ID, and why it should never be required for KYC

Ferria, van der Linden and Cooper argue that the need to provide proof of address when opening a financial services account is one of the major impediments to financial inclusion. Proof of address is difficult to provide and for some people an outright barrier to accessing financial services.

The trio use data from Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda to suggest small subsets of populations in developing countries have neither formal identification nor proof of address, making the modern, Western concept of “proof of address” moot for developing country financial services.

They argue that reliance on proof of address has led to reductions in remittances, increases in illicit financial flows and money laundering, and ultimately prevents widespread financial inclusion.

However, with the advent of technology (especially the personal printer) and the expansion of formal financial services into new frontiers, the value of proof of address as a unique identifier has decreased significantly. Indeed, a piece of paper is no surety that a person is who they say they are

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