Onfido is offering free identity services to Ukrainian businesses to support the country as it tries to fend off the Russian invasion. In doing so, the company is taking a firmer stance on the matter, at once condemning Russia’s actions and detailing the concrete steps it is taking to provide assistance to Ukraine during a time of crisis.
In that regard, Onfido is allowing Global Giving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund to use its platform for free to verify the identities of people receiving aid. The company is also waiving all of its fees for any Ukrainian clients during the conflict, and directing other businesses to the US Chamber of Commerce to find out more about how they can help.
At the same time, Onfido will stop selling its platform to entities in the Russia sanctioned regions, which includes Russia, Belarus, and the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic regions in Ukraine. The company stressed that it is using geo-location technology, and will automatically block any identity checks and other activity that originates within the sanctioned zone (the company already provides similar services for other sanctioned regions).
The goal is to make it easier for clients to fulfill their sanctions requirements, and to avoid doing business with anyone on a global watchlist. To that end, Onfido will notify its clients about its new geo-blocking policy, and provide additional technical expertise to help them achieve compliance without interrupting their day-to-day business.
Onfido’s statement echoes earlier advice that it gave to financial institutions worried about compliance in the current environment. The US, the UK, and other countries in Europe have imposed sanctions to discourage Russia from pursuing its invasion. However, those sanctions are changing on a weekly and sometimes daily basis, and the shifting nature of those sanctions can make compliance a challenge for many institutions. Onfido has consequently encouraged businesses to conduct daily watchlist screenings to ensure ongoing compliance.
March 28, 2022 – by Eric Weiss