Why we perform identity verifications
We are required to perform identity verifications for Newton account sign-ups as part of our obligations to FINTRAC (the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre), Canada's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) organization.
There are two types of identity verifications we may perform:
- Automated Verification. This is the most common type of identity verification and usually takes 2 to 3 minutes to complete. We check the information you provide against at least two databases, and we also check for any red flags that might suggest identity theft, synthetic identity, or other common forms of fraud.
- Manual Verification. If we are unable to confirm your identity through the automated verification, we complete a manual verification. This is common for younger customers who may not have a 3-year credit history. In these cases, we require additional information to verify identity.
FINTRAC guidelines require us to match name, date of birth, and address against at least two reliable sources. Here are some of the documents we might need to complete manual verification:
Acceptable utility bills include hydro, cell phone, telecommunications, etc. and must:
- Be in PDF format and downloaded directly from the utility provider’s web portal. A scan of a paper document will not be accepted.
- Be current with a date no older than 3 months
- Match the name and address used to sign up for Newton
Government-issued photo ID
Eligible photo ID must be issued by a federal, provincial, or territorial government.
Examples of acceptable forms of photo ID:
- Permanent resident (PR) card
- Driver’s licence
- Provincial identity (photo ID) card
Examples of unacceptable forms of photo ID:
- Student cards
- Municipal ID
- Provincial health cards
How to send photo IDs
If a photo ID is required to confirm identity, we will ask for three photos:
- The front of the ID with all text and security features clearly visible
- The back of the ID with the barcode clearly visible*
- A selfie holding the photo ID as well as a piece of paper indicating today's date
Additional notes on passing manual verification:
- *If you are sending a photo of your passport, you can skip photo #2
- Your photo ID must be valid. Expired IDs will not be accepted
- The selfie must be taken on the same day that it was sent to us
- The photo must not be edited or modified by editing software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, etc.)
If you fail manual verification
If we are still unable to confirm identity using a manual process, we will be unable to open an account. In this case, you are welcome to submit your information again once you have obtained more comprehensive identity documentation.