PadSplit is a co-living platform designed to help essential workers find furnished, affordable and flexible room rental opportunities while also increasing occupancy rates for property owners. PadSplit members can access private rooms within fully screened shared households with furniture, utilities and internet, all in one fixed weekly payment.
Rooms are hosted by property owners who generate extra income and make a positive impact in their communities. PadSplit facilitates this relationship by processing all bookings, payments, customer screening and ratings.
The company is growing fast and has thousands of rooms available in various cities across the US. Members browse rooms on PadSplit's website and filter accommodation by location, price, amenities, and availability. They can also view photos of rooms and shared spaces, as well as the profiles of the other residents who live in the same property.
PadSplit members create an account and complete an online application and verification process. Approved members can then move in as soon as one day after booking. They can stay at an address as long as they want, as long as they pay their weekly membership fee on time and follow house rules.
Property owners must meet specific hosting standards and provide accommodation details. In return, they enjoy increased occupancy rates, benefit from property management services, avoid the burden of rent collection and can outsource renter background checks.
PadSplit was founded in 2017 by Atticus LeBlanc, a real estate developer and investor who saw the need for more affordable housing options for low-income workers who serve US communities.
Member safety and identity verification are paramount when individuals rent a room within a shared home. Property owners and existing residents need to know that the person entering the household is who they say they are and they have genuine government-issued documents to prove it.
“Our hosts and members want us to reassure them that the people coming into their homes are who they said they are,” explained Cara Walker, PadSplit’s Associate General Counsel. “Veriff now adds a whole new level of confidence to that process. Veriff even shares the customer’s selfie with the host, so they’re reassured that the person in their property has been fully checked.”
Prior to working with Veriff, PadSplit relied on a mixture of digital identity verification and an in-house asset verification team. This team had members based in multiple US time zones, manually assessing photographs of government ID documents uploaded by PadSplit members.
However, this approach was critically flawed in a number of ways. For example, human verification was inconsistent and led to fluctuations in reliability and quality. PadSplit’s ID analysis was also limited to the information on the front of government-issued ID. Barcodes on the reverse, for example, were not assessed and PadSplit was unable to independently verify photographs on ID documents.
Human verification was also slow, with some sessions taking days to complete. This meant members looking for a home, as well as property owners eager to rent, often faced a long and uncertain wait.
PadSplit had effectively grown out of its existing labor-intensive ID verification processes. The high-growth start-up was attempting to process more than 2,000 members every month across the US. This was an incredibly complex task as each state issued multiple ID documents in frequently changing formats. Scaling and training PadSplit’s verification team to satisfy this demand was no longer viable.
The company realized it needed an online and fully scalable verification solution that could expand seamlessly, complimenting PadSplit’s high-growth trajectory. The start-up initially considered a list of ten digital ID verification partners, but it soon narrowed that list down to just Veriff.
Hameto Benkreira, PadSplit’s Head of Growth Product, explained that a partnership with an external ID verification expert was the logical next step. “Our goal is to continue growing PadSplit by facilitating affordable and flexible room rentals,” he said. “We have no desire to become ID verification experts, so we were more than happy to work with an expert partner like Veriff.
“We chose Veriff because of its ability to recognize and validate a comprehensive and evolving list of US government-issued ID documents, the ease and simplicity of its systems integration and also the impressive experience the Veriff team has in this space.”
PadSplit’s customers are now asked to take a quick selfie as well as a photo of their government-issued ID using their smartphone or tablet. An AI algorithm checks the selfie for liveness and realness in real time by comparing it to live video taken from the customer’s device with their express permission.
The selfie is then compared to photographs from the customer’s government-issued identity documents, which are also automatically checked and authenticated using AI. If Veriff’s platform is unable to verify customer ID, it automatically escalates the case to its extensive in-house fraud investigation team, based in Tallin, Estonia and Barcelona, Spain.
Since partnering with Veriff, PadSplit has been able to dramatically increase the speed and accuracy of customer ID verification. The partnership has enabled PadSplit to free-up resources and double down on fraud monitoring.
Customer experience has also improved greatly, with Veriff removing what Benkreira refers to as the “operational ping pong” of identity verification. Users no longer face the frustration of submitting ID multiple times due to poor document and image quality.
“We were initially worried that additional verification steps introduced by Veriff would negatively impact user experience, but the opposite was the case,” he said. “Thanks to Veriff, the whole verification process now takes seconds, unblocking and dramatically speeding up the home search and rental processes for our customers.”
Benkreira says this improved customer experience has had a major impact on customer confidence. He says: “When our users can see they’re being screened in an effective and efficient manner they tend to feel confident that their housemates have also been fully checked out.”
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