Can You Use a SKYPE Video Conference for FINTRAC?

This is a question which arises from time to time.

The scenario is briefly this. As a real estate agent you have a client who has just left the country. You got all the information completed, took all the measurements etc. and you are ready to forward the documents to your client.

However, how do you deal with the FINTRAC Identification of the client? Everything else can be completed over the internet, but the FINTRAC requirements present a challenge.

Could you actually have a video conference with the client at the other end? You have face to face recognition and you have voice recognition simultaneously. Skype or other similar services are available for video-conferencing.

The trick would be for the client to hold up their identification so that you could read it. If you were in the room, you could see the driver’s licence, but with the video, you are just seeing a copy.

And, that’s the problem. You have to see and examine the original.

Under the existing rules, it is not possible to conduct a proper interview or examine the original documents by video, no matter how sharp the picture may be.

The obligation is to see and identify the individual by examining the original documents. If the individual is out of the country, then they have to be sent to an agent (mandatary) for this purpose.

The agent must see and examine the original documents.

So, no skype teleconferences!

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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