15 Considerations for Financial Lenders Serving Newcomers in Canada

June 7, 2024
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Victoria Abidoye

Canada has demonstrated its commitment to welcoming more and more temporary residents with diverse backgrounds and financial realities due to its immigration policies attracting newcomers. This commitment to welcoming newcomers presents exciting opportunities for financial institutions. However, serving this dynamic population requires careful consideration. Periculum, a leader in the AI and Data-driven solutions industry enables lenders with our AI and KYC Services to respond to compliance. Periculum unveils 15 key factors for lenders to navigate the path to success:

  1. Understanding Newcomer Needs: Newcomers often require different financial products and services than established residents. Lenders need to research their specific needs, from remittance options to first-time homebuyer programs.
  2. Understanding Fraud Patterns: Recognize that fraud patterns can vary significantly between countries. Lenders need to integrate fraud detection systems that not only cater to common fraud scenarios in Canada but also understand the unique fraud risks associated with different countries of origin for newcomers.
  3. Building Cultural Competence: Cultural sensitivities are crucial. Financial institutions, particularly lenders should train staff on diverse communication styles and financial literacy levels. 
  4. Embracing Alternative Credit History: Traditional credit scores may not reflect a newcomer's financial standing. Canadian lenders must make it a habit to explore alternative data sources like rent payments or utility bills to paint a more complete picture. This can be achieved by liaising with Financial Institutions of various countries to get foreign credit reports, Demonstrated Responsible Financial Behavior, and Detailed Bank Statements to reveal applicants' savings habits, income stability, and recurring expenses, helping assess their financial health.
  5. Streamlining Document Verification: Newcomers may have documents from various countries. Lenders must leverage software to enable adequate perusal of different documents from different origination countries.
  6. Prioritizing Financial Inclusion: Newcomers may lack experience navigating the financial system. Offer financial literacy workshops or guide building credit and saving habits. Newcomers may lack familiarity with Canadian financial products and terminology. Lenders can bridge this gap by offering clear, concise explanations of loan terms and conditions in multiple languages, ensuring the applicant fully understands their rights and obligations.
  7. Leveraging Technology: Technology can bridge the gap. Offer online applications, mobile banking, and digital onboarding tools accessible in multiple languages. Periculum's API seamlessly integrates with existing systems, further streamlining processes.
  8. Fostering Community Partnerships: Collaborate with immigrant settlement agencies or community organizations to connect with newcomers and gain valuable insights.
  9. Cultivating Long-Term Relationships: Newcomers often bring valuable skills, educational backgrounds, and entrepreneurial spirit. Looking beyond the immediate lack of credit history and considering their long-term earning potential allows lenders to make decisions that support newcomers' successful integration into Canada's financial landscape. This fosters financial stability for newcomers and contributes to Canada's economic growth. Newcomers are not a transactional segment. Invest in building trust and long-term relationships with new customers through getting to know your customers, excellent customer service and tailored financial products.
  10. Adapting to Regulatory Environment: Canadian lenders must stay updated with the changing regulatory landscape, including federal and provincial regulations on financial services. Understanding and complying with these regulations is crucial for successful operations.
  11. Settling-in Costs: Newcomers often face initial expenses beyond regular living costs. These might include furniture, security deposits for housing, and unforeseen adjustments. Lenders who consider these settling-in costs can gain a more accurate picture of the applicant's financial needs and ability to repay the loan.
  12. Engaging with Multilingual Services: Canada is a bilingual country with a significant number of newcomers speaking various languages. Offering services and customer support in multiple languages can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and accessibility.
  13. Understanding Regional Variations: The needs and preferences of newcomers can vary significantly across different regions in Canada. For instance, urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver might have different financial service demands compared to smaller towns or rural areas.
  14. Collaborating with Local Financial Literacy Programs: Partnering with local non-profits and government programs that focus on financial literacy for newcomers can help lenders build trust and credibility within these communities.
  15. Leveraging Government Support Programs: There are numerous government initiatives and support programs aimed at helping newcomers settle in Canada. Lenders can benefit from aligning their services with these programs to better support their newcomer customers.

These can all be achieved with Periculum’s encompassing KYC solution. The solution includes identity database checks, liveness checks, document verification and authentication encompassing over 1350 documents in 226+ countries.

By implementing these considerations, financial institutions can create a more inclusive lending environment for newcomers in Canada. This not only benefits newcomers by providing access to financial tools for building a secure future but also contributes to a more vibrant and prosperous Canadian economy.

Demystifying New Customer Onboarding for Lenders in Canada: A Guide for Lenders by Periculum


Periculum created these FAQs to address key questions Canadian lenders who are interested in lending to newcomers through the New to Canada program might have. These newcomers may not be fully integrated into the financial system, which widens the margin for the underserved (embed link to MC’s Oped).

Lenders more than anyone understand that onboarding new customers can be a complex process, especially in today's evolving regulatory landscape. During onboarding, financial institutions usually face challenges like verifying identities, ensuring document authenticity, and complying with KYC regulations. These hurdles can lead to delays, frustration, and potential fraud risk. 

This grounds the importance of Know Your Customer (KYC) for transparent and secure lending. Periculum tackles this global issue by helping businesses eliminate identity theft and fraud through their KYC which includes identity document verification solutions, Identity database checks, Document verification, Liveness checks, and AML Compliance Checks. 

Periculum's expertise in ensuring compliance within financial institutions across Africa in countries like Nigeria and Kenya, we are confident that our KYC solutions can bridge the gap for newcomers to Canada, enabling them to enjoy greater financial inclusion.

 General Questions

What does Periculum’s KYC Cover?

Periculum’s KYC covers Selfies, Passports, National identity, alien identity lookup, Driver’s license, Vehicle Plate number, etc. It spans up to 1350+ covering these identities in over 226 countries and territories, across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. 

How many countries does the KYC Identity Database cover?

Periculum’s identity database covers over 226 countries across the globe. 

What is Periculum’s Document Verification Solution?

Periculum’s document verification solution is an AI-powered service that verifies the authenticity of ID documents. It performs liveness checks to ensure the person submitting the document is real and matches the ID.

Who can benefit from Periculum’s document verification solution?

Financial institutions in Canada who are providing loans to newcomers to Canada can greatly benefit from our solution, as it helps confirm the true identity of customers, reducing the risk of identity fraud. Document verification is crucial as it protects lenders from identity fraud, financial losses, and reputational damage. It ensures that individuals are who they claim to be, fostering trust and security. It checks the authentication of a document, and confirms the validity of the submitted ID, ensuring it is genuine and valid. This process helps verify that the individual is who they claim to be.

How does Periculum's document verification work?

Our system uses AI to conduct a liveness check by analyzing human expressions such as smiling and blinking. It then matches the image taken to the ID document and verifies the document’s authenticity. Lenders can use the API endpoints provided in the documentation to integrate identity verification, CRB checks, KYC/KYB, and liveness checks into their existing systems.

What is liveness confirmation?

Liveness confirmation uses AI-powered facial recognition to analyze human expressions, ensuring that the individual submitting the document is a real person and the ID belongs to them. It detects the face, to know if a person is alive, and detects that it's not just static. It detects emotions (sadness, happiness, confidence, angry, disgust, confused, fear, frowns etc), gender, etc, with probable responses. 

What countries and documents does Periculum’s KYC solution cover?

Our document verification solution covers over 1,350 identity documents from 226 countries across various continents, including Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, South America, and Australia.

How can Periculum's solution be integrated into your existing system?

Periculum streamlines your workflow by enabling effortless data exchange between critical systems, providing resources like customer support, developer documentation, and integration guides. This seamless API integration cuts down on manual work and minimizes errors, boosting overall efficiency.

How does Periculum’s solution help prevent fraud?

By ensuring user identities are valid, our solution creates a secure environment, reducing identity theft and financial losses. This robust verification system enhances compliance with KYC requirements.

What are the benefits of using Periculum’s document verification for lenders?

Benefits include increased security, enhanced customer trust, improved business reputation, streamlined onboarding processes, faster transaction times, and reduced operational costs.

How does Periculum ensure compliance with KYC regulations?

Our system empowers lenders to comply with KYC regulations by verifying the authenticity of ID documents and confirming the true identity of their customers, minimising legal risks.

How secure is Periculum’s document verification process?

Periculum uses advanced AI technology and rigorous verification processes to ensure the highest level of security, protecting both lenders and customers from identity fraud and unauthorized access.

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