Huawei Ban, U.S. Sanctions – What this Means for American Ecommerce

Melissa Team | Digital Identity Verification, Ecommerce, eIDV, EIV, Global ID Verification, Personator, Personator World | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Trump Administration has brought U.S. economic sanctions back into the public spotlight. Since placing Huawei, the world’s second largest smartphone maker, on the U.S. entity list, the Trump Administration has threatened more economic sanctions to countries and organizations throughout the world. The White House continues to tighten sanctions on Iran, threatens Turkey and warns European organization, Instex, with new sanctions.

With a growing ecommerce market and a tightening of U.S. sanctions, it is becoming more important than ever to be vigilant about electronic identity verification of customers and entities with which Americans do business.

Consequence of Noncompliance

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for enforcing economic sanctions for the U.S. OFAC describes fines for violations of sanctions as “substantial” and commonly exceeding several million dollars. OFAC sanctions are primarily against individuals, groups of individuals, and countries who pose a threat to U.S. foreign policy and national security. According to OFAC:

“U.S. persons must comply with OFAC regulations, including all U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens regardless of where they are located, all persons and entities within the United States, all U.S. incorporated entities and their foreign branches. In the cases of certain programs, foreign subsidiaries owned or controlled by U.S. companies also must comply. Certain programs also require foreign persons in possession of U.S.-origin goods to comply.”

Bloomberg acquired a letter written by Sigal Mandelker, the U.S. Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. In regards to Europe’s attempts to circumvent the U.S. sanctions on Iran, Mandelker writes, “engaging in activities that run afoul of U.S. sanctions can result in severe consequences, including a loss of access to the [U.S.] financial system.”

Threats Grow World Over

Iran suffers from the tightening grip of U.S. sanctions, yet seems unlikely to budge on nuclear negotiations – meaning sanctions could continue to tighten. Recently there have also been threats to impose sanctions on NATO ally, Turkey, for acquiring weapons technologies from Russia.

Instex (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) is a European transactional channel created by Germany, the U.K. and France to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran. Their intent is to salvage a nuclear deal with Iran after the U.S. had pulled out of the nuclear deal last year. The Treasury Department now warns all persons, businesses and government officials who are involved with Instex that “entities that transact in trade with the Iranian regime through any means may expose themselves to considerable sanctions risk.”

Despite these threats, one ban is already certain – Huawei is now one of those businesses placed on the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) entity list. No U.S. company may do business with Huawei and will otherwise face hefty prosecution, fines and possibly more severe consequences.

Are my Customers Who They Say They Are?

Ecommerce businesses can avoid crippling fines and legal battles with the U.S., by running customers through an electronic identity verification (eIDV) process. Using eIDV (or digital identity verification) will not only ensure protection against fraudulent ecommerce activities, but eIDV tools can also run your clients through a watchlist screening. Depending on the tool, this can ensure that your company is still in compliance with federal mandates, sanctions lists and more.

Personator® does it all. It will screen and electronically verify the identities of your customers and ensure you are in compliance with updated U.S. sanction lists including OFAC, BIS, Politically Exposed Persons (PEP), and more. Using Personator leaves companies at lesser risk of violating federal law as new and tightening sanctions continue to emerge.

Review the full watchlist of what Personator screens for and why Melissa is the most reliable organization to protect your business in these changing times. Request a demonstration today!

Melissa Showcases All-in-One Identity Verification at Money20/20 Europe

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Demos Highlight How to Combat Fraud, Minimise Risk and False Positives, and Maintain Compliance During Frictionless Customer Experience

London – 21 May, 2019 – Melissa, a leading provider of global contact data quality and identity verification (IDV) solutions, will demonstrate its all-in-one cloud IDV and enrichment solution at Money20/20 Europe, stand B91. Melissa’s IDV technology operates side-by-side with existing banking and payments software platforms, seamlessly verifying identity using a global dataset of billions of records. In real time and in compliance with the full spectrum of banking regulations and data standards, financial institutions are empowered with trusted banking relationships – combatting fraud and reducing friction in the customer experience.

Melissa works with organisations globally to unlock the value of accurate customer data, including Bank of America, Creditsafe, MetaBank, Tranzfar, BAE Systems, GSK, car2go, Microsoft, the NHS, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Built-in data quality and verification enables new efficiencies, reduces costs, and guards against fraud in all financial operations. Real-time integration with banking platforms also enables bankers to meet customers’ high expectations for convenience, speed, and simplicity in operations such as onboarding, customer service, payments, international money transfer, and Forex. Melissa’s IDV solution enables:

  • Flexible, automated credit-checking and anti-fraud workflows
  • Entity resolution and compliance in areas of Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti Money Laundering (AML), Politically Exposed Persons (PEP), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)
  • Scoring and targeting of customers with detailed demographic and firmographic data appends
  • Protection against data decay with 2.1 billion clean, validated records, and enhancement of customer data with missing names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails

Booth visitors also have access to value-added opportunities, with free proof-of-concept and unlimited tech support for onsite purchases. Click here to confirm an onsite briefing, or visit the booth during regular show hours.

To connect with members of Melissa’s global intelligence team outside of Money20/20, visit or call 1-800-MELISSA.

New Report Examines Dueling Priorities in Banking: Identity Verification and Customer Experience

Author | Customer Identities, Data Quality, Digital Identity Verification, eIDV, GDPR, Global Data Quality, Global ID Verification, Identity Resolution, News & Events, Press Release | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Aite Group Assessment Highlights Melissa’s Approach to Verify Identity at Onboarding, Complementing Industry Mandate for Easy, Frictionless Banking

Rancho Santa Margarita, CALIF – February 27, 2019 – Melissa, a leading provider of global contact data quality and identity verification solutions, today announced availability of “Identity Verification: Successful Strategies to Minimize False Positives and Risk,” a new report commissioned by Melissa and produced by Aite Group. The paper explores the challenge of verifying identity without intruding on the customer experience, and the operational impact of false positives. Further, it addresses the need for next-generation solutions to help with identity verification (IDV) and presents Melissa’s approach to tackling these problems.

To better understand application fraud trends for both demand deposit accounts (DDAs) and credit cards, Aite surveyed executives from financial institutions (FIs) about their practices, perceptions and strategies, as well as 32 financial crime executives about pain points and planned technology spend. Given the size and structure of the research samples, the data provide a directional indication of conditions in the market.

Over 13 billion data records have been stolen or lost since 2013. Eighty-seven percent of those financial crime executives surveyed believe data breaches or phishing attacks are responsible for the bulk of digital channel fraud. Application fraud due to identity theft and synthetic identity fraud also play a substantial role. According to Aite, the combined impact of these attack schemes will cause more than US$2.7 billion in US credit card and DDA fraud losses through 2020.

“At the same time that the data breach threat rises, so do pressures on businesses to reduce or even eliminate friction from the customer experience,” said Julie Conroy, research director, Aite Group. “Today’s anytime, anywhere, 24/7 mindset has fueled consumer expectations for simplified yet elegant interactions with the brands with which they conduct business. The importance of ongoing investment in new technology cannot be understated. Data is the new currency and creating intelligence from data at scale can give firms a competitive edge.”

To address the dual challenges of reducing customer friction and mitigating fraud risk, FIs can leverage Melissa’s ID Verification technology which uses a multilayered process to access authoritative in-country data sets from all over the world containing billions of records to instantly validate an identity. The proofing process also includes national ID and age verification, and flags suspicious individuals who appear on any of dozens of Office of Foreign Assets Control and European Union watchlists to minimize risk and enable smarter decisions on next steps.

“When data quality is not part of the onboarding solution, the match between incoming identities and the repository relies on exact matching – an ineffective, error-prone practice that can result in myriad issues around KYC, or know-your-customer, and other regulations,” said Bud Walker, vice president enterprise sales and strategy, Melissa. “Melissa’s IDV solution works side-by-side with existing banking software platforms to increase match accuracy and reduce false positives, while ensuring the incoming data is valid and confirms the customer’s identity – effectively enabling new synergies between identity verification and positive customer experience.

Enterprise Demand for Identity Verification and Address Management Fuel Global Growth for Melissa

Melissa Team | Address Check, Address Quality, Address Validation, Address Verification, Customer Identities, Data Quality, Digital Identity Verification, eIDV, FinTech, Full Contact Authentication, Global Address Verification, Global Data Quality, Global ID Verification, Healthcare Data Management, Identity Resolution, International Address Verification, News & Events, Personator World, Press Release | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Melissa Opens New Locations in Europe and Asia to Deliver Data Quality Solutions to Expanding Financial Services, Healthcare, and Ecommerce Markets

Rancho Santa Margarita, CALIF – February 12, 2019 – Melissa, a leading provider of global contact data quality and identity verification solutions, today announced global growth in support of enterprise customer needs for identity verification and address management solutions. New offices in Cologne, Germany and Singapore expand Melissa’s worldwide footprint, and are poised to support data quality initiatives in key international arenas such as financial services, healthcare, and online commerce. The recently-opened offices strengthen Melissa’s reach throughout the Americas, EMEA and the Asia-Pacific regions.

Enterprise data operations such as Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), fraud protection, and seamless onboarding all rely on validating the data gathered in real-time, as well as enhancing customer relationships. “Seamless identity verification is essential to global business, with enterprises facing intense pressure to protect customers while maintaining a smooth and efficient customer experience,” said Bud Walker, vice president enterprise sales and strategy, Melissa. “This is just one reason Melissa plays such a strong role in the data quality landscape – our tools and services are effective in delivering clean data and enabling compliance with the myriad rules and regulations in play around the world.”

For example, Melissa recognizes that address management is foundational to all facets of customer communication and business operations. By offering proven solutions designed to clean, enrich and match contact records, the company empowers users to tap into deeper customer insight, improved communications, more profitable customer relationships.

Melissa’s global offices offer convenient, in-country access to Melissa services and personnel. Local servers also meet the broadest range of in-country compliance requirements, which bind international data quality users and their vendors to maintain customer data handling without crossing borders. The company’s dedicated resources protect effective, real-time data quality processing with efficiency, uptime, and failover protection.