Identity Verification: A two-way relationship between businesses and consumers

Melissa UK Team | Fraud Prevention, United Kingdom

We have come a long way from filling cards with customer details to outbound cold calling a list of numbers to upsell products (which tends to still happen).

The rise of technology has uplifted the extensive use of digital databases & CRM systems, where many industries utilised this platform for better customer contact, service, and marketing to current and potential customer emails used for engagement efforts.

Of course, as our landscape has become more and more digitalised, we are now seeing an obvious pattern of multiple engagements points businesses have with their customers, collecting an email is now just the tip of the iceberg, when flowing through any checkout process over eCommerce. Your address and date of birth could be considered an entity for promotional use, being able to offer deals on your birthday or yearly events based on your geographical location.

2020 has seen social media networks being a dominant player in data collection, shaping its entity into the way CRM systems are populated today, giving analytics to develop customer profiles based on their behaviour across these social platforms.

Data collection will become even more of the common foreground with big retail giants introducing sophisticated methods to everyday shopping experiences, with Amazon GO’s new chain of convenience stores advocating the “No Lines, No Checkout, and No Hassles” approach automatically identifying who you are as you enter, and charges you as you leave, collecting data on the items you purchase.

Fashion outlets with brands like Ralph Lauren use smart mirrors, which become a virtual changing room where you can complete full outfits without ever getting undressed. The technology lets you try on dozens of combinations, to see what an item will look like in a different colour, just swipe your hand, which again, collects data based on the items you interacted with for further segmentation.

As the above demonstrates the gap is continuing to close between business and consumer, our current environment proves data to be a valuable source for company retention and further growth.

Adaptation to the digital-driven world will continue, giving data assets even more value, which in tail trends a higher risk of data breaches as most commonly found in fraudulent activity from consumers themselves.

With cybercrime estimated to reach 6 trillion in damages by 2021, we see data breaches not only being a hefty price tag to organisations but also how stolen data can be used which is a big concern; Private credentials, credit card information, account takeovers and having one’s identity sold over the dark web are just a few of the implications. Businesses need to act accordingly to develop electronic identity verification practices to gain a 360 view of their customers, ideally shaping a two-way relationship between the business and consumer, collecting data but also protecting themselves from potential acts on their very own.

We recommend one or more of the following solutions.

Contact data verification: Many organisations bypass the importance of obtaining verified and up-to-date contact data from their customers, not only does this put them at risk of fraudulent activity but plays a vital role in general CRM maintenance which leads to effective marketing and everyday business operations.

Address Verification, Email, Phone and Name Verification are key components to data quality practices being able to cross-check these elements with a specific person and be able to verify the accuracy of information entered into your database, ensures reliable contact with your customers.

You can find out more on how to verify an address here.

Age verification: With a combination of more age-exclusive eCommerce stores popping up, and consumers becoming more comfortable in making online purchases with little concern, compliance measures and customer due diligence will see further demand for age verification software.

This solution enables businesses to;

  • Verify a person’s age at the point of purchase or during the customer onboarding process
  • Preventing minors from accessing age-restricted content, buying goods and services
  • Adding another point of verified customer data for further segmentation

IP location: Alongside the vast progression of the internet, IP geolocation also known as GeoIP can reveal the location of one’s server or IP address to assure that you are dealing with a legitimate entity or real visitors. This is important nowadays for managing online transactions and avoiding the impersonation of a trusted company or individual.

ID & Document Scan Verification: This solution lets organisations capture, verify and store customer ID information by using machine-readable zone (MRZ) and optical character recognition to extract key information from a presented ID, it is then compared to the selfie taken by the customer by using Artificial intelligence and facial biometrics to verify the identity and that a customer is a real person behind the ID presented.

you can learn more about what is ID Document Verification here.

As more organisations start to take advantage of digital identity initiatives, sectors such as financial services and gambling have particularly surged in implementing these processes to onboard customers and not only to gain more insight but to regulate with know-your-customer and compliance measures.