Verifying Identity Without Losing the Customer

Agencies need to prioritize a multifaceted approach to identity corroboration instead of relying on static methods. A report from Lexis Nexis and Gartner, the Market Guide for Identity Proofing and Corroboration, talks about the model that people can use to develop that approach.

Continuous data breaches have left customers vulnerable and businesses scrambling to meet new standards of security. Personally identifiable information (PII) is crucial to effectively protect customer security, but it is no longer enough to ask customers to recite PII. Legacy methods of identity verification must give way to more robust analytics that takes positive and negative signals into account.

Agencies with digital presences or contact centers have built up new approaches and technologies to pinpoint misalignments in identity, even if the customer is able to accurately recite PII. These tools have been placed under the category of online fraud detection tools, and they do serve their purpose. However, they often don’t get to the origin of fraudulent activity, especially the point at which the account was created. The tools can still be used as part of an overall framework of identity proofing.

However, customer attrition could be impacted by methods like multifactor authentication that customers could perceive as cumbersome.

Many agencies that require additional steps from customers in order to maximize security find that new target customers often prioritize convenience over security. These customers want a frictionless experience and will often want to take their business elsewhere if they aren’t provided with it.

The places that they take their business could still prioritize security but go about it differently. Instead of placing the whole responsibility of verification on the customer, these businesses will invest in technology to make security invisible to their customers. This greater initial investment yields the returns of higher conversion, customer engagement, and detection of advanced fraudulent activity.

Agencies are taking note of the importance of identity proofing in a way that maximizes customer retention and security. Gartner clients in government, banking, retail and more asked 300% more questions about identity proofing in 2017 than they did in 2016.

Gartner’s Trusted Identity Corroboration Model presents a way of understanding the main signals that can contribute to identity corroboration. Anomalies, attack signals and risk signals all fall under the negative signals category, and they provide evidence that decreases confidence in the identity claim. Third-party credentials, familiarity signals, and curated credentials are positive signals that increase trust. The combination of affirmative and negative signals leads to a net confidence in the identity claim.

The model allows businesses to collect multiple risk indicators that can lead to identifying fraudulent activity right from the start, at account creation. It also maximizes familiarity signals so that customers are not inconvenienced by security protocol, leading to better customer experience.

Gartner researchers write in that “the continued reliance on static data, public records or credit bureau data alone to either establish or substantiate trust in an identity is no longer simply unadvisable; it has become negligence.” Agencies can no longer take a passive stance in enforcing security measures; they can no longer rest the burden of security on customers that expect a frictionless and secure experience. Instead, agencies must be proactive, and embrace methods that take a more holistic view of identity corroboration.

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