Improving Identity Verification Solutions in Financial Services
April 12, 2017
Despite advances in technology, such as the spread of credit cards with microchips, in 2016 more than 15 million Americans lost $16 billion as a result of identity theft.
Financial services is an area where identity verification is crucial. Financial institutions must ensure that customers are who they claim to be, but they also do not want to make the verification process very difficult and annoying for customers. Mistakenly giving a malicious actor access to a user’s bank account could result in devastating consequences. But what are customers willing to do and what should they do in order to have security? We know that today, answering a few questions and providing a password is easily hacked by sophisticated fraudsters.
Fortunately, there are a number of solutions to protect customers from fraud that are also user-friendly and fast.
Onboarding and New Account Creation
Bringing new customers on board needs to be quick and easy, but also secure in order to protect both institutions and customers. When a new bank account is opened, it’s the institution’s responsibility to verify the identity of the user. The bank must first verify that the given name and Social Security number match a real person, typically by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus. Next, the bank must verify that applicants are who they claim to be by asking questions about their personal history, such as cities or streets where the applicant has lived in the past.
Financial institutions in the U.S. also need to comply with applicable security regulations when opening new accounts. “Know Your Customer” (KYC) is a policy for businesses who need to verify the identity of their clients in order to prevent crimes such as fraud, identity theft, and money laundering. KYC programs begin by collecting and verifying information about customers and checking them against a list of known criminals. Higher-risk customers have additional information collected, and their activity is monitored for potential red flags.
All of these processes can be streamlined and automated by the intake and authentication of data from a government issued ID, like a driver’s license. Authentication solutions that scan an ID, on a desktop or mobile device, can verify a credential in seconds to validate it. This then allows the institution to match the verified credential to the person. You may do this visually at a bank, or through a mobile facial recognition app that will match the photo on the ID to a selfie taken.
Mobile banking is a trend that is set for explosive growth in the years to come. In 2015, KPMG estimated that the number of mobile banking users would double in the next 4 years to 1.8 billion people.
This rapid growth of mobile banking makes the identity verification process even more important. Traditionally, mobile banking customers have logged onto their accounts using a username and password. In the event that they forget this information, customers need to provide data such as their Social Security number or credit card, or answer “out-of-wallet” security questions.
However, in recent years, banks have explored alternate security measures, such as biometric security. For example, many banking apps now make use of fingerprint and facial recognition technologies. In addition, some financial institutions allow users to verify their identity using their voice when they call the company’s phone number.
It is possible today to open an account and conduct all your banking without ever stepping foot in a bank, but you want to make sure that your financial institution is taking proper security measures and all the better if they are fast and easy for customers!