How Identity Verification Solutions Can Make Summer Travel a Breeze and Enhance Revenue

We all look forward to summer travel plans, but there can also be some stress involved including long lines at the airport, car rental counters, and hotels. The good news is that identity verification technology is being adopted to make these processes more streamlined and efficient; as an added benefit to businesses, they are revenue enhancing and customer pleasing.

A growing number of customer-facing processes in hospitality depend on identity verification, especially due to the growth of sharing economy businesses like Airbnb. Customers, most notably the well-traveled Millennial market, increasingly prefer to do everything from booking to check-in to keyless entry from their mobile devices. With mobile scan-and-verify solutions, it becomes possible to securely accommodate guests who’d like to avoid check-in lines altogether. And if they cause damage, you have all the verified information you need to recoup losses and report them to law enforcement.

As more hotels get mobile and hi-tech with their offerings, ID capture and verification is essential. These include digital keys, concierge text chat, guest service apps, self-serve kiosks, and mobile check-in. Identity verification also reduces fraud and enhances visitor security programs in a very customer friendly and cost-efficient manner.

In a recent study by Resonance Group, surveys showed that Millennial travelers highly value free Wi-fi, privacy, and safety. Customer data-driven offerings like kiosks, branded apps, mobile check-in, and keyless entry hit all these highly valued needs while simultaneously benefit ingcustomer and business. Innovative digital processes make the vacation experience at leading brands more convenient, relaxing, and comfortable. Streamlined service interactions (virtual concierge), advanced amenities and sophisticated back-end processes (room availability, fraud prevention) all involve the capture and use of customer data. Those same solutions will also reduce risk, revenue and property loss while enhancing the customer experience.

Scan-and-verify solutions include desktop devices and mobile scanning apps that quickly capture and digitize all the information from a driver’s license, passport, or other identity card. The digitized information is automatically exported to customer database records, and a digital replica of the ID is stored for regulatory and security purposes. The information, including photo ID, can then be checked against DMV records, credit bureaus, and other databases to verify the guest’s identity and payment method. Customer records can then be used by internal systems to complete billing and marketing processes. Personal data can also be leveraged, through CRM and GEM systems, to create more tailored experiences and to target opportunities to upsell and maximize revenue from each guest during their visit. Scanning IDs reduces keystroke entry errors, eases language barriers for foreign guests, and frees customer service reps to have more meaningful and relaxed interactions with guests. The entire check-in experience is streamlined and pleasant with fewer manual tasks.

Vacation is supposed to allow us to escape everyday stress and relax. With advanced identity capture and verification solutions, hotels, rental agencies, and tourist attractions can start to deliver that smooth-sailing experience before customers even arrive.



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Acuant Talks Identity Proofing with TAG Cyber

Recently, we spoke with Ed Amoroso of TAG Cyber on the topic of identity verification solutions today in the marketplace. Here are some of the highlights:

     Our discussion covered the wonderful work they are doing to simplify, integrated, consolidate, and secure the tangle of identification documents, and associated validation processes that are not exactly the pride of our society. I think their approach is solid, and I’ll try to share with you below what I learned:

“Our purpose at Acuant,” explained Kevin Vreeland, Managing Director, “is to simplify the identity validation ecosystem to maximize the trust of any transaction that is reliant upon an individual’s identity. We believe identity is the new currency, and it is more important than ever that PII is protected. Acuant accomplishes this by providing workflows that are fast and secure by streamlining the lifecycle process for establishing confidence in a reported identity.”

The Acuant solution is offered in three levels: First, images of credential information such as driver’s licenses are captured into the app to support basic tasks including familiar auto-fill into on-line forms. Second, strong authentication is performed in seconds by more than fifty forensic tests including biometric facial recognition, often needed for higher assurance. And third, the solution supports both RFID and a manual review for the most critical applications.

Our conversation moved quickly to privacy, and establishing confidence to put all of one’s credentials into one bucket. Vreeland explained the company’s approach to encryption and its disaggregation of credentials as they are validated, significantly reduce the risk of any compromise. He stressed the company’s belief that individuals should be in control of PII. He also outlined rational use-cases for stored and non-stored credentials by the app provider.   


You can read the full blog here.

At Acuant we are mindful that a mission must be founded upon a set of core values and business principles. For us this means that we take a customer centric approach that defines our purpose, guides our products and harnesses the innovation and enthusiasm of our people.

We recognize that the need for strong, customer-friendly identity proofing solutions has never been greater. As PII is continuously jeopardized, Acuant serves to find a way to create trusted transactions that puts individuals at ease and in control, while simultaneously allowing businesses to address their appropriate level of risk.


Contact us today to learn more

Buzz from the Know Identity Conference 2018

The 2nd annual Know Identity Conference just took place in Washington DC and Acuant was in attendance to catch this year’s buzzworthy topics. A major one was how firms will establish consumer identity especially in the digital world and how/when most consumers would use digital identity.  Enter SSI. The industry has unified around the term self-sovereign identity (SSI) to represent both the digital identity credential and the right for the consumer to control access to it and who gets what portion of their identity.


So how do we test whether digital identity is ready for the consumer mainstream? One line of thought by David Birch of Consult Hyperion, was that by taking care of 3 audiences of online consumers (the 3 W’s), that would be enough to ensure the right amount of protection to make business transactions secure. The 3 W’s are witness protection, whistle blowers and people who browse explicit material (wankers in his informal British prose). If digital identities allow the 3 W’s to browse anonymously and protect their transactions, then we can all have an appropriate level of security in the digital world.


Scott Galloway, a professor at NYU Stern School of Business, worries about the ever-increasing control of personal information in the digital world by four companies: Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple.  He calls these firms the brain, heart, stomach and libido of the digital world.  These four companies each create more revenue each year than the GDP of all other nations except USA, China, Japan and Germany.  Scott argued these companies are already monopolies and innovation could gather renewed energy if these companies were broken into smaller entities, further pondering that they may have just too much information about individual consumers. In the backdrop of the recent Facebook debacle and the pending European GDPR laws, protection of consumer information was at the forefront of many conversations.


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes live May 2018.  The hardest part of compliance with this new regulation mentioned by many of the panelists, is compliance with the laws mandating the right for a consumer to be “forgotten” by any company.  With the size and breadth of systems in many companies, the right to erasure of a consumer may prove a daunting task. The days of selling consumer contact lists will be over in the EU come May and the UK is currently racing down the path to adopt similar laws as GDPR by the end of 2018.


Biometrics and its various forms was also highly visible at the conference.  Most sessions and panels discussed biometrics whether it was facial recognition, iris, fingerprint or voice as the natural next step in security. Most experts suggested a multi-modal approach to biometrics (more than one biometric) as there always needs to be a fallback when something does not work quite right. The fear factor of biometrics is much lower now and with adoption rates increasing we should all expect to see more usage across industries.


Lastly, there was a theme of hope as digital ID was seen as a solution to the unbanked and underrepresented for many parts of the world.  Many areas where government IDs are made available at birth (but other forms of identification are scarce, unreliable or inaccurate), could benefit from digital IDs backed by initial ID documents.  With Washington DC as a backdrop, new ways of proving identity with low friction, high confidence and mobility shined through.



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How Identity Verification Technology is Changing the Auto Industry, from Rentals to Car & Ridesharing Services

A Better Car Rental Experience with Fraud and Theft Protection

When it comes to renting a car, the first thought people have is of long lines and annoying paperwork including photocopying of IDs and insurance cards. It is not a pleasant experience, but one that most will justify going through for the outcome. Smart rental companies are realizing that in order to retain and attract customers, they need to make this experience faster and less painful. Today, consumers have many choices that compete with rentals.

Technology that automates the intake of ID documents like driver’s licenses and insurance cards, speeds up the process and protects businesses. Simply scan an ID to auto-populate the information into CRM or Dealer Management Systems and store data and images of the ID, no photocopies or pages of paperwork needed. With mobile devices, businesses can offer rental cars from any location or even drive the vehicle to the customer.

Another benefit to the rental companies is the protection ID verification provides. In the same swipe or mobile capture of an ID, the license can be verified in seconds to ensure that it is not fake and the driver is who they claim to be. This prevents fraud by catching fake IDs and provides a copy of the license image on file which is needed in many states to submit claims for stolen vehicles. Rental theft can be very costly and is often accomplished with only the aid of a fake ID.

Easy and Secure Car Sharing

The car sharing market continues to grow as many would-be car owners in cities and urban areas feel it is more economical and even more environmentally friendly to opt for a service such as Zip Car. Drivers can simply pick up vehicles they locate on a mobile app and can drive them to a destination for easy drop-off.

ID verification allows for quick and easy onboarding of members for such service providers. They can verify the identities of their users, ensure that a license is valid and have their ID images and data on file. Facial recognition match or other biometric technology can then be used to unlock cars at their pick-up location. The process is easy, fast, convenient and most importantly, secure. Businesses can protect their fleet and know who is driving their cars.

Safer Ridesharing Services

Another extremely popular form of transportation is ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. New services are popping up worldwide due to the convenience and ease of use this model provides. Users simply access a mobile app for on-demand service, but the service is not without pitfalls as evidenced by many stories of rides gone bad. This can be due to a bad customer or a bad driver. In both cases, it is important to know the identity of both parties.

Ride Sharing companies must properly identify their drivers and know who is providing services at all times. ID verification technology allows for this with proper validation for customer onboarding and proper validation and screening of drivers. Riders should also provide proper ID when signing up so that drivers will always know who is in the car with them should any trouble or danger arise, and drivers should have to initially and continually prove their identity. A preliminary check will catch fake ID’s and continual checks for drivers via biometrics such as facial recognition match, can ensure that the driver is who they claim to be throughout service times.

Acuant Announces 3 New Auto Partners


Navotar is a worldwide provider of fleet management software for rental companies, dealerships, and automotive manufacturers. Through this partnership, car rental customers will now be able to do a quick scanning of passports and driver’s license for data extraction into Navotar customer management systems, while at the same time verifying their validity in seconds. Acuant optimizes operations and provides an additional layer of security against fraud.

Working in real time, the partnership eliminates manual screening errors, speeds up the document inspection process and significantly reducing employee training, operating costs and customer inconvenience.

Clutch Technologies

Clutch’s vehicle subscription platform provides the automotive industry with an innovative and scalable way to enable vehicle subscription access. Clutch chose Acuant’s patented technology to authenticate driver’s licenses. As part of the verification process, Acuant extracts biometric and alphanumeric data from IDs and applies 50+ forensic tests instantly. Clutch will also perform facial recognition match to validate users. Acuant FRM is as easy as taking a selfie and comparing it to biometric data contained in the government-issued ID. Results are given in seconds, comparing the face biometrics of a selfie to the image on the ID and include a liveness detection test to prevent fraudsters from using static images by ensuring that a live person is in front of the camera.


Pony Car Sharing

Pony Car Sharing is Romania’s first and largest car sharing service. Offering flexible pricing models, cars are parked on the street where users unlock them with mobile phones and can track them in real time on the app. Pony Car Sharing chose Acuant to verify members during onboarding, automatically capturing and validating identification information. Identity information will then accurately auto-populate the Pony Car Sharing database. This eliminates manual entry, photocopying and paperwork. Pony Car Sharing will also employ facial recognition match for stronger authentication. Customers using the Pony Car Sharing app can be remotely authenticated and unlock cars with their mobile phones.

To learn more about Acuant Solutions Book a Meeting today!



5 Reasons Why Every Business Needs Identity Proofing Solutions

Securely gathering information from customers and verifying the identities of those who provide it is becoming a simpler task with the advent of identity proofing solutions. There are solutions that enable businesses to capture, process and verify customer information in a single step without compromising customer’s personal information.

Modern identity verification platforms combine hardware systems, software and even cloud-based solutions to make the verification process as easy as swiping a credit card. No more paper forms to fill out, no manual typing of information, no long lines and you can even conduct transactions remotely from your phone that once required a physical visit.

With major data breaches and hacking making headlines regularly (see the latest on Facebook), and identity theft on the rise, installing identity proofing solutions would seem to be a no-brainer. There are many cost-efficient, and even revenue enhancing options, that easily integrate into any environment in any industry.

Still not convinced? Here are 5 reasons why your business should be investing in identity solutions now.

1. Streamlined Processes, Greater Accuracy & Enhanced Operations Increase Revenue

Whether they are paper-based or computerized, using forms to gather customer information has its limitations. Customers spell things incorrectly, leave things blank or mistype information. Handwriting can be difficult to read on paper-based forms, leading to data entry errors. Even your own employees can make mistakes when typing information or merging it with other data in the system. Automating data capture and the filling in of ID data into electronic forms and into CRM systems and electronic customer records virtually eliminates manual input and error.

A simple swipe or mobile capture of a driver’s license, state-issued ID, passport, or other government-issued ID easily captures relevant information, populates the database, and verifies the identity of customers in a single step that takes seconds. This saves time, money and frustration by simplifying a formerly cumbersome process that led to high abandonment rates and decreased operational efficiency.

2. Better Customer Relationships Increase Satisfaction & Loyalty

By eliminating the annoying pile of paperwork that most customers fill out on their first visit and dramatically reducing keystrokes via computers and mobile devices, you can be one step ahead of the competition, making your business more customer-friendly from the start. Increase conversion rates and see abandonment rates rapidly decline.

Add to that the additional time you can spend with your patients, clients or customers when you eliminate the lengthy check-in process, and identity solutions become a great way to start customer relationships on a positive note leading to increased satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

Online, e-commerce and mobile app transactions will appreciate the streamlined process enables them to proceed through to checkout or complete ID verification with minimal input of information and effort, even using facial recognition match via a selfie for quick and easy access.

Finally, you’ll build trust with customers when you take the time to verify their information and assure them of their personal data protection. Customers will appreciate your attention to safeguarding their identity, building rapport and brand loyalty.

3. Increased Security to Protect Against Increasingly Sophisticated Attacks

With identity theft, major data breaches and hackings on the rise, it’s more important than ever to verify the identities of customers and other visitors that enter your physical business (store, facility, practice, or campus) and also digital ones (online stores, platforms, etc.). Identity proofing solutions can instantly verify the identity of any visitor on premise or remotely and ensure both customers and employees feel safer.

The integrated technologies of many identity solutions can give your business the ability to process and verify visitors quickly while capturing detailed information and images from visitor IDs, business cards, or passports. You can even instantly check against global watch lists such as OFAC and Interpol, or create your own to flag persons of interest.

4. Prevent & Deter Fraud

Identity proofing doesn’t just verify that the credit card or other payment method is valid. It also verifies the identity of the card user, effectively preventing transactions from lost or stolen credit cards.

By instantly verifying the identity of shoppers both in-person and online, you’ll decrease fraudulent transactions which lead to lost merchandise and chargebacks that cut into your bottom line.

The cost of fraud is staggering. The average organization loses 10% of revenue from counterfeiting and it has been estimated that the value of counterfeit goods globally exceeds 1.7 trillion dollars annually – over 2% of the world’s total current economic output.

5. Enforce Age Verification & Regulatory Compliance

Identity verification technology makes it easy to comply with legal requirements imposed by state and federal laws. For example, if you serve alcohol or sell other regulated products that cannot be sold to minors, instant ID verification enables you to verify the validity of an ID and verify the age of potential customers. You stay in compliance with the law, avoid costly fines and provide a seamless customer experience.

In other highly regulated industries, such as finance, institutions can quickly and easily comply with KYC and AML regulations without worrying about compromising their customers’ PII.

New verification technology is changing the way business is done for the better. Paperwork and manual entry errors are virtually eliminated, security is increased to prevent fraud, be compliant and meet regulatory requirements. This can all be accomplished while at the same time providing a better customer experience. It’s a win-win for everyone.



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Increasing Secure Traveler Facilitation via e-Passport Passive Authentication

Electronic Passport (e-passport) technology, when implemented correctly – issued and validated in accordance with ICAO specifications and recommended processes – provides the highest level of assurance that the traveler is actually whom they claim to be.  The electronic security features encoded within the chip of the e-passport both protect the data from tampering or modification, as well as provide a cryptographic binding of the document to its Issuing State, and a biometric binding of the traveler to the document.  A global fabric of trust, the ICAO PKI data and processes underlying these documents, makes authentication of these security features relatively simple while ensuring that fraudulent documents are easily identified.

Incorporating these authentication processes into efficient, automated, self-service capabilities readily supports the facilitation of ever-increasing volumes of travelers without negatively impacting border queues – and actually increases the security posture of the transit point without the need for additional border personnel.

e-Passport processing not done according to specifications and guidance leaves the relying party to simply guess if the person presenting the document is who that document asserts that they are.

Sometimes this is inconsequential, sometimes it is a matter of national security.  Whether this document review is done as part of the check-in process at a hotel, to prove an identity for a financial transaction, or to support a border crossing, it is imperative that document authentication processes do not facilitate identity fraud or fraudulent cross-border movement.  If not properly validated, fraudulent documents can easily be used to transit borders for nefarious means, or to assume whatever identity that a person desires.

e-Passports were introduced in 2006 and now comprise the majority of travel documents in circulation.  However, since not all borders implement processes to properly authenticate these tremendously secure identity documents, fraud has also been facilitated.

In 2011, Somalia stated that they will no longer accept their original green passport (which is NOT an e-passport) due to their belief that the persons presenting these passports are likely to be engaging in terrorism-related activities.  The Israelis stated that they had over 135,000 documents stolen in 2010 alone, and they estimate that thousands of these documents are being used fraudulently around the world today.  In fact, they have arrested numerous Iranian and Pakistani nationals attempting to use fake Israeli passports.

While we know that 139 countries are currently issuing e-Passports, based on information available from open source resources, we also know that only a small percentage of countries actually perform Passive Authentication of e-Passports as part of their border control processes.

Passive Authentication (PA) is the process that ICAO requires be performed on the cryptographic security elements protecting the personal data held within e-passport and e-Identification documents. PA unconditionally proves the authenticity of the document by evaluating its cryptographic binding to a trusted issuance infrastructure.

Without this process, anyone can generate an e-passport that meets the electronic encoding requirements and appears to be genuine.

All of the elements protected by cryptographic hashes and the digital signature protecting the document security object may properly validate using the certificate provided within the document.  However, unless the certificate is proven cryptographically to have been produced by a trusted infrastructure, then the document cannot be considered authentic.  In other words, if PA fails, the document should be considered as fraudulent.

As the facilitation of an increasing number of travelers continues to be a top priority for nations, careful consideration must be given to the appropriate implementation of technology to support that objective.

Border processes cannot be cumbersome to the traveler or be perceived as the cause of delays.  Technology is increasingly being implemented to address this critical balancing act; self-service kiosks and automated border controls have been deployed or are being piloted across the globe.  However, with an increased reliance on technology to assess the validity and authenticity of the supporting travel document, the underlying processes MUST be implemented to leverage the significant security and level of identity assurance that is provided by the e-passport.  Many of these pilot implementations are basing an access decision on the comparison of the traveler’s biometrics to those found within the electronic chip of the e-passport.  While biometric comparison technologies are advancing at a tremendous rate, there is no value in performing the comparison unless the document that is being used as the source of the biometric has been proven to be authentic.

PA is a critical security component that must be implemented to truly take advantage of the anti-fraud and anti-tampering security features built into e-passports.  This process not only evaluates the authenticity of the document and its contents, but also facilitates the automation of traveler identity verification and transit throughout their journey.



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Protect your Patients from the Start: Automate Registration for a Speedier Process that is More Effective

Rise of Patient Identity Management Technology

Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are slowly making their way into the healthcare industry with great results. EMR/EHRs software providers are always seeking improvements. However, without accurate data capture, building or integrating these tools will not prevent errors that result in costly claim rejections and even patient deaths due to misidentification. It is essential to avoid mistakes from the beginning of the process at patient registration.

The average duplication rate in a healthcare organization’s medical records is between 8 and 12 percent, according to the American Health Information Management Association. Duplicate records can create havoc such as mixing up patient identities, inability to track patient history, and extending the revenue cycle with issues such as claim rejections. Clean records are essential not only for efficiency, but also for implementing new technologies effectively. Accurate data prepares records for the next stages of patient identity management such as blockchain.

Accurate Patient Data Starts at Registration

One of Acuant’s partners is at the forefront of technologies that create efficient and user-friendly patient registration while providing clean and accurate data. Clearwave offers self-service check-in registration kiosks that help healthcare providers standardize and automate administrative and patient-facing processes. This creates a workflow that puts control of information in the patient’s hands and is an effective way to streamline the registration process. However, the intake process still had the issue of human errors such as typos or inputting insurance information incorrectly. Mistyped insurance member IDs were the most common error, which lead to significant problems.

Acuant partnered with Clearwave to implement intelligent data capture for government IDs and medical insurance cards that is powered by machine learning. The technology quickly and accurately reads a patient’s ID and insurance card and auto-populates the information into Clearwave’s registration software. Clearwave kiosks now process as many as 625,000 records a month, with charts being prepared an average of 9 minutes ahead of appointments. Read additional details in a case study.

Clearwave registration kiosk users spend 50% less time filling out forms and 70% less time in waiting rooms

Capturing accurate patient information helps to create a more frictionless, positive patient experience. Patients now account for 30% of healthcare revenue. As more patients become significant payers, the demand for transparency will continue to increase. Medical record errors, medication mistakes, claim rejections, and clunky software interfaces can create lasting negative impressions and cause patients to seek care elsewhere. While Health IT is moving rapidly and in exciting spaces, the importance of having clean data from the start cannot be stressed enough. Good data is the foundation for IT innovation.

Choose an Experienced Solutions Partner

Acuant has over 20 years of experience as a technology partner for healthcare and other industries, creating data capture and ID verification solutions. Talk to an ID Solutions Specialist and find out how your organization can transform patient registration and front-office workflows.


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Congratulations to Our Partner on Being Acquired by Facebook

As a valued partner of over four years, we want to congratulate on their recent acquisition by Facebook. Our shared passion for making the mobile user experience simpler, safer and more secure ensured a successful partnership. enabled organizations to rapidly validate customer identity from a driver’s license or ID using advanced machine learning and computer vision technologies to dynamically normalize images, classify, extract and authenticate identity document data.

Facebook now asks users for a government issued ID if their account is locked, hacked or if they lost their passwords, but users must mail in this information. Their policy is to activate accounts only for authentic names to avoid catfishing and other such malicious activities where users portray themselves as a false person. Confirm’s technology can significantly streamline this process.  A natural progression may be to introduce verifying identities of all users creating or whom have created accounts to verify identities, especially when it comes to those advertising on the platform. Additionally, as social media platforms become increasingly acceptable as forms of ID verification, the vulnerabilities are clear. It would logically follow to make the account opening and ad buying processes more stringent when it comes to identity proofing.

Acuant’s partnership with Confirm created one of the industry’s most comprehensive cloud-based ID verification and authentication solutions, combining best-in-class technologies to support robust identity and document verification solutions to enterprises seeking remote identity proofing in the increasing landscape of card not present transactions. tapped Acuant’s automated intelligent data capture and authentication solutions, supported by its proprietary and unparalleled global document library to enable Confirm’s efficient ID authentication capabilities to drive safer transactions for its customers operating in a global environment. By leveraging Acuant’s AssureID technology, created an environment that supports secure transactions between businesses and people by linking physical ID documents to digital identities through mobile SDKs and RESTful APIs.

Technology that is intended to bridge the gap between physical and digital worlds and provide security- allowing businesses to confirm customer/user identities and customers to feel protected by businesses- continues to evolve. At Acuant we are poised to keep trusted transactions as frictionless as possible. To learn more about our products and service for all industries and across all platforms (mobile, desktop and cloud) please book time here to speak with a specialist.

We wish our friends and colleagues at all the best on the next part of the journey.

What You Need to Know to Prepare for the Real ID Act in 2018

Since the US Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005, it has taken over 10 years to get states to comply with the new requirements. Even now, extensions for various states have been set until October 2018. The enforcement of the Real ID Act has been making headlines in travel-related news. Domestic travelers in the US are beginning to see signs at airports that a new type of driver’s license will be needed to get through airports and board planes. While many states are issuing Real IDs, confusion is rampant as to whether or not a Real ID is necessary, especially since a few years ago, many states were vocally in opposition to the law and even passed laws to reject the federal measure. Today, however, all states are complying with the legislature and here is what you need to know.

Definition of a Real ID

The Real ID Act was born from a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission after it was determined that hijackers boarded planes by presenting their driver’s licenses at security checkpoints. It is meant to provide stronger security around establishing the identity of a person.

This new form of identification is harder to forge, machine-readable, and is an effort to create stronger security measures around state-issued IDs. One way to identify compliance is from a small gold or black star that will be on the new IDs. All states must be able to issue new compliant IDs. However, it is up to the individual to apply for a compliant ID.

How to get a Real ID

A visit to the DMV is required to apply for a Real ID card. Applicants need to present the following documents:

  • Proof of Identity: Such as a US birth certificate, valid passport, or permanent resident card
  • Proof of Social Security Number: Such as a Social Security card or W-2
  • Proof(s) of Residency in the State: Documents include rental agreement, mortgage bill, utility bill, or medical insurance card

Other documents that would be helpful include proof of name change in the case of marriage, divorce, or court decree. Some states require multiple documents proving residency in the state, so it would be best to check with the DMV of the state for a checklist of required documents

Timeline of the Real ID Roll-out

  • Congress passes Real ID Act in 2005
  • Visitors to military bases must present Real ID or other approved ID starting October 10, 2017
  • All travelers on domestic flights must present Real ID or other approved ID starting January 22, 2018
  • All states must be able to issue Real IDs by October 2018
  • All domestic flight travelers must present Real ID compliant license by October 2020

Starting January 22, the TSA is requiring travelers to present a compliant ID or other forms of approved ID such as a passport. However, most states have received extensions to comply with the law, so for most people, a new form of ID is not needed to board a commercial flight until October 2020. As many states are still in the process of implementing and issuing new IDs, it would be wise to check ahead of any travel to make sure whether or not your ID is Real ID compliant.

Situations that require a Real ID

In addition to domestic air travel, a compliant driver’s license is needed to enter certain federal facilities which require ID such as military bases. Visitors and vendors will be turned away if the ID card presented is not Real ID compliant, so if your business is looking to establish military contracts it will be crucial for your employees to have compliant IDs.

A Real ID is not needed to:

  • Drive
  • Vote
  • Apply for or receive federal benefits (Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration)
  • Enter a federal facility that does not require ID (post office)
  • Visit a hospital or receive life-saving services


Some groups such as the ACLU and libertarian-leaning states have voiced concerns about possible consequences. The new license is, some have argued, a national ID card and causes concerns that the federal government will create a database and track individuals. Another issue would be the demarcation of compliant vs. non-compliant licenses. In states such as California, driver’s licenses can be issued to undocumented individuals. However, these licenses will not be Real ID compliant. One hypothetical situation that is troubling is whether not carrying a compliant license may become a cause for detention or checking immigration status. Other groups that might be affected include the Amish and other religious communities, or the LGBTQ community such as a transgender person’s birth certificate not matching to other documents. As the roll-out continues, the effect of implementing the Real ID law across the country remains to be seen.



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Card-not-present Fraud Increases as Consumers Move Online and Mobile

One of the biggest fraud warnings in the US and around the world for 2017 was credit card fraud, particularly card-not-present fraud. In Europe, card-not-present fraud increased from 50% gross loss in 2008 to 70% last year, with most fraud impacting the UK and France. Fraud experts warn this is just the beginning. The research firm Juniper predicted a 71 Billion USD loss globally due to card-not-present fraud over the next 5 years. As history dictates, when technology advances, so do criminals.

Shoppers and businesses were warned that there might be a massive fraud spike during Black Friday weekend. But in an impressive turn against the tide, it looks like US retailers were well prepared to combat fraud this season. Unlike what was initially predicted, credit card fraud dropped for the first time over Black Friday weekend by 29%. After the industry was rocked by huge data breaches from Target and other retailers, it looks like the investments made to boost security paid off.

Technology Is the Problem and the Solution for Retail

This good news for the retail industry might be a temporary reprieve. The transition to EMV chips in credit cards plays a big role in reducing point-of-sale fraud and might account for the drop in fraud during the holiday shopping season. The reality is that fraudsters will continue to follow the consumers.

In the US, m-commerce has been increasing year-over-year. For this holiday shopping season, purchases made on mobile devices were a 36.9% of all sales, and e-commerce was up 17% from last year. As more consumers move to online and mobile shopping, expect to see more card-not-present fraud as well. Public wi-fi can encourage more consumers to use their mobile devices to shop, but all those transactions also create opportunities for hackers to get sensitive information through key-logging, phishing, and other scams. Consumers might feel protected by all the technology they are using and have no idea how just how much risk is actually connected to these conveniences. For example, shoppers in India often have 3 or more shopping apps on their smartphones and almost half of all consumers have been victims of retail fraud.

Retail shopping isn’t the only industry that should be bracing for more card-not-present fraud. The recent data breaches at financial institutions and on sharing economy platforms show that pretty much any kind of online or mobile transaction poses a high risk to consumers and businesses.

Invest in Security Now or Pay a High Cost Later

One effective security measure to protect against card-not-present fraud is to add multi-factor or biometric authentication to tie the transaction to an actual person. Linking transactions to identities can reduce the risk of fraud both at check-out as well as help to lower the amount of customer data that businesses manage and store. This means businesses can protect against fraud while also minimizing the risk of being a target for data breaches.

Investing in customer data protection and keeping transactions secure is essential in creating customer trust and loyalty.  With its high competition and slim margins, the retail industry has learned that it cannot afford to be reactive and was effective in curbing point-of-sale fraud during the peak shopping season. We learned this year that other industries wrongly thought themselves to be immune to hackers. The consequences of major data breaches can last for years and be a crippling cost to many businesses.

As you prepare for 2018, make sure your business is incorporating the best practices for securing customer data and preventing card-not-present fraud. It is more cost-effective to invest in security measures now than to pay a much steeper price later.


Acuant Solutions for Customer ID Verification