Digital Identity Authentication Provides Additional Security as Breaches Intensify

As large-scale data breaches continue to compromise personal information like login credentials and Social Security Numbers, companies have realized that they need to evolve their security methods over time in order to maintain consumer trust. In the past, many companies have solely relied on knowledge-based factors like birth dates and addresses to verify the identity of their customers.

The data breach at the IRS in 2015 proved that the answers to knowledge-based authentication questions can be deciphered by hackers. In addition, the recent massive data breach at a top consumer credit reporting agency showed consumers that their identities are at risk, and can be at risk for the rest of their lives. As a consequence, companies in various industries are steadily moving from physical to digital authentication.

Digital authentication through biometrics is gaining traction because it is harder for hackers to duplicate biometric features. Biometric authentication, such as our Acuant FRM, uses liveness detection to prevent criminals from using static images to break into devices. Facial recognition technology provides consumers with a more robust layer of security by making it more difficult for hackers to work around.

The convenience of facial recognition makes the technology appealing to consumers who frequently forget passwords or don’t want to carry around digital tokens. Facial recognition allows consumers to unlock their devices without memorizing long strings of characters. For forgetful consumers, the method of resetting a password is also a security risk. Organizations use secondary security questions like “What is your mother’s maiden name?” help consumers easily reset their passwords, but hackers can uncover the answers to these questions through social engineering and spear phishing.

Apple’s adoption of facial recognition technology reinforces our belief that consumers are looking for more secure ways to verify their identities and safeguard their devices. The new iPhone X allows consumers to use facial recognition to unlock their smartphones and verify their transactions on Apple Pay. Although a few Android devices also allow consumers to use facial recognition to unlock their devices, Apple’s adoption of facial recognition technology in the iPhone X demonstrates a significant step in the consumer adoption and acceptance of this novel technology.

In addition to biometrics, at Acuant we provide layers of authentication to enable trusted transactions that allow businesses to know who they are dealing with in a frictionless and customer friendly manner. It’s as simple as verifying that an ID is not fake, then verifying that the ID matches a real live person, all in one easy process that take less than 10 seconds and can be done from any location (via mobile devices or on-premise scanners).

As the industry pushes forward with the convergence of physical and digital IDs, Acuant continues to evolve our product line to stay at the forefront of these changes as evidenced by our latest acquisition of Ozone® PKI Authentication Solutions.

 

Contact us today to learn more about a solution for your business.

Facial Recognition Technology Helps Retailers Comply with FDA Regulations

Last year, the FDA impacted a $3.7 billion industry by ruling that vape pens and e-cigarettes won’t be available for sale to anyone under the age of 18 because they fall under the category of tobacco products. According to a survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in four teenagers use vaping products like e-cigarettes and vape pipes. The CDC’s survey found that 24% of high schoolers have used alternative tobacco products like vape pens, e-cigars, and e-hookah.

Vape shops and other retailers across the country have spent the past year figuring out how to verify the ages of customers who want to buy e-cigarettes and other related products, whether it’s online or in-person. Every retailer of the covered products must “verify by means of photographic identification containing the bearer’s date of birth that no person purchasing the product is younger than 18 years of age” and must do so for any customer under the age of 27. While verification is needed, retailers need to address how they collect PII scanned from customer driver’s licenses and identification and mind state regulations such as New Jersey’s.

On Premise Verification

Acuant allows for quick authentication of IDs by scanning an ID with any mobile device or desktop scanner to verify that it is valid. This allows untrained personnel to detect sophisticated fake IDs and avoid hefty fines. Results are given in seconds to avoid long customer transactions.

Remote Verification

Online retailers are a popular point of purchase for many e-cigarette users. Similar requirements apply to online sales of traditional tobacco products and alcoholic beverages. Acuant allows retailers who sell vaping products to capitalize on the e-commerce trend and move their businesses online through its Facial Recognition and Match (FRM) technology. Acuant FRMTM enables online retailers in the alcohol and vaping industry to comply with new FDA regulations, which require retailers to validate that customers are over the age of 18.

For customers, Acuant FRM is as easy as taking a selfie, which is then compared to extracted biometric data contained in a government issued ID, such as a driver’s license. Facial recognition technology matches the face biometrics of the selfie to the face image on the ID to authenticate that they match. In addition, Acuant FRM provides liveness detection to prevent criminals from using static images. This one-time verification during account set up ensures that not only does the face match, but that there is also a live person in front of the camera.

Failure to verify customer ages can lead to sizable fines and other enforcement actions. For retailers in regulated environments and shipping companies, this means they need a fraud-proof way to check that the identity document being presented is valid and matches the individual currently making a purchase and that do not store PII. Acuant provides multiple customer friendly options.

 

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT AGE AND ID VERIFICATION SOLUTIONS

What We Learned at SDW 2017

SDW 2017, a conference for professionals involved in secure ID credentials and government-identity solutions, was last week in London and brought together top minds in the Identity Proofing Industry who all agreed that a trusted identity is the cornerstone of a trusted transaction. Key issues covered included identity fraud, document design, travel documents, smart borders, eID, the growing role biometrics, digital and mobile ID, smart citizens and the future of identity innovations, including the importance of machine learning.

OUR TOP TAKE-AWAYS:

Fraud Isn’t Going Away

The value of an identity isn’t decreasing; fraud will continue to become more sophisticated as security technology also improves. Physical credentials such as passports will soon have more design elements and production complexity to make forgeries more difficult to produce. However, making documents more difficult to forge also has the consequence of forgeries being harder to detect. In addition to upgrading the physical credential, other technologies to verify the identity, such as biometrics, will become increasingly important.

 

More Countries will use Biometrics at Borders

Many countries have been experimenting with biometrics for border control, and the use of finger print or facial recognition will continue to expand. The TSA is now rolling out a pilot program for finger print scanning for PreCheck customers. Dulles and Atlanta airports have also been experimenting with facial recognition technology with the aim to have secure and frictionless experiences for those exiting the country. Expect to see more roll-out of biometric technology the next time you travel outside the country.

 

Machines and Humans will Coexist

As both ID documents and forgeries become more sophisticated, it is necessary to augment the abilities of an experienced border guard with the computing power of machine learning. Automation is a key to frictionless document authentication and verification, but the need for humans and machines to work side-by-side to catch forgeries is key – there are elements that computers can be taught to spot in an instant, while there are knowledge and experienced-based situations that humans can better address. To learn more about the benefits of machine learning for ID Proofing, read the whitepaper: Beyond Machine Learning.

 

Experts are still Figuring out the Standard for Trust

A recurring theme of the conference was the importance of trust being the cornerstone of identity, and a trusted identity being the cornerstone of a trusted transaction. The idea of sharing trusted identities for travel, government and other purposes across common use cases was discussed from a variety of perspectives. Some technologies being discussed in this space include Blockchain, which was also a big topic that was covered in a previous blog about the K(NO)W Conference.

 

2017 is looking to be a crucial year for businesses to secure their ID-based transactions. The first step is to find a trusted and experienced ID Proofing Solutions Provider. Acuant emphasizes global experience across multiple industries, with ID verification, authentication, and biometric capabilities. Talk to an ID specialist in your industry today and learn how to protect your customers.

 

Tech Solutions to Address the Alarming Rise of Healthcare Fraud

The FBI estimated costs associated with U.S. healthcare fraud was at $80 billion in 2013. A 2016 healthcare fraud sweep by the FBI involved $900 million in false billing and more than 301 individuals, including 61 medical professionals and 28 doctors. There a number of surprising and frightening ways that people internally and externally can game the system and that can lead to dire outcomes, including the lethal mistreatment of patients that are not properly identified and the ruin of personal finances.

“About 20 percent of victims have told us that they got the wrong diagnosis or treatment, or that their care was delayed because there was confusion about what was true in their records due to the identity theft,” says Ann Patterson, a senior vice president of the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA), a group of several dozen healthcare organizations and businesses working to reduce the crime and its negative effects.

The good news is that there are solutions that are easy and effective to implement that will protect both healthcare institutions and patients safeguard. While adoption of new technology in healthcare is painfully slow, especially when it comes to operational efficiency, it is time that practices take notice of how simple and cost-friendly can make a big impact on operations. Case in point, the recent WannaCry Ransomware attack did not intentionally target hospitals but still caused a lot of damage to the NHS.

Common Fraud Schemes

There are several scenarios that are typical for fraud schemes. Below is a list of ways that people are gaming the system:

Rolling Lab Schemes. This healthcare fraud is the result of unnecessary tests that are charged to insurance companies. Insured individuals often get caught off guard because these tests are administered in friendly or familiar areas, such as retirement homes and local gyms.

Medicare/Medicaid Insurance Fraud. Medical service providers that sign off on unnecessary equipment or services (i.e. unnecessary testing) are often involved in this healthcare fraud scheme. They often work with equipment manufacturers who get access to seniors’ and other insured patients’ Medicare or Medicaid ID numbers.

Services Not Rendered. This type of fraud occurs when medical service providers or customers submit false or altered bills to the insurance companies for services that never happened.

Medical Equipment Fraud. In this scheme, insurers are charged for unnecessary medical equipment or undelivered medical equipment. These fraud cases often begin as a deceptive pitch or are presented to insured individuals as “free.”

Medical Identity Theft. This healthcare fraud involves perpetrators who retrieve insured individuals’ insurance identification and other information. They get this data several ways, including via collection of patient information during free screening at health fairs, recruiting corrupt medical staff with access to insured patients’ information, and buying patient information.

Prevention Methods

Prevent insurance fraud by safeguarding your patients’ benefit information and insurance cards, and your provider ID. You can also use a few quick and easy tech solutions to prevent gaming of the system:

Biometric Security Measures. This method includes implementing a biometric verification point, such as facial recognition, and strengthens the identification process. It can be used to match a person to their ID on file, or to confirm a real person that matches the ID on file is trying access information. Biometric Security is especially user-friendly for telehealth and mobile health apps by reducing the need to manually enter ID information or answer time-consuming, knowledge based questions that any fraudster might know, guess or hack.

ID Verification by ID Scanning. Presenting a valid ID is still a valuable way to prevent fraud. However, checking this manually at the front desk can be time consuming and error prone. Scanning an ID that can be authenticated as valid is quick and easy. Another benefit to scanning is accurate and clean data to populate into your data systems, such as EMR and HER, within seconds. This prevents records with wrong patient data and saves time at patient check-in. It also gives you the ability to verify patients’ identities every time the valid ID is presented.

Protect your Information. Patients must be more careful and pay attention to when and where they share their identity and healthcare insurance information. Anyone with access could be a gateway for fraud. And hackers are very wise about finding information via avenues such as social media to supplement the information they have, like a social security number. Cobbling together a patient profile allows them to present an identity that institutions will accept today.

Final Thoughts

Avoiding healthcare fraud may seem daunting, but it is simpler than you think and solutions exist today that can dramatically reduce the impact. Creating more user-friendly, frictionless ways to verify the identity of patients at every access point will go a long way to protect both healthcare institutions and patients from fraud. Set yourself up with tools that fit your needs, or consult a team of experts on biometric and ID verification security services for an effective and secure way to mitigate healthcare fraud.

 

Read about Carbon Health

What We Learned at the K(NO)W Identity Conference: Part Two

B&B: Biometrics & Blockchain

We are back with more from the K(NO)W Conference and focusing on solutions that create trusted transactions. Digital identity is relatively new. Physical identity has been around for millions of years. We are really just starting to figure out how to build digital trust and what that means for different industries. There were certainly a fair share of buzzwords and solutions spoken of, but the B’s were front and center with Biometrics and Blockchain in the top slots (honorable mention to the Internet of Things).

 

Biometrics

Maxine Most, founding Principal of Acuity Market Intelligence, the definitive authority on global biometrics market development, stated that customer friction has resulted in 13 times more lost revenue than fraud. We are in a time when we can increase security and decrease friction, which should be the goal for every transaction.  Biometrics allows companies to solve both friction and fraud. Born out of tech and the coolness factor, biometrics has cooled over time into a solution-oriented approach, especially in government. For a long time biometrics was about surveillance. Biometrics today is more about security, and the evolution of mobile devices has played a key role.

The stats cited by Maxine on the number of mobile devices that enable biometrics and the number of transactions that will be on occurring on them in 2020 is staggering- truly game changing. The global smartphone install base is set to grow 50 percent in the next four years to 6 billion devices totaling $355 billion in revenues. We were asked to think about all of the ways we use our mobile devices today and how dramatically that has changed over the past few years. Think of how often you make a phone call vs. the many routine uses that are now second nature. A lot of these uses likely include biometric authentication such as a fingerprint. Touch ID was a tipping point for the industry.

Biometric authentication is very passive compared to other authentication options. There is no fumbling around to find and capture a credential, no remembering crazy passwords or answers to annoying questions. If companies make it hard for people to do the things they want to do- they won’t do it. With biometrics, you must also consider giving consumers a choice otherwise it can seem creepy. For example, today at airports in Canada, travelers can opt for a retina scan to expedite the security process, rather than going thru the slow line. If it was mandatory, it would likely feel like a violation rather than a benefit. Having options at the device level where consumers control the choice also makes biometrics more adoptable and less creepy.

While there is a much broader acceptance of biometrics today, there is still a false perception that when you authenticate yourself one time you are protected throughout the transaction and future transactions with that entity. This is not the case; real threats go beyond just the login or one-time action. Verification must be continuous to truly safeguard those involved in the transaction.  For example, patients in hospitals, customers banking and even sharing economy apps- verification for use cases here should not be considered a one-time thing. The idea of the fabric of an identity of authentication was conveyed. If the same person is not repeatedly represented in an authentication process, the whole thing is destroyed. It was stated that the only way we can do this repeatedly, consistently and unquestionably is with biometrics- as opposed to something you know which is not sufficient anymore (passwords, KBA’s, etc.). This is the opinion of some.

But we know there is no such thing as a perfect solution. Companies must consider what fraudsters are doing today and innovate as they authenticate. One issue is liveness detection for images. Stealing images and passing them off for facial recognition will work if there is not a liveness detection test in the solution. To further layer on top of innate biometrics that could be stolen, the case was made for behavioral biometrics to protect users and data when it comes to mobile device spoofing, being tricked into downloading malware on your device and simply having your device stolen. Behavioral biometrics measure and track uniquely identifying patterns in human activities and range from tracking keystrokes and navigation, to location and device login frequency. This offers another way for consumers to be protected by being passive.

 

Blockchain

The other B word that was highly mentioned in addressing the question of establishing a trusted digital identity was blockchain. Maybe you know blockchain and are a big fan, maybe you thought it was thing of the past. Let’s start with the definition according to wiki: blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly. The first blockchain was then conceptualized by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and implemented the following year as a core component of the digital currency bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions. The bitcoin design has been the inspiration for other applications.

Essentially blockchain keeps a record of transactions that cannot be manipulated and establishes decentralized and distributed trust. Blockchain was spoken of as more of a movement than a technology. This is largely due to the fact that, as speaker David Birch of Consult Hyperion put it, we have gone from not being able to tell if you are a dog on the internet to not being able to tell if you are a fridge pretending to be a dog. Maybe a tad dramatic, but maybe also too true – hello, catfishing.

Fraud has dramatically increased in recent years, and it is his belief is that it’s going to get worse because of the movement to make everything frictionless in payments and financial transactions. He stated that this is a hacker’s paradise- to make everything easy. One example is the fact that we still use SMS messages for security even though we know this is not secure. And thanks to the internet of things, we live in a world where we have kettles that are connected to Wi-Fi so that we can remotely operate them, where we have Bluetooth socks and Fitbits for dogs (unclear why but they are both allegedly amazing and in high demand). The dark side of this to consider is that all of this connectivity leaves us vulnerable and more open to attacks. But, as David says…there’s blockchain. Bitcoin is a remarkable cryptographic achievement and the ability to create something not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value. TBD on the future of blockchain but it says something that almost every major financial institution in the world is doing blockchain research at the moment and 15% of banks are expected to be using blockchain in 2017.

 

Conclusion: Problems Aren’t Changing, They Just Look Different

When it comes to tech solutions for authentication, in a lot of ways we are still at step one. If institutions want to scale, it has to be easy – take the human out of the equation whenever possible, but we are not there yet. There is still too much room for human error and institutions and providers are figuring out how to adapt solutions for different environments.

In a room of hundreds of identity professionals, less than 10% confirmed using a crypto key to protect their personal email when we know we are at risk. Consumers will always choose the path of least resistance. Users have to clearly see the value. There are no silver bullets or absolutes. Institutions must consider the use case and the best solution, identifying a point where the authentication meets the level of trust required and addresses the level of risk associated.

 

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What We Learned at the K(NO)W Identity Conference: Part One

 

Identity is the New Currency, Biometrics is the New Black, Blockchain is Bringing Sexy Back (Maybe) & Spoiler Alert – Edward Snowden is Still Not an NSA Fan

The first annual KNOW Identity Conference was well attended last week in the nation’s capitol, bringing together industry leaders, organizations and individuals that are shaping the new currency: Identity. Industry topics included Biometrics, Blockchain, Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence, Fraud Prevention and Verification with a central theme on growing security and privacy concerns (enter Ed Snowden). Dissenting viewpoints were heard, predictions made and concerns shared. One thing was clear – we all need to pay more attention to how we transact in the burgeoning digital economy, minding who we do business with and who we entrust with this precious commodity – our identity.

Part One: Edward Snowden

So what was Ed doing there (via video conference from Russia on the clearest bridge our team has ever seen), what did he have to say and how did he look you ask?

As you see from the photo Ed is holding up well, seeming not to age a bit and keeping his signature look. Whether you view him as a hero or convict, Snowden was a prime choice to speak on the topic of identity at K(NO)W. His thoughts in a nutshell: Identity is broken, there are no easy answers and we need to be concerned about privacy, acknowledging that as we address solutions for identity- we will have to address how privilege and access (rather lack thereof) to things like a smart phone play a role in shaping the future.

Snowden stated that what matters most for computer/digital networks is your name which is acknowledged via token, credential, or password. There is a critical point of knowing “this is me” in order to gain access & have a voice that everyone wanting to transact must satisfy. He said in our society, your identity is the token we have given you; all of your other identifiers must be granted from this token. For example, this token may be a government issued ID or social security number. Ed argued that even though this is our reality, popular and lawful are not the same as moral. He went on to state that we have a lot of top down laws- but should we? His view is that it does not have to be this way.

Snowden asked and answered: if identity did not exist, how would you do your business? We can survive in that world according to him. If we rewind 100 years this was the reality. His view is that we should be moving towards this instead of creating a world that is less free & less fair because fewer people are able to transact. He believes most transactions are legitimate and should not be restricted to the privileged and capable as this is a negative thing for free & open society.

Regarding privacy, Ed spoke about the infamous U.S. government phone surveillance program stating that an independent study found it to be illegal and stated it should end. The study found that there was no instance where knowledge of a threat found through this method of surveillance made a difference to the outcome, nor contributed to the outcome. It was found that anything positive could have been done via traditional means according to Snowden. His view: when surveillance increases, security decreases. Not obvious, he noted, but true. In a borderless network and economy, we need to be focused on preventative measures, not offensive, otherwise we leave ourselves open for exploitation.

Snowden acknowledged that some censoring is justified- i.e. Facebook censoring videos. He stated that you need some level of knowledge but you don’t need precise knowledge when it comes to verification. For example, certain industries may need to know you are old enough but not your exact age, or someone known to you vouches for an unknown identity and this happens again and again- this was the idea of a web of trust. The web of trust didn’t take off but the idea was that this is good enough to establish trust.

The idea of good enough has and is changing and requires a different consideration level to address the level of risk associated with transactions. It used to be that if someone was issued a passport by a government that was a sufficient level met for travel. We know today this doesn’t work and have watch lists and various other methods to screen travelers. Snowden is a fan of tech solutions that don’t make you present a bucket of verification when it’s not needed. For example, if you are online shopping, the digital economy should be like the cash economy he believes- with less friction – the verification standard should be good enough, allowing more access for people who may not have government issued identity documents. He feels you should not have to have this in order to interact with digital economy. Further, Ed argued that dumb criminals & terrorists get weeded out of the system very quickly, so relying on Know Your Customer (KYC) laws is not enough nor can government mandates safeguard us. He cautioned we should beware of what you truly need to collect for data because someone with access will abuse this at some point; it’s simply too tempting.

And let’s not forget the biggest headline of late (that does not include President Trump) – Snowden called it the greatest cyber security crisis in history. He was of course referring to the Wannacry virus and noted that this is the first time that the media is naming the NSA directly. His viewpoint is that hackers now have inertia and are using tools stolen from the NSA. The stockpiling of data that the NSA allows with vulnerability is happening around the world and creating ripe targets for hackers and organized criminal groups. He informed us that NSA cyber security spending is 90% dedicated to offensive operations and that this is a big mistake and a massive problem. He believes the attack could have been curbed if the U.S. government acted years ago– punctuating that sentiment saying “It’s hard being right.”  He went on the say the NSA has done a lot of harm to U.S.- but stated no one doubts their intention and good people often do bad things.  Interesting choice of words Ed.

While there may have been a lot of bleak talk at K(NO)W, there was also the ever-present message of hope and news of exciting new tech solutions in the works by many, including Acuant of course. Stay tuned for coverage of more hot topics from the conference!

 

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Acuant and eLend Improve Retail Automotive Industry

Retail automotive can be considered the largest “broken industry” in the world, and companies are trying to innovate new solutions that simplify the process of purchasing a car. Anyone who has leased or purchased a new car has despaired at how long it takes to walk out of the dealership with the keys, even when you walk in knowing exactly what you want and how you want to finance it. Auto Trader estimates that consumers can spend 2 hours at the car dealership, and that’s if the buyer’s financing is already set up.

Dealers know that there is a lot of room for improvement in the speed, efficiency, and integration of their sales and financing processes: increasing customer satisfaction means more sales and higher profits. To increase efficiency, dealers have to start gathering and processing data at the initial point of contact. As soon as a potential customer walks into the dealership, reception needs to get that person into the sales queue and verify their license so they are ready for a test drive. Customers are understandably wary about handing their driver’s licenses to a salesperson. To prevent fraud and provide a transparent, relaxed experience, dealerships need a quick, systematic, and professional way to capture and verify ID information as early in the process as possible.

eLEND Solutions, an automotive technology company specializing in online and in-store credit and finance solutions, has incorporated Acuant’s identity verification and automated data entry solutions into its credit application products, thereby streamlining credit check and financing processes for auto dealerships. Acuant’s technology enables customer service representatives to quickly scan a potential customer’s ID card, verify their demographic information, check for history of fraud or other financial red flags, and automatically port all this information into a database. OCR scanning converts information captured from driver’s licenses, passports, and other government-issued IDs into text format, checks the information against DMV and other records, and auto populates applications the dealership uses for CRM, financing, and regulatory compliance.

Scanning and digitizing the data is more accurate than manual entry and reduces keystrokes, staff time, and customer waiting time. The Acuant solutions are cloud based and mobile ready; customer engagement can originate online or on the lot, and can be picked back up from any point if interrupted by the customer. Capturing quality, vetted data at the entry point carries through all back-end processes to positively impact everything from first handshake to final insurance certification.

Feeding verified information into integrated systems connects traditionally siloed processes, and the biggest slowdowns occur in the transition between Sales and F&I. Transforming the sales process to be “customer first” starts with efficient information capture and integration. Streamlining workflow, eliminating redundant processes, and speeding up the transition from Sales to F&I keeps the customer happy and willing to close the deal. With these data-driven tools, dealers can process more transactions per day.

The streamlined, efficient interactions impress customers and leave dealers free to focus on the finer points of customer service, eliminating some of the most painful aspects of the car buying experience- leading to increased Customer Satisfaction Index scores (CSI) and ultimately more sales.

 

 

Download the Acuant + eLEND Case Study Now

Enhance Hospitality Experiences with Identity Verification Solutions

A recent JD Power study showed that hotel guest satisfaction has plateaued as perks have become standard expectations. When picking and choosing exact specifications via an app is a better experience than getting to a hotel only to argue with a desk agent, it becomes clear why Millennials have such low engagement with the hospitality industry. It’s no wonder the hotel and rental car markets are being crowded by sharing economy businesses Airbnb and Uber.

As the hospitality industry shifts to accommodate customer preferences, influenced in part by the distinct priorities of the Millennial cohort, and more generally by all things digital—social media, smartphones, and apps for everything, the role identity verification becomes critical.

Scan-and-verify solutions such as desktop devices and mobile scanning apps that quickly capture and digitize all the information from a driver’s license, passport, or other identity card make for very customer friendly experiences. Accurate information is extremely valuable to big tech companies, but most hospitality companies aren’t taking advantage of even basic customer data.

The following are ways the hospitality industry can leverage customer data to promote a better experience and increase revenue:

Gain Customer Loyalty through Personalization

Millennials are hard to win over as brand ambassadors in the hospitality industry; a recent Gallup report found only 20% are fully engaged (sharing positive feelings or reviews for a brand) while 23% are actively disengaged (sharing poor reviews). Getting the right customer data is the key to increasing customer loyalty. Linking a scanned ID to a previous visit, amenities targeted toward their demographics, and keeping preferences on file for future visits can go a long way toward fostering brand loyalty.  

Create Opportunities to Upsell while Combatting Fraud

Disney’s Magic Bands are tracking devices that can tell employees to interact with a guest by name or event such as a birthday. Not every company has the computing power of Disney, but if you can seamlessly and reliably prove the validity of your guest’s identity and securely collect payment this creates a lot of opportunities to upsell experiences and products. Verifying identity and payment information against a database can also help reduce risk and fraud such as property damage or preventing false charges to a room.

Invest in a Seamless Experience

Looking ahead, biometric technology and identity verification will also help travel and hospitality companies build more seamless door-to-door systems, a traveler’s identity to their itinerary, baggage routing, transportation, and hotel arrangements are tracked so they can move seamlessly from point-to-point. This vision of travel is infinitely more appealing than slogging from one check-in desk to another, and starting over each time with data entry, payment, and paperwork. While these innovations may not become widely adopted for several years, companies that lay the groundwork now will be poised for competitive advantage.

By utilizing advanced identity capture and verification solutions, hotels, rental agencies, and tourist attractions can start delivering a relaxed, smooth-sailing experience as soon as customers walk in the door.

Customer-Friendly and Cost-Efficient Technology to Prevent eCommerce Fraud

Online fraud rose 15 percent between 2015 and 2016, and approximately $32 billion in costs associated with e-commerce fraud occurred in 2014. LexisNexis reported that 1.5 percent of retailers’ revenue is linked to fraudulent transactions. Continued data breaches also put online shoppers and retailers at risk. However, you can safeguard your eCommerce business from fraud by enhancing your existing security with easy to use, cost efficient technology tools.

How People Are Gaming the System

Before safeguarding your e-commerce operations, it’s important to understand how people are getting around security measures in the increasingly card not present (CNP) transactional environment. Some common ways eCommerce fraud occurs include:

Vulnerability in Mobile Devices and Infrastructures. Data breach occurs when vulnerabilities exist. Even the largest and most sophisticated businesses are vulnerable, as evidenced by headlines regarding Sony, Yahoo and retailers like eBay and Target. They can happen on almost any device, too, and with the rise in the use of mobile devices for both personal as well as business purposes, there has been an exponential growth in the number of well-organized cyber-crimes and independent hacks.

Account Takeover Fraud. Account takeover occurs when a fraudster uses a piece of stolen personal information to attempt to gain access to a private account. This does not have to be a social security number or PIN code – anything from an email address to a username, any identifier used in the validation process can work. As an example, a fraudster could use an email and login for any account and run that against services such as PayPal, eBay, Amazon and virtually any other mobile app – in minutes. Validated credentials can then be sold for hundreds or thousands of dollars on the Dark Web.

Chargebacks and Reversed Transactions. This form of “friendly fraud” happens more often than you think. More than 86 percent of chargebacks are estimated to be fraudulent. It makes it easy for customers to get a refund via their credit card companies by disputing charges while putting the burden on the e-retailer or business owner to prove that the charges are valid.

Identity Theft. While ushering in the EVM chip helps to reduce fraud in person, it doesn’t stop fraudsters from viewing the physical card number, recording it and using it online. Moreover, hackers can get personal data online from doxxing (the internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting private or identifiable information) and can often link public information with bits of personal data, such as the last four digits of the social security number and the birth date and address from a voter’s registration database online.

Tech Solutions That Work

With the increase of card not present (CNP) and mobile transactions, the good news is that you can safeguard your online business with the right tech tools. Here are some quick and easy tech solutions to instantly prevent eCommerce fraud:

ID Verification via ID Authentication. Quick and easy ID capture can allow online retailers to validate an ID in seconds. Forensic tests can be performed in real time to ensure that the ID presented is authentic. Scanning the ID also allows retailers to get necessary information that is accurate to populate into your point-of-sales (POS) system and CRM. This allows for quick verification of customer data such as age and address to verify the sale of an alcohol wine club membership or other age or geographically restricted business. It also removes the inconvenience of manually entering in data, improving shopping cart abandonment rates.

Biometric Security Measures. Facial recognition match makes it easier and more user-friendly to verify identities and integrate with existing apps or systems. Customers can simply snap selfies to verify that they match the photo on their government issued ID from a webcam or mobile device. This extra step prevents fraudulent transactions by further binding a person to their identity.

By recognizing that there are quick and cost-effective tech solutions to manage online retail fraud, you can instantly reduce your risk and recognize good transactions while flagging bad ones. As a bonus, you get the added benefits of:

  • Verifying Age and Address
  • Clean CRM/Customer Database with Accurate Information
  • Fast and Friendly Customer Check-out Experience

See what verification tools are right for your business!

 

IMPROVING IDENTITY VERIFICATION SOLUTIONS IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

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

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!