Fraudsters Thrive During Holiday Season: Learn How You Can Stay Safe

It’s that time of year when our attention turns to family, friends, good cheer and, of course, shopping. eMarketer forecasts that total US retail sales will climb 3.8% to $1.008 trillion during the 2019 holiday season, making it the first ever trillion dollar holiday season. The firm expects US retail ecommerce spending will rise 13.2% to $135.35 billion. Last year on Cyber Monday alone, sales reached nearly $8 billion in the US and beat Black Friday sales.

In 2018, Experian found that nearly half of shoppers (47%) planned to conduct most of their holiday shopping online, either with their computers (32%) or mobile devices (15%). But data also shows that this trend may be putting consumers at risk for identity theft.

While consumers are distracted by the holiday spirit and getting the best deal online, these conditions mark the high season for fraudsters. This year’s Experian survey found that 12% of shoppers said they fell victim to identity theft during a past holiday season. Of those, more than half (52%) said the fraud occurred while they were shopping online and 1 in 5 reported that the theft happened on Cyber Monday.

Retail isn’t the only sector affected. The holidays are also a major travel season with airlines, hotels and home sharing services expecting record numbers in 2019. NerdWallet found that almost half of Americans (45%) plan to spend money on travel this holiday season, nearly $160 billion across the country. Again, most of these transactions will take place online and can be open to fraud.

The IRS shared one reason that identity theft is rampant in the waning months of the year. “The holidays may mean the shopping season to consumers, but it’s the hunting season for online thieves,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Identity thieves are looking for your information to help them file fraudulent tax returns.”

It’s important for consumers to protect their identities during this season to avoid major headaches next year. Here are a few do’s and don’ts that will help.

 

Do Business with Trusted Institutions – Preferably Ones that Verify Identity

Don’t chase the best price for the hottest toy or the flight to Grandma’s house this year without checking those links. Scammers can set up sites designed to steal your data without providing the goods or services offered. Consumers should stick with businesses they know, making sure the URL is correct and includes “https” in the address.

Buy from businesses who verify identity not only for existing accounts, but when onboarding new ones. The same goes for in-store purchases. It is in businesses’ best interest to adopt verification solutions that are fast and customer friendly, encouraging loyalty and trustworthy transactions. Passwords and quick ID scans by a store associate aren’t sufficient anymore. The best and most secure retailers will offer ID verification via a quick card scan, biometric matching via a selfie, fingerprint or voice. These solutions are readily available today to all industries.

 

Don’t Do It in Public – At Least Not on Public WiFi

When shopping online, especially with a smartphone, avoid using a public WiFi connection. This information can be snatched out of the airwaves and used to compromise accounts and commit fraud. Even data stored in the connected device such as a driver’s license number or social security number can be vulnerable on an unsecured network. Often smartphones contain myriad sensitive information so either use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect or wait to access a secure network before checking email or making that purchase.

 

Do Monitor Accounts

It’s easy to get overwhelmed this time of year with a flurry of activities, travel and a higher volume of transactions. Yet this is exactly why consumers need to be more vigilant in monitoring their accounts for unusual activity. Consumers can also check their credit report – often for free – for mistakes or suspicious accounts.

Many retailers offer even deeper discounts to shoppers who open a store credit card account, but it’s important that consumers use caution throughout the enrollment process. It can be preferable to enter personal details online to avoid having them stolen by store personnel or an over the shoulder spy.

Consumers can also file a fraud alert with the major credit reporting bureaus, which notifies lenders that they need to take extra steps to verify the borrower’s identity. For consumers who don’t plan to open any new credit accounts this season, a security freeze, which blocks access to credit reports, can be a good option for preventing identity fraud.

 

Don’t Click the Links

Phishing emails will also be on the rise during the holidays, pretending to be banks, retailers, charities and utility companies. Consumers need to make sure that links received via email don’t point back toward an altered link, often with one or two letters missing or changed. These scams are designed to gather personal data such as a credit card number or email and password, which can be used for fraudulent purchases, to open new credit accounts or to create synthetic identities.

 

Acuant’s Trusted Identity Platform speeds up, simplifies and strengthens processes for in store or digital transactions via cloud, mobile/apps, kiosk & desktop scanners. Retailers can catch fraud via instant ID verification and facial recognition, all in seconds.

 

To learn more about Acuant solutions, schedule a demo now.

Why Digital IDs Need A ‘Trust Anchor’

Acuant’s CEO, Yossi Zekri, contributed to this article in PYMNTS.com; you can read the article at its original source here.

Customer experience is the Holy Grail of commerce — especially for eCommerce.

But the ease and speed that consumers demand when transacting online comes with risk, as merchants need to establish identity — in other words, being certain that customers are who they say they are — in a world where buyers and sellers may be continents apart. The fallout hits everyone involved via a fraudulent transaction, and, as the data shows, account takeovers are on the rise.

Establishing identity in the digital world is proving to be a fluid process, as questions are multiplying around the collection, processing and ownership of data.

PSD2 is here, of course, changing the way consumers and companies access data. And recently, legal challenges centered on data collection have begun popping up. For example, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that companies can be sued for biometric data collected without users’ consent.

As Karen Webster noted in an interview with Acuant CEO Yossi Zekri, although technology (and even use cases) are still evolving when it comes to digital identity, some basic “best practices” can be identified and embraced.

“If you think about process overall, it’s all revolving around … [a] balance between risk and friction,” he said. Compliance impacts friction — likely increasing it. That’s especially true along the traditional and current methods of authentication, he said.

Nowadays, verification spans many conduits and data points — including something the consumer is (i.e., ascertained through biometrics), something the user knows (such as a password) and, more recently, something new, which is how one behaves.

But, said the executive, the creation of a “trust anchor” can be accomplished by establishing the authenticity of a government-issued identity document. From there, you can layer on biometrics, embracing what works and shunning what doesn’t.

Forget What You Know — Literally

As for what doesn’t work: You can toss the “something you know” aside. Passwords — and their easily forgotten nature — create friction and the irritation of repeated log-ins, on the best of days. As Webster noted, passwords are likely floating around somewhere on the dark web, pilfered as part of one of the innumerable data breaches seen in recent years — possibly up for sale.

Everybody knows what you know, it seems.

Zekri said the “trust anchor” can carry extra weight through a government-issued credential “that has in it, and encompasses, the complete verification process that went into that credential.” Government-issued documents, he continued, are created using forensics proof, may have chips embedded (for extra security) and have the benefit of “an automated element to establish the validity of that credential.”

Introducing Biometrics Into the Mix

Where biometrics comes into play, he said, is through interactions that link a face to a person and facilitate a sense on the part of the merchant that “you can interact with that identity in an easier way in the future.” In other words, the trust anchor is established at the beginning of the relationship or transaction and carries over into the future — reducing (and perhaps even eliminating) friction.

Heavy lifting is required to create a digital identity solution robust and flexible enough to be ubiquitous across consumers’ preferred channels.

“And it will take some time to get there,” said Zekri, because questions still surround “the philosophy of what is that digital identity, where is it going to be, where is it going to reside and how would it work?”

The User in Control

“I think where the future goes to is bringing that trusted identity, including a biometric layer with a digital ID as the delivery mechanism,” Zekri predicted.

But there’s a twist: “The user should be able to choose how and where the data is shared,” he said.

In this case, it’s the user who takes control of the verification process — deciding what parts of their identity, and data, a company can utilize to establish verification.

Consider the use case where a fingerprint is offered up to open one’s email account, but where a more extensive (and individual) combination of credentials must be established to access the sensitive information contained in, say, tax returns.

The flow of credentials is designed not to create friction, but to provide permission.

Zekri noted that once credentials have been established, it’s possible to have a “permission or scoring system” that allows a user to be approved “across different areas [and activities] up to a certain level, but you are also approved for all things below that.”

Then, he said, interactions truly do become frictionless. By sending a command or showing one’s face, an app can conceivably “know” an email or bank account is accessible because the consumer has already gone through the higher level of authorization built into their digital identity.

When asked what use cases are in urgent need of trusted anchors, Zekri said this: Involve “access management,” where identity is being used with healthcare and hospitality among as many as 15 markets (beyond financial services) that can benefit from digital identity and more robust credentialing methods. In those verticals, there is a continued and growing need to combat crime and terrorism and satisfy an environment zeroed in on anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations.

“As technologies evolve,” said Zekri, “you can layer all these additional elements to that trusted identity.” He offered a range of scenarios: authenticating a driver’s license at home, verifying geolocation that matches the address on the license, capturing and verifying a passport as a second ID and authenticating the chip in that passport (which matches the face). A user’s voice or iris can be layered on, too.

Regardless of the number of layers, “the core is still the same,” he said. There’s no personally identifiable information (PII) moving back and forth along traditional means, but there may be a token traveling between parties with limited information, accessible with a limited key offered up at a single point in time — “and then it all evaporates,” said Zekri.

To make it all ubiquitous, Zekri said Acuant is currently focused on the first piece of the puzzle, tied to enrollment, across all manner of devices and locations. In the end, the transaction is a process marked by frictionless behavior and individual control.

“We are working on something that ultimately we believe is a good methodology to both store and communicate that information” — and though different people will do different things across different digital identity constructs, the trend is to “merge into one” solution.

“Who’s going to provide that one thing?” he queried. “Like anything else, it’s an evolution. We are trying to facilitate the process” for providers that may, at the outset, be competing entities, “and create [a] trusted identity for them.”

Three Ways to Combat Rising Retail Fraud

Reports show that fraud challenges and cost pressures continue to plague retailers across the U.S. A study from ACI Worldwide projects a 14 percent increase in total retail fraud attempts and a 17 percent increase in value this year compared to 2017. Areas of particular concern are the sharp rise in card-not-present (CNP) and mobile commerce fraud, according to the annual LexisNexis “True Cost of Fraud” report. The number of merchants selling goods via mobile channels, especially digital goods, is growing, but there are significant risks. For each dollar lost to fraud, online merchants can ultimately expect to lose $2.94 in revenue. That number jumps to $3.29 per dollar for m-commerce retailers.

The dramatic growth of mobile sales and the need to acquire and retain customers are driving retailers to move to m-commerce. Millennials are particularly likely to purchase from their mobile devices, but m-commerce transactions are rising across the board as smartphone ownership is at all time high. Half of U.S. adults (51 percent) report making online purchases via their smartphone according to Pew Research.

So what can retailers do to mitigate the risks of online shopping? Here are three ideas to keep identity scammers at bay.

 

 1. Require Customer Accounts

To better know and understand their customers, retailers can require shoppers to set up an account. Taking this step will ensure that customers provide more information about themselves during the buying process. In order to make on-boarding seamless, merchants can allow mobile shoppers to use their smartphone camera to capture the identity document and auto-populate key customer information directly into the system using Acuant’s IDscan technology.

 

2. Verify Your Customer

As mobile commerce is the sector most susceptible to fraud, particularly identity fraud, retailers are realizing the importance of both ID authentication and verification. With AssureID, merchants can know that the identification document is valid and use Acuant’s FRM technology, to authenticate that the customer is the person in the document. In the digital ID capture process, Acuant runs up to 50 different authentication tests per document in seconds. Acuant then validates the identity of the user, comparing facial biometrics from a liveness-tested selfie to the identity document. The combination of Acuant’s solutions enables a streamlined workflow for shoppers while reducing the risk of fraud from identity theft.

 

3. Choose Cloud-Based Solutions that Utilize Machine Learning

Online fraud detection is growing in complexity and demand, and its tools are being used for risk-based authentication and new account fraud prevention. Security and risk management leaders involved in online fraud detection should use machine-learning analytics and cloud-based deployment options, states Gartner’s 2018 Market Guide for Online Fraud Detection.

Mobile commerce is where retailers are seeing strong growth and given the current retail environment, no merchant can afford to ignore this trend. At the same time, it is important to balance the risk and the opportunity to ensure that retailers are protecting themselves against loss while still providing seamless customer experience. Acuant provides solutions that are best in class, securing transactions, protecting PII data and providing a pleasing customer experience.

 

Learn more about Acuant’s identity verification solutions and visit us at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show, Jan. 13-15 in New York. We’ll be in our partner Aila Technologies booth # 1240 demonstrating our solutions and happy to book meetings on-site here.

 

 

 

Four Digital Identity Predictions for 2019

Identity fraud – which according to Javelin Strategy and Research was an all-time record high in 2017 – has left consumers frustrated with the current identity verification process. As such, identity – and protecting that data – will have greater value than ever before. Trusted transactions are critical to reducing fraud and fueling growth for businesses and governments. When it comes to addressing fraud, digital transformation and improved customer experience are driving change. Here are four changes to expect in 2019 and how business and government leaders should be prepared.

 

GDPR progress will drive additional identity-related legislation: The progress of GDPR will drive continued adoption of identity-related legislation across the world. The U.S., currently a hotbed of frustration over the mismanagement of personally identifiable information (PII) and lack of protection for digital identity, will begin to adopt similar legislation in 2019. Recent revelations into questionable business practices and Congress’ increasing focus on technology behemoths Facebook, Amazon, Google and others will drive the U.S. government to reign in the industry with compliance requirements, similar to Sarbanes-Oxley after the Enron and Worldcom debacles.

 

Passwords & KBA will continue to die a slow death: The case for multi-factor authentication continues, but it is 100 percent clear that passwords alone are no longer sufficient. Ongoing and increasingly sophisticated hackings and data breaches are evidence that businesses must do more to safeguard sensitive data and Personally Identifiable Information (PII). There are many ways that identity verification technology today allows for more secure options to layer on or replace passwords and knowledge-based authentication (KBA) altogether. Consumers are catching on while businesses catch up to meet new security standards.

 

Biometrics will gain more traction, especially in travel: In many industries, but particularly travel, we will see the rapid and expanded adoption of biometrics thanks largely to smartphones. 59 percent of flyers think that using biometrics when passing through TSA checkpoints would make flying safer by increasing identification accuracy and the TSA recently revealed its plans to expand the use of biometric technology across airports in the U.S. We are already seeing the trial and expansion of eGates and ePassports in the US and globally.

 

Self Sovereign Identity will become popular: Governments and companies are struggling to protect citizen and customer information from escalating cyber-attacks. Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) can increase efficiency for companies to get the identity assurances that they need and prevent the massive data breaches that have become weekly headline news. SSI can also allow people to decide how their data is shared and monetized which is increasingly important as identity will be seen more and more as currency. This notion will drive consumers to advocate for more ownership over how and when their personally identifiable information (PII) gets shared. They’ll expect financial institutions, retailers and government entities to better protect their data while offering greater flexibility around how it’s being used.

 

Trust is the cornerstone of the economy. Without trust in our system and the ability to transact seamlessly and easily via technology, organizations will be stymied in their ability to innovate and compete. We need to create trusted transactions that put individuals at ease and in control, while simultaneously allowing businesses to address their appropriate level of risk.

 

 

 

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Up in the Air: Americans Board Planes without Government Issued Identification

When you think of airport security in the US today, you most likely picture long lines, TSA agents and fumbling to pull out your government issued ID. Security appears to be very strict and very time consuming. Would you believe that a person can get through security and board a plane showing only their Costco membership card and credit card? Probably not. However, as an Acuant employee can testify first hand – and survey results prove – this is not a rare occurrence.

Acuant is revealing this and more surprising results from a national consumer survey of 1,000 adult Americans conducted by Wakefield Research.

Surprising Stats

60% of Americans report they have boarded a plane without proper identification and more than half (51%) say they have passed through security using some form of ID that didn’t include a photo at all (marriage license, credit card, etc.) When looking at the data from a generational perspective, Millennials (75%) are more likely to have used an alternative form of ID than either Generation X (65%) or Baby Boomers (45%). You can view more survey results here.

Biometrics and Document Authentication: Ready for Takeoff

Americans seem ready to fully embrace technology that makes their lives easier and speeds up tedious processes. While convenience is the consumer mantra, sometimes this is at the expense of data privacy and even safety. When it comes to travel and airports, Americans view verification technology as a positive solution: 84% of Americans believe that biometrics will improve travelers’ airport experience, and the majority (59%) say that biometrics will increase safety because of improved identification accuracy.

In the wake of REAL ID, a nationwide federal act meant to protect against identity fraud, Americans are proving ready to embrace new processes at the airport as well. Almost half (46%) of respondents would feel safe and comfortable using ePassports, which are passports with biometric information, and nearly as many (45%) would be on board with using digital IDs, meaning IDs that can be presented on a smartphone to confirm their identity.

Bringing Airports into the 21st Century

Over the next three years, 77% of airports and 71% of airlines are planning major programs or R&D in biometric ID management to smooth curb-to-gate passenger flow.

Just last month the TSA released details surrounding the TSA Biometrics Roadmap for Aviation Security and the Passenger Experience. The initiative will guide the agency’s biometric efforts to modernize aviation passenger identity verification in the coming years.

Many experts – including those of us here at Acuant – believe that flying doesn’t have to be the tedious, stressful experience it has become. The adoption of fast and easy identity verification via document authentication that can be tied to biometrics, EIDs and other technologies has the potential to make flying a frictionless and fun experience again. Imagine not having to look for and present IDs of any kind.

Our conversations with our partners and customers in the airline industry all underline the desire to create a frictionless travel experience for customers. We believe that identity proofing and secure token generation/enrollment processes are critical to the mitigation of the risks that these new techniques introduce to the well-established security controls that are currently in place.

Acuant’s mission when it comes to any industry is to strengthen security while putting the power back into the hands of the consumer and improving their experience.

 

 

download the travel survey infographic

The Face of Travel Today: Smart Airports, Biometrics, ePassports and Defining a Secure Identity Token

 

This past year, there has been a surge of activity across the travel continuum trying to enhance traveler facilitation and engagement, while at the same time implementing stronger identity assurance and security measures.  In fact, over the next three years, 77% of airports and 71% of airlines are planning major programs or R&D in biometric ID management to smooth curb-to-gate passenger flow. While Dubai has plans for a biometric tunnel – Government, industry, and aviation partners have been pushing for technologies that will allow travelers to move throughout the travel continuum (booking – airport check-in – baggage drop – security screening – airport vendor services – boarding – arrival – customs – hotel check-in – return trip) without the need for the presentation of an identity document.  Many of the solutions being considered in proof of concept demonstrations involve the use of biometrics in combination with a derivation of the traveler data from an e-passport; some of these populate and protect the token within a secure container on a mobile device.  The traveler simply presents the token at the start of their journey to prime the continuum with their identity and travel authorization data. After that first encounter, all subsequent identity validation processes will be satisfied through facial recognition matching of the traveler at various points. The end goal has been to establish a biometrically-enabled, securely vetted, traveler-controlled, identity assertion token that can facilitate traveler interactions throughout the travel continuum.

The Current Situation

All the partners see the value of such a frictionless approach.  They also agree that the identity proofing, and secure token generation/enrollment processes on the front end are critical to the mitigation of the risks that these new techniques introduce to the well-established security controls that are currently in place.  To that end, international standards for the security controls and interoperable data format are being developed to allow the e-passport data to be presented as a “Digital Travel Credential (DTC)” or identity assertion token, that is derived from the authoritative data.  These controls ensure that the DTC can be authenticated with the same level of assurance as the source e-passport document.

Several token enrollment/delivery models have also been reviewed, and some have been implemented in both vendor-specific technologies and other self-sovereign identity solutions.  One model has the government providing and maintaining the DTC, with the traveler contacting the government whenever they were going to travel to have the DTC published to the travel continuum directly by the government.  In another model, the government securely provides the traveler with the DTC when they receive their e-passport document, and the traveler then controls when the token is used and who can access the data.  A third option directly derives the data from the e-passport during an enrollment of the token into the travel continuum.  As this may be a traveler self-service enrollment, or possibly an enrollment at an airline counter, the enrollment must incorporate the performance of the ICAO required Passive Authentication (PA) process to ensure the authenticity of the source document, as well as its cryptographic binding to the traveler.

While the enrollment and backend processing capabilities vary, both government and industry capabilities are being deployed today to support this biometric facilitation concept.  The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been investing in the establishment of biometric capture and assessment capabilities with its Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) suite which includes a multi-modal biometrics database and supporting services.  Identity proofing vendors across the industry have also established biometric-only, facilitation capabilities that are currently being deployed both domestically and internationally.  CLEAR provides a biometric alternative for security screening at airports and event facilities, while Vision-Box has implemented biometric border control and traveler facilitation (entry/exit) kiosks in several countries.

The Challenge & The Future

The challenge at hand is harmonizing these capabilities across an interoperable fabric that can leverage the standards-based DTC data format, as well as any proprietary formats being used within leading edge deployments; and that can be incorporated into existing commercial, government, and/or public/private partnership initiatives.  This fabric will ensure the interoperable delivery of the identity token across the travel continuum in support of reliable party systems and programs, such as:

  • CBP Entry/Exit Tracking
  • European Entry–Exit System (EES)
  • European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS)
  • SITA iBorders Border Automation
  • IATA One Identity
  • Trusted Traveler Programs, including NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry

 

All these efforts can benefit from and would be enhanced by an investment in the connecting fabric that allows the individual capabilities of each to be extended and leveraged in support of the biometrics-only facilitation of the traveler.

The required security controls related to the underlying identity proofing, token generation, and token transit processes have been defined.  Interoperability across the travel continuum can be supported by standards-based interfaces between the entities.

The day that a traveler can show up at an airport and board a plane without providing anything other than a biometric is coming soon.

 

 

Meet us at upcoming events such as ICAO or NAPHSIS

 

 

 

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 benefiting customer 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

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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