In an age when convenience is king and in-person interactions are restricted, your customers are increasingly going online to do business with you. Even when we aren’t navigating a global pandemic, more customers are coming in through your digital front door than ever. This creates an opportunity to increase your visibility among new customers who may not have found you otherwise. But it can also make you vulnerable to bad actors looking for an easy target.
To give your business the assurance that customers are who they say they are, Ping Identity is pleased to announce the release of PingOne Verify, a cloud-based customer identity verification service. Customer identity verification connects a person’s digital identity to their real-life identity so you can be sure you’re engaging with real customers. By seamlessly integrating identity verification into your enrollment or registration processes, the PingOne Verify customer identity verification service lets you provide the convenient experience customers expect, while simultaneously protecting you against threats like fraudulent account creation and consumer fraud.
Read on to learn what identity verification is and why now is the perfect time to adopt identity verification to provide assurance of your customer’s identity and prevent consumer and e-commerce fraud.
What is Customer Identity Verification?
Identity verification, sometimes referred to as identity proofing, is the process of verifying the identity of an end user to ensure their digital identity is tied to their real-life identity. The goal of customer identity verification is to give your business the confidence that a user interacting with your brand is a real-life human and truly the person they claim to be.
Customer identity verification is most frequently employed during the first interaction with a new customer. These interactions might include registering for a service, submitting an application or opening an account. The ability to verify identity during this initial engagement is key because the potential for fraud is high.
"Just as e-commerce and online retailers are responding to the rapid growth in orders by finding new ways to scale shipping, delivery, and service, there needs to be just as strong of a focus on fraud detection and protection."
Source: “How E-Commerce's Explosive Growth Is Attracting Fraud,” Forbes, May 18, 2020
By using identity verification during onboarding, you’re able to prompt the customer to prove their identity, lowering the risk of fraudulent account creation and takeover. When you have confidence that a new customer is actually the person they’re presenting themselves to be, you strengthen security and protect potential victims. If you’re in the financial services industry, you can also utilize identity verification to meet Know Your Customer (KYC) standards and comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules under the Bank Secrecy Act.
When evaluating how identity verification can help you strengthen security, you mustn’t confuse it with identity validation. While seemingly synonymous terms, verification and validation are actually two different steps to gain confidence in a person’s identity.
Identity Verification: The first step and the process of establishing the truth, accuracy or validity of the person’s identity.
Identity Validation: The second step and action of checking or proving the validity or accuracy of the person’s identity using the trust established during verification.
Essentially, identity verification allows you to establish trust that the person is who they say they are. Then identity validation empowers you to leverage that existing trust when interacting with the person. This two-step process allows you to verify the identity of an end-user once, then leverage this verification to validate their identity during future interactions. For example, PingOne Verify gives you the ability to verify a customer’s identity during account opening and validate that identity to allow the customer access. If later, the customer has to reset their password or recover their account, they can revalidate the same verified identity to quickly and securely regain access.
Why Is Identity Verification Needed?
Customer preferences were shifting towards digital before the global pandemic started. In response, many organizations were implementing transformation efforts to build out digital strategies that better meet customer expectations. The COVID-19 health crisis only accelerated the pace of digital-first interactions and validated the business value of providing secure and seamless digital experiences.
For example, in the second quarter of 2020, during the height of the COVID stay-at-home orders, nearly two-thirds (64%) of checking account applications were submitted online or using a mobile device, a 10% increase over the prior quarter. In the e-commerce sector, the impact is even more pronounced as industry sources report that same or next-day shipping of online purchases was up 305% in late April 2020 compared to the same week in 2019.
Keeping up with this increased digital demand for products and services has forced businesses to fast-track transformation efforts to remain competitive. As more and more customers engage online, enterprises are seeking ways to leverage customer identity to support the customer journey and deliver the convenient experiences customers want.
Customer identity verification allows you to strike the right balance of convenience and security. While identity verification admittedly introduces some friction into the customer experience, you can minimize the inconvenience by integrating identity verification seamlessly into the customer journey. In a digital-first world, integrated customer identity verification is the missing link that lets you quickly and easily onboard customers while providing a high level of assurance that those customers are who they say they are.
How to Start Verifying Customer Identities
Your enterprise can take a few different approaches to verify the identity of your customers, particularly during the onboarding process. The two most common methodologies are:
Data-Centric: A customer provides information about themselves (such as their phone number or date of birth), which is then compared to responses from credible data sources, including credit bureaus and census records, to verify identity.
Document-Centric: A customer is prompted to provide a live-image selfie and a government ID to prove that they are a live person and not a fake or spoof. The live image is compared to the customer’s picture on the government ID to confirm a match and verify identity.
Unlike a document-based approach, data-centric verification relies on customers providing information that isn’t necessarily known only to the customer and as such isn’t as reliable. While this type of verification is still prevalent, more and more enterprises are shifting toward a document-centric approach. A February 2020 Gartner poll found that 33% of enterprises are currently using document-centric methods. Of the 61% of enterprises still using data-centric approaches, one in 10 was planning a switch to document-centric identity verification.
In addition to providing greater assurance of identity, using the document-centric approach ties the customer’s identity information to their mobile device, leveraging their already-verified identity (such as when a customer opens another account). This streamlines later verifications and minimizes friction.
Add Secure and Convenient Customer Identity Verification to Your Mobile App with PingOne Verify
The opportunities for businesses to capitalize on the growth in digital customer engagement is huge. But to seize the opportunities while maintaining security and stewarding consumer protection, you need to have greater assurance that your customers are who they say they are.
PingOne Verify, a cloud-based customer identity verification service, gives you that assurance. It provides identity verification and validation to streamline and secure customer interactions. By embedding PingOne Verify directly into your mobile application, you can prevent consumer and e-commerce fraud without sacrificing customer experience.
To learn more about identity verification and how to leverage PingOne Verify to secure your customer onboarding process, read KuppingerCole’s latest Providers of Verified Identity Market Compass where they called Ping Identity an outstanding vendor in verified identity reuse.