Why it’s so important to confirm identities

It's crucial to authenticate who you are working with and details of their background
By Jeremy Byellin
Thomson Reuters

Electronic identity verification has always been critical to a number of industries, including financial services, retail, government, and e-commerce. There are a variety of reasons that businesses may need to confirm that customers are who they say they are, with one of the foremost being the prevention of fraud.

The increasing need for electronic identity verification

Financial institutions, for example, are under more pressure than ever to prevent fraud. Alongside the extensive regulatory framework already in existence, financial institutions must now also contend with the 2018 regulations from the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Customer Due Diligence” (CDD) rule, which requires covered institutions to gather, verify, and record the identities of the actual individuals who own and control a company when that company opens an account with the institution or broker.

Of course, the financial services industry isn’t alone in facing increasing demands to verify customer identities. For example, with customer data breaches reaching unprecedented levels in recent years, retailers have had to contend with the prospect of transactional fraud like never before.

The public sector is also vulnerable

What’s more, the public sector isn’t beyond the reach of fraud concerns. Although government entities may have access to a number of resources for confirming an individual’s identity in a number of circumstances, there are other situations where electronic identity verification isn’t so easy. Take, for instance, natural disaster relief: the public sector typically intervenes to dispense economic assistance to those impacted. But given the circumstances, the government’s verification options may be limited – as may an individual’s ability to furnish verification documents.

The shadow of identity fraud looms over other governmental concerns as well. Correctional institutions need to verify the identity of every visitor to any of their facilities, state DMVs often must verify the owners of out-of-state vehicles seeking registration, and public assistance agencies have to be vigilant to ensure that benefit recipients are who they claim to be.

In short, the need to quickly and reliably verify individual identities is pervasive across numerous industries – and that need is stronger than ever.

More risk requires more verification

Unfortunately, it’s often not as easy as just requesting one or more forms of identification. Because of the ever-increasing risk of the presented verifying documentation being fraudulent, organizations may instead be expected to take additional steps to verify customer and client identities.

Where can organizations look to find reliable information to verify customer identities quickly and efficiently?

Thomson Reuters CLEAR® ID Confirm

Thomson Reuters CLEAR® ID Confirm offers such an electronic identity verification solution. CLEAR ID Confirm combs through mountains of public and proprietary data, comparing this against the data submitted by the user to confirm whether an identity is valid.

Furthermore, CLEAR ID Confirm can detect fraudulent IDs quickly. By incorporating risk flags into searches, such as deaths and redundant social security numbers, CLEAR ID Confirm provides an additional layer of insulation against identity fraud. The presence of these flags will allow institutions to know when further investigation is necessary.

CLEAR ID Confirm is an exceptional offering in the field. It boasts a high degree of configurability, allowing institutions to adjust settings to meet their individual needs. It also allows users to review the underlying content on which the identity verification is based. Conversely, while other products may flag potential fraud or furnish scores, CLEAR ID Confirm allows users to view all the details behind the scenes.

In other words, CLEAR ID Confirm allows organizations access to a greater awareness of the level of risk with which they are dealing and of the underlying strength of the identity verification itself.

Designed to deliver confidence

In this ever-riskier world, exercising such due diligence is vital. With the threat of identity fraud looming even greater than before, organizations need to have the most thorough and risk-conscious verification procedures in place to ensure that the potential for fraud is as minimal as possible. And perhaps just as important is an institution’s ability to stand confidently under the near-perpetual spotlight of public scrutiny.

Thomson Reuters CLEAR ID Confirm represents a valuable tool toward building such confidence.

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