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Case Study

How Kinecta Federal Credit Union uses CLEAR to manage their risk

CLEAR provides the tools financial organizations need to manage risk

Kinecta Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that has been serving southern California for more than 80 years. With over $4 billion in assets and a commercial loan portfolio of $900 million, Kinecta is one of the largest credit unions in the country. The organization offers a wide range of financial services, including consumer and business banking, mortgage loans, auto financing, and more.

Efficiently conduct additional due diligence and enhance validation processes

As identity theft and account takeovers continue to rise in the financial industry, Kinecta utilizes Thomson Reuters CLEAR to help fight fraud and investigate suspicious details.

The credit union’s Risk Management team uses CLEAR to conduct additional validation through enhanced due-diligence person searches and authentication checks. Reviewing details and data sources in CLEAR reports helps the team make sure only valid consumers and businesses open accounts.

If the Risk Management team has reason to believe an online account is being opened with a synthetic identity, Kinecta can run a person search in CLEAR to validate that the information matches other sources. The tool also checks for established credit history, validates work affiliations, and verifies how long someone has resided at a current address.

How Kinecta’s business areas across the organization fight fraud

In the past, Kinecta’s Risk Management team handled all fraud inquiries from across the organization. Other departments lacked the tools needed to fight fraud and investigate suspicious details. At times, backlogs prevented the Risk Management team from issuing a quick response.

Adding CLEAR ID Confirm and CLEAR Risk Inform allowed Kinecta to strengthen and streamline its validation processes and expand the use of CLEAR into other areas of the credit union.

“When we initially rolled out CLEAR, we had 10 to 15 users,” says Jorge Cortes, Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management. “Adding the other CLEAR tools allowed us to open up the product to many other departments, and we now have more than 50 users who can get validation instantly, as opposed to channeling everything through our team.”

Today, departments across Kinecta take advantage of the CLEAR suite of products. Frontline and support areas run their own searches, conduct validations, assess consumers, and receive overall risk scores. If the CLEAR report indicates the identity is valid and the information is a match, the account can be opened without taking the extra step of seeking approval from Risk Management.

Teams can process additional validations independently

Fraud is not a primary area of responsibility for many Kinecta administrators and employees that process account openings. CLEAR has made it easier for everyone to validate identities and onboard accounts. Now, frontline and support areas can process additional validations independently.

“It’s easy for anyone to see visually, just by looking at an ID, whether or not it’s good,” says Cortes. “The visuals are easy to understand. Green indicates that it’s good, and red indicates that it’s not good. The score is right there.”

“CLEAR is very user-friendly,” says Kinecta. “It has really improved our experience because different business areas across the organization find it easy to use.”

Kinecta also appreciates the large number of data sources and different options for validation. More importantly, CLEAR ensures the credit union uses the same authentication criteria across the entire organization. This helps keep the review process consistent and more efficient, and ensures consistency in decisioning accounts.

“It’s easy for people with no fraud or risk background to use CLEAR,” says Kinecta. “A lot of business areas have come to depend on it and have integrated it into their daily processes.”

Bundling CLEAR Risk Inform and CLEAR ID Confirm together seemed to be a good fit for Kinecta.

“We like how it all works with our digital channel,” says Kinecta. “It’s in line with what we wanted and the type of assessment we wanted to do for our accounts.”

Kinecta has configured CLEAR with definitions and set values for different risk factors. In addition to providing an overall risk score, the tool indicates if an identity is valid and automatically calculates synthetic identity as a risk factor. If CLEAR reveals a high synthetic ID risk, support areas can refer the account to the Risk Management team for additional validation.

Financial organizations partner with Thomson Reuters to stay ahead of the technology curve

Innovation plays an important role at Kinecta. “When it comes to technology, we want to be ahead of it, and we want to be innovative in our processes,” says Kinecta.

For Cortes, it’s essential that the credit union stay informed about what’s going on in technology. “Most of the products we have on the fraud side are reactive,” he says. “We’re constantly looking to see what else is out there so we can be more proactive.”

As technology continues to evolve, partnering with Thomson Reuters helps Kinecta stay ahead of the curve and manage risk.

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