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Id Verification And Knowing Your Customers Better

Nov 03, 2010 Brian Bradley

Knowing the customer and understanding the critical role that consumer identity verification and authentication plays in everyday transactions is of the essence in today's digital business world. More and more innovations in convenience, security and cost-effectiveness revolve around online transactions. But as the benefits of these transactions multiply, so do the risks taken by both business and consumers. Hackers, scammers and identity thieves develop new ways to attack both parties just as quickly as they adapt to protect themselves. In today's market it's imperative for those participating in online business to take action to protect themselves, their consumers and investments with solid identity verification and authentication tools.

Identity verifications systems are non-invasive, easy to use and, by adopting such a product, businesses can increase the likelihood that online transactions are legitimate. Identity verification is simply asking a consumer, before a transaction can proceed, to present a form of identification, out of his/her "wallet" to prove who they are: driver's license, Social Security number, or other qualifying personal information. But for many type of businesses this ID verification is not sufficient. From fake ID's to sophisticatedly designed scams, those who would exploit businesses are quick to work around identity verification and this means that businesses, consumers and confidential information could be at serious risk. Therefore, adopting an ID authentication product is also of great importance.    Identity authentication requires consumers to provide qualifying identity information that is not easily stolen or guessed. These are sometimes called "out-of-wallet" questions and can ask anything from the names of family members, to the amount and frequency of a past loan payment. Out-of-wallet questions pertain to information only the genuine person could know. The process is realized by using something the user knows like a user ID or a password, something the user has like a security token, smartcard, a digital certificate or something on the user like a biometric. A solid ID authentication program can also consists of auto-generated questions and answers that will test the true identity of an individual. With access to a robust public records database to base your ID authentication questions it will help strengthen a company's customer origination process. Authentication processes are dependent upon strong identity verification and registration processes.

Implementing both identity verification and authentication can protect businesses from fraud and identity theft, and can ensure compliance with the "Know Your Customer" section of government security regulations. Moreover, it's important to implement verification and authentication procedures that are thorough and accurate while still respecting the privacy of the consumer and maintaining transaction convenience.