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Addressing ID Verification At The Source

August 14, 2020 at 02:30PM

As PYMNTS continues tracking a multitude of factors surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it’s changing the ways we live and work, the digital shift is the umbrella covering it all.

Use of digital means of doing business grew exponentially during lockdowns, is continuing to do so into the pandemic summer and, by most accounts, will go on for the foreseeable future.

While the internet itself was able to handle traffic increases well enough, growth in digital commerce is posing identity verification challenges that are overwhelming some companies.

“Recent PYMNTS research revealed a 200 percent jump in the number of consumers who used mobile phones to open bank accounts in April from the previous month, for example, and FIs and other firms have continued to seek technologies that enhance their digital onboarding experiences,” according to PYMNTS’ new Digital Consumer Onboarding Tracker® done in collaboration with Melissa.

Such increases can spell both profit and peril. That’s why businesses are arming themselves with identity verification tools and technologies to grow in healthy ways post-pandemic.

Failed Deliveries, Not Fraud

Not all identity issues involve fraud. eCommerce buyers can enter addresses incorrectly, for example — an issue that sounds small, but actually starts a cascade of data errors.

“Address verification may seem like a very small part of the overall digital onboarding process, especially for consumers who simply have to enter details and wait for approval. Inaccurate or unconfirmed addresses present real and present dangers for companies across industries, however,” according to the new Digital Consumer Onboarding Tracker®.

Failed delivery is one of the big ways this problem is becoming more visible, as eCommerce displaces physical shopping and millions of misaddressed packages risk shipping oblivion.

“Lowering the percentage of failed deliveries — and their related costs — has gained importance as the pandemic progresses,” per the latest Tracker. “It has become essential for companies to be absolutely sure their customers’ addresses are correct from the very beginning of their relationships. This means effective address verification must occur during onboarding, both for companies that deliver physical goods and FIs that provide necessary banking services and need to quickly send debit or credit cards to new customers.”

‘In The Form’ of Solutions

Considering that about 20 percent of addresses are known to be entered incorrectly during remote onboarding, companies are using database tools and automation to get it right.

“The key to successful verification is the employing of solutions that check that the data provided for these forms is correct on the first pass, and these tools may already be widely available. Many companies are exploring the use of ‘autoforms’ or autocomplete solutions,” according to the new Digital Consumer Onboarding Tracker®.

“These solutions use technologies such as AI, automated tools and API platforms to help generate and fill in address details without consumers’ complete input,” the Tracker states. “Autofill technology has been present for a number of years in multiple industries, yet deploying it for address verification during the onboarding process can reduce unintentional spelling mistakes or other errors. The technology also has the benefit of helping to lower the risk of new clients abandoning the sign-up process, as it assists consumers in finishing forms quickly.”

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