There is rarely a week that goes by without news of yet another data breach involving a staggering number of stolen identities. With so much information in the hands of criminals, businesses cannot ignore the threat of ID theft. When a customer presents an organisation with their ID and related documents, it’s easy to rush the verification process. After all, the longer it takes to verify an identity, the more inconvenience the customer experiences.

Needlessly inconveniencing the customer never makes sound business sense. So, if the picture on the ID looks like the customer, and they willingly provide an address, the customer is now “verified”. In reality, the customer’s identity isn’t verified. Far from it. The organisation has potentially taken the first step towards becoming a victim of fraud and may be considered negligent by any regulator.

Document Collection versus Identify Verification: There is a difference

A cursory review of a photo ID and collection of an address does little to verify a customer’s identity. Instead, the customer has participated in a document collection exercise that allows the company to “tick the box”. It’s not just small businesses that fail to verify their customers’ identities. Large organisations are just as guilty. Short of providing in-depth training on how to detect altered or counterfeit IDs, and requiring employees to scrutinise every element of an ID, what can an organisation do to verify IDs without alienating the customer in the process?

Rethinking the Identity Verification Process

To help organisations verify their customers’ identities, the first step involves Contego receiving scanned images of a customer’s documents, including passports, driving licences and national ID cards. We then extract critical data from each document such as the individual’s name, date of birth, expiry date (and the Machine Readable Zone for passports) providing an automated response within 60 seconds. If there is perceived risk we can engage a document expert to conduct a manual review.

Government Data at Our Fingertips

In addition to comprehensive data sets on individuals and companies, we also have access to law enforcement data on false and fraudulently obtained documents frequently used by criminals to support fake identities. We are working with law enforcement agencies to use this valuable intelligence to reduce risk in commercial settings and there is no fee to use this data, it’s just one of the many sources we use to help our customers fight identity theft and conduct business with confidence.

Our goal is to ensure that identity theft happens with far less frequency. Organisations cannot expect their frontline employees to be experts in identity theft. Our solution provides peace of mind knowing that gathering a customer’s documents involves analysis instead of just a “tick the box” approach.

Why allow identity thieves to hide in plain sight when Contego can help?