Top 5 Ways for Consumer Identity Verification during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Consumer Identity Verification
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The COVID-19 pandemic has made companies across sectors embrace work-from-home models for their workforce. At the same time, consumers have gone from being loyal to brick-and-mortar stores to ultimately shopping online. While buying all necessary and luxury items online during the pandemic are a safe choice, it’s not without its hassles. This shift has caused a significant spike in cases of cybercrime.

For cybercriminals, the speedy deployment of remote systems and increased digital dependency are vulnerabilities to exploit. Thus, the need for identity authentication services is undeniable in this situation.

Laws for Protecting Personal Information

Privacy legislation has always been one of the significant demands of citizens across nations. Governments around the world have been at work for years to offer workable privacy legislation. 

One of the aims of these regulations is to protect consumer identities. It also involves letting customers know what information the companies are gathering about them. However, it is not easy to implement it for online platforms. After all, lengthy forms will only turn customers away. So, businesses need to find a balance between a seamless customer experience and compliance with privacy legislation.

Digital Solutions for Identity Verification

An individual needs a name, email address, and phone number to create any digital account. The duty to ensure that the details are updated, accurate, and valid rests with the company collecting this information.

Conventionally, companies used two-factor authentication and passwords to do this. However, compromising these modes of verification is not a big deal. People might forget passwords, and mobile phones used for the two-factor authentication might get hacked. 

Nowadays, a few of the most reliable ways used to check and verify digital identities are:

1. Third-Party Verifications:

An effective way to verify identities is to get them checked against reliable and authentic third-party databases. Passport records and driving license records are the two examples of such databases. This system helps compare the information shared by an individual with the details in the database.

When both data sets match, the identity is authentic. It is a real-time service that does not need any added effort from the consumer. Therefore, the process of onboarding stays simple and compliant with regulations.

2. Verification of Photo Identity:

Companies might choose to go the extra mile and opt for photo ID verification in matters of high-value financial transactions. To complete this verification, the consumers need to upload pictures of themselves with a valid national ID card. Consumers can use their driving license, passport, and the likes for this purpose.

Companies use facial recognition technology to compare an individual’s selfie with the photograph on their identity card. This method effectively verifies the individual’s identity. It also helps reduce the number of phishing attacks and remove fake accounts.

3. Verification of Contact Data:

While placing an online order, consumers may opt for the company’s app or website. This might create duplicate records in the database of a company. Such duplication of documents renders the database unreliable and increases the risk of identity theft for an individual. Thus, companies need to find ways to connect the dots and allow consumers to have only a single account.

Contact data verification comes in handy at this point. The appropriate tools can help an organisation cross-check email accounts and phone numbers for their ownership and validity for enriching digital identities. It stops cybercriminals from having duplicate accounts with partial information.

4. Biometric Authentication:

Companies generally use photo identity verification and biometric authentication interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between the two. The latter refers to the use of biometrics unique to each individual for authenticating transactions and processes.

For instance, an application might ask consumers to use their fingerprint to place an order. Biometrics is one of the most reliable ways of identity verification because the touch-points are challenging to replicate.

5. Watch List Screening:

Conforming to privacy regulations includes ensuring that digital identities are managed and operated by the actual proprietors of the information. It also means having provisions for customer screening during onboarding to ensure cybercriminals don’t create any accounts. Due to this reason, companies need to look at the name offered against global watch lists and the lists of already exposed criminals.

This is essential for compliance with anti-money laundering regulations, legal sanctions, and other international legislation. And the tool selected to do this needs to be easy to integrate with present technology. It needs to have the ability to screen names for transliterations, misspellings, and aliases to reduce instances of false positives.

The Final Call

The demand for eCommerce will only increase further among consumers as many have come to realise the convenience of ordering products and services from the comfort of their homes. Thus, ignoring data security is not even an option in this scenario. Consumer identity verification offers data security, transparency, and legal compliance, all of which are crucial at present. This will protect not only the customers but also the companies themselves. 

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