Online Verification Service to Prevent Identity Theft

verify online customers

Identity theft – That’s where the money is  

In January 2017, it was reported that the dramatic rise in cyber crime, has sparked an increase in the overall value of fraud committed in the UK to £1bn. Most businesses are aware that it is essential to have a reliable system that can verify online customers anywhere in the world. But as online fraud continues to rise, it is obvious that many businesses still have loopholes in their online security strategy, that leave them vulnerable to fraudsters.

Verify Online Customers to Avoid Identity theft

Willie Sutton, one of the US’s most notorious fugitives of the 20th century, was once asked why he robbed banks. ‘Because that’s where the money is’, was his response.  This quote has become ‘Sutton’s law of the blindingly obvious’. Today, 59% of all fraud is identity theft. If we were to ask Willie Sutton why there has been such an increase, his response I am sure would be equally insightful.

With the exponential rise of online financial services, the likes of Willie Sutton, no longer have to take up arms and risk getting shot or arrested as they try to make their getaway. They can plan and execute the crime from anywhere in the world.

Until recently, in the real world the bank staff knew Mr Smith and Mrs Jones personally and they knew what they did for a living, but in the online world the financial institution has to rely on various ‘know your customer’ (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) checks to establish the identity of the customer and the legitimate source of their funds.

The price of getting this wrong is considerable. The cost to individuals who are the victims of identity theft fraud could be the loss of their live savings. This is why it is essential to have a reliable system that can verify online customers anywhere in the world.

Risk of not protecting yourself against identity theft, fraud and money laundering

For organisations that fail to put in the necessary processes and procedures, they risk significant fines by the regulator. The FCA recently fined Deutsche Bank a record £163m for beaching AML regulations.  Whilst big banks have been the target in the past, a City law firm now warns that the FCA is now turning the spotlight on the smaller firms, independents, insurers, credit companies and anyone handling client money.

Whilst big banks have been the target in the past, a City law firm now warns that the FCA is now turning the spotlight on the smaller firms, independents, insurers, credit companies and anyone handling client money.

Financial institutions are having to balance two opposing forces. The need to attract new customers with new products and services whilst minimising the hurdles to cross in conducting detailed and thorough checks to meet the latest regulations.  Globalisation adds a third dimension.

Unlike Willie Sutton, in the global marketplace, an organisation’s customers may be of many nationalities, and for each one they need to establish who they are and where they live. The stakes have never been greater. The challenge today is how to grow an increasingly international customer base and meet the needs of the regulator.

The challenge today is how to grow an increasingly international customer base and meet the needs of the regulator and at the same time to carry out anti-imposter checks and online anti-fraud checks for customers who are signing up online.

Effective online identity verification

By using the latest image extraction technology and comparison algorithms, Selified's online identity verification service now offers organisations the ability to verify online customers from anywhere in the world in less than a minute. Everyone has a face and some form of government accredited picture ID. From images taken on the customer’s smartphone, we perform multiple checks on the ID to confirm that it is genuine. We compare the face with that on the ID and, where applicable, verify their proof-of-address documents, providing an instant response.  It is easy to add new documents to the database.

The modern day Willie Sutton is reluctant to show his face because once known, he is forever compromised.  This is why Selified’s online biometric checks based on the selfie are so effective. So while banks can open their online doors with confidence, the latter-day Willie Sutton will be looking for other industries to attack.