A survey issued this week by the Royal Mail showed that 67% of UK residents who have moved house were concerned about ID fraud.
The survey was designed to promote the Royal Mail’s mail redirection service, but it brought into sharp focus the concerns that people have about their identity being compromised.
Information from banks, pensions provider, insurers, motor vehicle licensing agencies and others can, if in the wrong hands, be used to perpetrate ID fraud. According to the fraud prevention agency, Cifas, there were 108,500 instances of ID fraud in the UK in 2013 costing an estimated £3.3bn.
ID fraud is not a victimless crime. It can take months, even years, to repair the damage done to credit ratings by cybercriminals and victims commonly report feelings of fear and violation.
It is right, then, that the Royal Mail, and other organisations, remind the public of the dangers of ID theft and advise them on ways in which they can guard themselves against it.
However, the onus is not entirely on members of the public to guard against ID fraud. Financial services providers have to do their part too and, arguably, they are not doing enough.
ID fraud continues to be a problem because when fraudsters have access to even a small amount of information (such as a bank statement), it is reasonably straightforward to successfully apply for a financial product in someone else’s name.
The fundamental reason for this is that financial services providers still rely on traditional verification techniques when assessing applications. In the main, credit reference agency databases and the Electoral Roll are used to verify personal details such as name, address, date of birth. And when a fraudster has these data elements, they have enough to apply for a credit card, bank account or loan in someone else’s name.
The challenge is for financial services providers to start thinking seriously about how they can up their authentication game and start protecting customers.
In the era before online commerce, if a customer wanted to apply for a financial product, they would have to do so in branch and assert their identity with photo ID such as a passport or driving license. However, this process has not been well translated to the online world where today many banks ask their customer to bring their ID documents into a branch if they fail traditional data checks. The result is that a disappointing 30% of such customers ever make it in-branch to show their ID documents.
This doesn’t mean, though, that photo ID verification should be a thing of the past. Jumio’s Netverify® solution translates the age-old process of using ID documentation for the internet age thanks to computer vision technology. Customers can show their ID document to their webcam or or mobile device camera and their data is neatly extracted and populated into the account creation process whilst the ID document is authenticated in the background.
Jumio’s computer vision technology has the power to smash ID fraud, saving companies money and saving consumers hassle and anguish.