E-commerce sites, banking institutions, crypto-currency trading platforms, ride sharing applications, and virtually all financial products are subject to soberingly high rates of fraud. The internet paved the way for a new wave of technology applications that greatly improved the speed and efficiency of business to consumer interactions. Unfortunately, this significant reduction in friction has introduced one complexity: high rates of fraud due to the inability for businesses to verify users.
Companies in the above niche’s maintain high fraud rates because:
Usernames and passwords are easy to steal from phishing and hacking.
Information from physical wallets is easy to steal due to theft and card sharing.
Communication with banks is slow, making chargebacks prevalent.
Applications cannot physically see the user behind the keyboard to verify that the user’s information belongs to the user completing the actions.
Traditional solutions to these issues are problematic and broken. Take, for example, a financial application that wishes to receive a $5,000 deposit via credit card from one of it’s users. While the address, credit card information, and social security may all appear to be valid, there is no way to ensure that the user didn’t just steal someone’s wallet. Even in the case that the wallet was not stolen, it’s very difficult to ensure that the formerly mentioned information matches. Many users simply make up fake addresses and social security numbers for stolen credit card.
The identity and fraud problem is not limited to B2C companies. B2B companies also struggle to verify the identity of other business. While the current process is more straightforward, it is extremely time consuming and inefficient. As a B2B vendor, you have to verify your customers business registration, place of business, tax information, and company status. Government websites may provide this data, but it is not centrally located and easy to access.
What if I told you it didn’t have to be this way?
As a financial application developer, I struggled with the above issues for years. I developed systems to check addresses with map databases and paid outsourcers to lookup businesses one by one. Recently, though, I found a better way.
A Silicon Valley based startup firm, Blockscore, created an intelligent identity verification system that provides solutions to the above problems in an automated manner. Implementation of their API can be done in hours but their dashboard can provide instant access. Their platform is refreshingly easy to use.
How does it work? Blockscore compiles data sources to verify the information that my customers enter. Then, their application quickly correlates this data across credit bureaus, vehicle records, address logs, and watchlists. Once that is done, they serve a question set to make sure that the user behind the computer matches the information. Their question set is also called Knowledge-based Authentication (KBA), because it asks questions only the owner of the identity would be aware of.
Pricing is fair, much cheaper than paying outsources as I was previously doing. The pay as you go plan makes the most sense for my application, since I only process about 100 new users per month. Using this plan, I pay for the verifications and question sets that I perform each month. Their website says that bulk pricing varies based on volume, but is likely cheaper than paying individually.
I have high expectations that fraud will someday be eliminated from the world. It costs vendors billions of dollars and ruins innocent lives. Though modern technology has caused many of these issues, modern technology is finally stepping up to the plate and solving them.