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Why a Risk-Based Approach to Compliance?

Many compliance regulations such the Red Flags Rule, USA Patriot Act, and ESIGN require specific identity elements to be verified and specific high risk conditions to be detected. However, there is still much variance in how individual institutions reconcile referrals generated from the detection of high risk conditions and/or the absence of identity element verification. With this in mind, risk-based authentication, (defined in this context as the “holistic assessment of a consumer and transaction with the end goal of applying the right authentication and decisioning treatment at the right time”) offers institutions a viable strategy for balancing the following competing forces and pressures:

    • Compliance – the need to ensure each transaction is approved only when compliance requirements are met;
  • Approval rates – the need to meet business goals in the booking of new accounts and the facilitation of existing account transactions;
  • Risk mitigation – the need to minimize fraud exposure at the account and transaction level.

A flexibly-designed risk-based authentication strategy incorporates a robust breadth of data assets, detailed results, granular information, targeted analytics and automated decisioning. This allows an institution to strike a harmonious balance (or at least something close to that) between the needs to remain compliant, while approving the vast majority of applications or customer transactions and, oh yeah, minimizing fraud and credit risk exposure and credit risk modeling.

Sole reliance on binary assessment of the presence or absence of high risk conditions and identity element verifications will, more often than not, create an operational process that is overburdened by manual referral queues. There is also an unnecessary proportion of viable consumers unable to be serviced by your business. Use of analytically sound risk assessments and objective and consistent decisioning strategies will provide opportunities to calibrate your process to meet today’s pressures and adjust to tomorrow’s as well.