Establishing User Identity and Reducing Fraud in a Digital World

February 17, 2021 by Eric Haller

Smiling young woman waving through the laptop web camera while holding a cup of coffee in the kitchen at home.

How we shop, how we bank and how we access healthcare — it’s all racing to digital and being mostly consumed at home. It’s the evolution of the “anytime, anywhere, anyone, anything” promise that the Internet made available to us in the 1990s. However, in order to deliver on that promise, we need to be able to reduce the chances of fraud by identifying people no matter where they are or what device they are using.

The rise of digital has made being able to identify an individual even more critical. According to a recent Global Insights Report from Experian, there has been a 20 percent increase overall in consumer online transaction activities and 60 percent of consumers have higher expectations of their digital experience than before Covid-19. The challenge companies are currently facing is how to digitally identify individuals while maintaining a positive consumer experience.  They need to rely on new technologies including data, biometrics, identity graphs and AI. When it works right, our experiences are more convenient, safer and it creates time for us to focus on other aspects of our lives.

At Experian, we are committed to leading the race to digital identity. We use our more than 40 years of experience with success in matching, managing, and protecting identities and personal data combined with today’s most advanced technologies, including AI and machine learning to confirm the identity of an individual. Specifically, Experian is an identity leader in the following areas that impact our society on a daily basis:

Fraud Prevention
Being able to spot the good guys from the fraudsters is strictly dependent on establishing identity. At the most basic level, we need to be able to verify an individual as a real person and authenticate that they are who they say are. Businesses also need to ensure that the extra secure measures added in order to prove someone’s identity don’t cause too much friction. Today’s consumers are looking for both a convenient and safe experience. In fact, according to our 2020 Global Identity & Fraud Report, 74 percent of consumers said security was their top priority in their online experience, with convenience following closely behind. Most recently, Experian has focused on allowing businesses to reduce both fraud and friction as the world migrates towards a touchless society.

Connecting with Consumers
Identity is the foundation of the marketing ecosystem. It enables marketers to deliver relevant messages to customers across their most preferred digital channels. But with consumers jumping from device-to-device throughout the day, hundreds of digital touchpoints are created, and connecting these together to build a digital identity can prove challenging. Add to that, the deprecation of third-party cookies, disparate data sources and walled gardens, digital identity can feel like an uphill battle.  Experian is committed to helping marketers address the digital identity challenge, connecting offline and digital identifiers into one single customer view. This will help marketers gain a clearer view of their customers across the buying journey and seamlessly deliver relevant content across all digital devices.

More than half of all deaths that are attributed to medical errors are due to identification mistakes. Despite some giant technological advances in recent years in patient management, achieving accurate and complete patient records remains a major challenge for the U.S. healthcare industry. It’s estimated that around 70 percent of patient data held in electronic health records is incomplete or inaccurate, and up to half of all patient records may not be linked correctly. Unreliable patient data presents some huge problems for health systems, from flawed diagnoses and treatment errors to unreliable analytics and billing mistakes.

As patient portals become the new “digital front door” to access care services and manage things like scheduling and payments, and telehealth gains traction as a preferred care modality, fraudulent activity in healthcare will accelerate to an all-time high.

Experian helps with healthcare’s largest challenges, including duplicate medical records, mistaken patient identities, pharmaceutical abuse and associated rising costs for patients and providers. We are committed to the industry-wide adoption of Universal Patient Identifiers on the part of providers, pharmacies, payers and other stakeholders in order to improve patient safety and improve industry standards.

Combating Synthetic Identities
Synthetic identity fraud, where criminals combine real and fake information to create fake identities, is the fastest growing financial crime in the United States. A critical step for lenders to protect their portfolios and manage risk is confirming whether a consumer who is applying for credit is real or not. The earlier in the process this is done, the better. Experian’s fraud prevention solutions, such as Sure Profile, help lenders differentiate between real people and potentially risky applicants, so lenders can confidently increase application approvals with less risk.

Businesses are faced with more competition than ever before and consumer behavior is shifting at an unprecedent pace. Being able to identify an individual whether online or offline is critical in today’s environment. Businesses that don’t embrace technology in order to keep up with the changing needs of consumers will be left behind in the race to digital identity.

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