In today’s digital age, businesses deal with many threats, from fraud and identity theft to money laundering. Falling victim to any of these threats will not only damage a company’s financial stability, but it will also tarnish its reputation. But defending against them is becoming more challenging than ever, especially when using traditional security measures.
As technology advances, so do the methods malicious actors use to exploit companies and gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. Companies need to do the same. To counter these threats, companies need to accept technological developments and implement robust risk mitigation strategies that include modern solutions such as AI-supported customer verification processes. By enhancing security protocols, businesses can significantly reduce the potential risks and protect their customers’ identities and sensitive data.
Importance of Customer Verification in Risk Mitigation
Customers are the most important element of any business, as there would be no need for your product or service without them. At the same time, they can also be the biggest threat, especially if they are not who they claim to be. Customer verification processes allow you to confirm the identity and authenticity of individuals engaging with your business and minimize the risks of identity theft, financial fraud, account takeovers, money laundering, and other illicit activities.
What difference can customer verification processes make?
Customer verification processes help you determine if your customers are who they claim to be, minimizing the risk of account takeovers and identity theft. By implementing it into your security protocols, you will be able to prevent unauthorized access to customer accounts, protect their personal information, and stop money laundering activities, but also to do so without causing any unnecessary friction. Additionally, you would be able to prevent fraudulent transactions that result in chargebacks and financial damage to the company.
A company’s financial well-being and the customers’ assets are not the only elements proper use of customer verification protects. A company’s reputation is critical to your business, and being involved in fraudulent activities can significantly damage it. Deloitte’s Global Survey on Reputation Risk, mentions that 87% of executives think reputational challenges are more important than other strategic risks, as a quarter of a company’s market value can be directly related to its reputation. Implementing robust customer verification helps prevent those activities and protects your reputation. Furthermore, it shows your commitment to security and customer protection, giving customers peace of mind and increasing their trust.
Compliance and Regulatory Considerations in Risk Mitigation
When implementing customer verification processes, businesses must do their due diligence and comply with relevant laws and regulations. These regulations are determined by regulatory bodies, such as financial institutions and government agencies, aiming to combat money laundering, terrorism financing, and other illegal activities.
While their requirements differ from the industry and the country the company operates from, most companies need to adhere to Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Customer Due Diligence, and data protection regulations.
These guidelines determine which data companies must collect to provide services and how to process and store them securely. A guide on customer due diligence by SEON shows the differences between the regulations and provides scenarios in which they are used. Not complying with these regulations results in penalties, legal consequences, and reputational damage, not to mention that you might unintentionally help fund human trafficking or money laundering.
The important thing is that, just like customer verification, compliance with regulations is not a one-time process. Companies must stay current with the regulations and continuously monitor customer activities to ensure there are no changes that might indicate malicious activities.
How can you minimize user friction with customer verification?
While robust security protocols are essential for risk mitigation, at the same time, they can damage the user experience. Lengthy and repetitive verification procedures will often lead to customer frustration and result in them not completing the onboarding process. The global “ABBYY State of Intelligent Automation Report – Customer Onboarding Drivers and Pain Points” showed that 9-out-of-10 organizations experienced customer onboarding abandonment with identity proofing among the leading reasons. Whether opening a bank account, purchasing an item or a service, or even applying for a gaming account, customers want a simple and quick process. Vaimo’s article on seamless customer experience, explains that the customer is rapidly evolving, especially around their digital behavior. Companies need to find a way to balance security and seamless user experience, and new technological developments allow them to do just that.
Utilizing AI and ML technologies that can analyze vast amounts of customer data, identify patterns, and detect anomalies that may indicate fraudulent activities allows the business to automate customer verification processes and even reduce false positives. At the same time, they are simplifying the onboarding process by utilizing internal and external data to minimize the amount of information customers need to provide, which leads to a more positive and frictionless customer journey.
New customer verification processes also take a risk-based approach, allowing companies to identify and assess the risk level associated with each customer. Based on the outcome, they can tailor the verification process for every customer. This way helps companies reduce user friction and minimize the financial strain of security as they can focus their resources on high-risk customers without putting every single customer through lengthy onboarding processes.
To ensure your verification process is not causing you to lose customers, you should regularly gather customer feedback regarding their experience. Their feedback will help you identify any issues and determine areas to improve, allowing you to optimize your verification procedures. This way, the customer verification process is not just something customers dread to go through but an important element of business that ensures your customers remain happy while your business stays protected from fraudulent activities.
Enhancing risk mitigation is crucial in today’s digital landscape, where fraudsters and criminals constantly look for a way to exploit innocent parties. You can minimize the potential threats by implementing robust customer verification methods that utilize advanced technologies in your security protocols. Not only will you be able to provide a positive user experience while creating a secure environment, ultimately enhancing overall risk mitigation strategies.