Landry’s Inc. warns customers of the potential data breach

Landry’s Inc. warns customers of the potential data breach

Landry’s Inc., a parent company of more than 60 restaurant chains, installed a payment processing solution at all Landry’s owned locations back in 2016. This solution uses end-to-end encryption technology to secure the customer’s data.

The Houston-based company that owns more than 600 restaurants, hotels and casinos in the United States, recently warned the customers about the data breach. This breach could have compromised the credit card information of the users. As per company warning, the data breach has more likely affected the cards used during March 13 and October 17, 2019.

As Landry stated on its website about the unauthorized access to their network, it claimed that the breach may have occurred at the time when the servers swiped customers’ cards in machines. The card swiping was intended to place food and drink orders to the kitchen/bar. Moreover, as per Landry’s, these machines are separate from those used on point-of-sale terminals.

Though the company hasn’t exactly given proper numbers and stats about the breach, it has warned the customers to be cautious and look out for any unusual activity happening to their card. 

Let’s see how much customer’s data have been compromised.

 

Embedding online identity verification methods for enterprise security

Embedding online identity verification methods for enterprise security

The internet knows a lot about us now. And businesses are using this information to verify our digital identities. However, not all of this information is correct or publicly available. As more and more activity finds its way online, identity checks are becoming relevant to the establishment of secure platforms for individual and business transactions. 

The risk of online fraud and ID theft is real, with a rising demand for online risk mitigation. Enterprises must look into variable security information platforms to enhance security solutions across the board. Trends in identity verification depict high levels of growth, with the value of the market to grow to US$4.4 billion by the year 2027. 

The introduction of AI tools have opened up online identity verification systems to offer faster data  processing, compilation and assessment solutions. Technology is making swift advancements in detecting anomalies and catching fraud. However, as a final check, human experts still manage to provide valuable supervision to machine algorithms for higher accuracy and verification of user data. 

Online Identity Verification Solutions for KYC, KYB and AML compliance

To verify if a user is actually who they say they are, real life identity verification for online applications employ a great deal of automation as well as data analytics to implement identity theft protection methods.

Here’s a list of some of the most successful and commonly used verification methods:

Biometric authentication through face verification and liveness detection

The use of biometric features for authentication involves the use of unique biological characteristics to verify end-users. Presenting face, fingerprint, iris, voice or other behavioural metrics to ensure their live presence is a highly convenient and secure way to authorise login. As use cases spread to a large number of consumer services including healthcare, travel, and retail, customers are looking for identity solutions that can easily be integrated into smartphones. Cost effective solutions such as taking a simple selfie or presenting a card to a camera are being accepted by large digital audiences. 

Through cross device authentication services, customers can use a hand-held device to capture a video or a selfie and confirm their presence. An automated procedure fast-tracks the process and authenticates account holders with high accuracy. Advanced Identity verification applications powered by machine learning are also recording verification processes in real-time and storing the data in the form of timestamps, videos, IP location and device information. 

Document Verification

Digital verification methods can replace manual checking of customer documents to prevent online theft and ID fraud. The more customer attributes that can be verified through a given ID source, the more robust the authentication. The end goal is to achieve a high level of verification assurance across multiple systems and countries. 

Customers can scan ID documents in front of a webcam and allow verification APIs to extract and screen key customer credentials. In most cases, the use of optical character recognition technology (OCR) assists in providing verifications for several documents in different languages. 

Document validation includes checking: 

  • Full name of end-user
  • Photoshopped/tampered documents
  • Document expiry
  • Document format type
  • Address format

Address Verification

The authenticity of individuals and businesses can be verified in real-time using automated software that cross-checks addresses with official databases. Users are asked to upload photos while holding identity documents in order to match their face. Secondary documents containing official address are uploaded to verify the information entered by the user. Analysis is done via an API and the verification is also recorded. 

For e-commerce and other retail business, this translates into better management of chargeback fraud and improved reputation. Mailing costs associated with returned mail can be mitigated and high quality address data maintained for faster delivery time. Identity documents such as national IDs, utility bills, bank statements, and driver’s license, are verified for authenticity, to improve customer risk profiling and online identity fraud management. 

AML Screening

Businesses must ensure a high level of safety by vetting both individual customers as well as businesses before beginning transactions. International regulations now require that sources that may be involved in money laundering and terrorist financing be actively avoided and screened before onboarding.

Detailed background checks and sanction list monitoring for high-risk clients is a given for AML compliance programs. Simply entering the name and date of birth can reveal useful information about authenticity. Data on customers and businesses must be screened against international regulatory watchlists, sanction lists and PEP lists to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. Risk reporting and global compliance is made easier with AML solutions for fraud prevention. 

Ongoing AML monitoring is an essential part of process, as regular monitoring of clients assures that no illegal activity is recorded in recurring transactions. This is to ensure that client credibility is maintained over time and high-risk clients are marked with an ‘on-alert’ status.

Companies can be validated using a registration number in order to identify blacklisted entities. Background checks of the Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) can help in identifying individuals with a suspicious profile. As a long term business goal, financial risk assessment is improved by limiting compliance fines and penalties leading to unanticipated financial loss. 

Knowledge based authentication

This method of online identification requires customers to protect sensitive information with security questions that can be answered using personally identifiable information.

It is an easy process to employ since it doesn’t contain complex passwords or codes to remember. However, it is also easier to breach since such information can be guessed, discovered or sold. There’s no verification with official customer IDs either. 

2FA Authentication

As an added layer of security, 2FA solidifies account protection by double checking the possession of sensitive information by clients. A physical token or a numerical SMS code must be immediately available to the customer through personally held devices to gain access to online accounts. 

Passwords are losing their authority as a security measure for fraud prevention. Hackers can breach accounts using weak or easy-to-guess passwords and gain malicious access through single layer security methods. Customers are advised to create long passwords with complex characters to lower the probability of a breach. This hurts customer experience and often makes the login process tedious. 

Authorised customer account access through two-step authentication method includes the following steps: 

  • End-user is sent a personalised, auto-generated code at each log-in attempt
  • Authentication code is required to enter the code at login
  • API matches code and completes user verification 

Two-step online identity verification services provide a way for companies to manage financial loss for end-user accounts without compromising customer experience. Malware activity and phishing attacks can be prevented by strengthening security laters.

ProtonMail added an encrypted calendar to its encrypted Gmail competitor

ProtonMail added an encrypted calendar to its encrypted Gmail competitor

Previous year Google faced a hefty fine of $170 million by the Federal Trade Commission following the investigations into Youtube over alleged violations of children’s privacy law. The scrutiny on Google is potentially increased that how it collects and utilizes the consumers’ data and information.

Many people are looking out for some alternative to Gmail because of privacy concerns. ProtonMail is efficiently utilizing this opportunity to grab the attention of users who want to wean themselves off Google. It has recently launched an encrypted calendar “ProtonCalendar” through which paid users can privately manage their schedules in a calendar.

ProtonMail is previously renowned for its encrypted mail services. Currently, the encrypted calendar is only available with a paid ProtonMail plan. But the company is planning to launch this calendar for all the users in the near future. The company wrote in its blog post

“We believe everyone has the right to plan dinner with friends without announcing to Google who will attend,”

Google has faced allegations from its own employees that it was using some browser extensions to spy on them; however, these accusations were declined by the company. In 2017, Google stopped scanning user’s emails for advertising, ProtonMail still claims that some parties use calendar data for target advertising.

Calendars are a lot more than just organizing tool as ProtonMail writes in their blog post

“For the longest time, to easily organize these events, you had to let large corporations monitor these special moments. These companies snoop on your calendar and use that information to inform their advertising. A calendar is more than just a tool. It’s a record of the moments that make up your life.”

ProtonMail is still in its basic beta version. The company ought to add more advanced features and then launch it in the future. The new features will enable the users to invite other users and share their calendars with other ProtonMail users.

 

Pakistan’s State Bank unveils new AML/CFT regulations for Forex Firms

Pakistan’s State Bank unveils new AML/CFT regulations for Forex Firms

State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday amended Anti-money laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of terrorism (CFT) related regulations in foreign exchange companies manual 2018 to further align them with the FATF action plan.

The global finance watchdog is going to announce its decision regarding the country’s deficiencies in AML/CFT laws.

“Exchange Companies shall take steps to ensure that there AML/CFT policies adhere to FATF regulations,” the SBP said. To achieve this, their policies, SOPs, compliance programs, and delivery channels will be monitored on an ongoing basis by the board of directors.

Foreign Exchange companies are further required to identify the customers and verify their identity on the basis of authentic documents, data or information. The need to identify if there is a beneficial owner who isn’t the customer.

For exchanging any foreign currency equal to, or below, the threshold of USD 500, exchange firms may resort to normal customer due diligence, wherein details like name and number of identity documents should be obtained at the minimum if there are no circumstances of a suspicious transaction.

According to the amendments by SBP, Forex firms shall employ automated systems for customer risk profiling, AML screening, and transaction monitoring. Moreover, the firms are required to take appropriate measures to manage and eliminate any risk that may arise afterward. 

Rising Social Media Scams in 2020 Calling for Digital Identity Verification

Rising Social Media Scams in 2020 Calling for Digital Identity Verification

Social media is a valued place where people can protect their identities and remain anonymous. Anonymity, unfortunately, is not coming up with what is expected. A few years back, social media was considered an innocent networking space, an absolutely deliberate platform. Today it is much more than just cats and dog videos for kids. 

Social media, a big name, big industry, on one hand, providing endless opportunities for healthy networking, employment, and business marketing norms. But, on the other hand, it is facilitating the proliferation of spams and trolls. Fake news and unaccountability. Why? 

Every so often, cases of harassment and fraudulent activities pop up being social media a source at the backend. Why? A freehand. 

Yes, a free hand, that is letting millions to open fake social media accounts with fake personal information. Keeping anonymity intact, just ‘rubs salt to the wound’. Trolls spend the whole day threatening millions of people across the social web using sock puppet profiles. 

Spammers build hundreds of fake social media accounts to hammer networking platforms with a barrage of fake posts and junk ads; that does nothing more than manipulating public thinking and spreading misinformation across the web. Moreover, the injection of malicious links and malware within the posts of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc. are initiating phishing and many other scams.

There are plenty of federal regulations in the US about cybersecurity and spams. These correspond to the security of online users and their identities as well as data protection. But there is no way to blame someone on social media if he/she commits fraud, as you don’t even know who they are.  

Social Media Scams 2020

Some Facts and Figures

This section gives an overview of social media usage and its penetration at a global level. In recent years, social networking applications have shown a clear shift towards handy devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Easy access to these platforms, therefore, have increased the usage via mobile devices. Social media is one of the most defining phenomena of the present environment that is reshaping the entire world. Statista shows that the global social penetration rate has reached about 45%. Among these, North America and East Asia have the highest penetration rate i.e. 70% and Northern Europe with 67%. Also, in the future, this percentage does not seem to go down anyhow because the survey shows that the number of expected social networking platform users in the United States would be 257.4 million by 2023. 

According to a research paper by IEEE published in 2019 named “Cyber Security in Social Media: Challenges and the Way Forward”, the number of active social media users in 2019 is estimated to be 2.77 billion and a forecast shows an increase that sums it up to 3.2 billion by the year 2021. The same paper highlights the threats in social media platforms that correspond to the impersonation of friends and celebrities, cyberbullying, and phishing scams. This increasing trend and penetration of the population into it shows a tremendous increase in social platforms’ security flaws. Lax rules of these platforms are inviting fraudsters to poison the cybersecurity triad i.e. confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Lack of security measures gives birth to attacks such as CSRF or XSS that lead to data breaches.

Digital Identity Verification: An Effective Measure for Social Media Security

Social media platforms that assume personal identification an overkill for social users would now be realizing that how many spammers are facilitated through these platforms and how they are disrupting the integrity and privacy of online users. Again, spammers are not only posting junk information but exploit weaknesses of system to damage in the best possible way among which phishing attacks and malware/malicious executables injection is the one. 

Another flaw due to lack of user verification affects age-restricted websites such as dating websites. Online users below an adult age are not verified and use the applications without any restriction. Or some websites do apply age affirmation pages or checkboxes for age verification that actually does not serve the purpose of age verification and can easily be deceived by minors.

Online Age Verification

In the past few years, age verification has become a regulatory requirement that is necessary for social media platforms to consider. Taking advantage of technological advancements, social media firms can take in place various solutions that could help in identifying the individuals and restrict services if they are not for children. 

Current verification methods can easily be falsified which require obvious changes in digital practices of verification. Many social networking platforms are now using age verification services that verify using document verification if the online user has misstated its age. Those identities would immediately be flagged with the status of unverified as they do not lie under the age limit that could access the networking platform. 

Ideally, social media platforms are required to collect minimized data from customers. For instance, if they want to make sure whether someone is above 18 years, then the individual would have to share a proof of identity in the form of an official ID document, etc. The company should ensure that the individual is above defined age and avoid collecting much of the information from the user’s uploaded document.  

 Digital Identity Verification

In social media platforms, it is quite easy to create a fake account/profile to impersonate an identity online. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or some dating sites, fraudsters find all of these a hot target and conduct malevolent activities in there. With single digital identity verification, misuse of social platforms can be crushed. 

Focusing on just collecting data whether it is true or false should not be goal of social networking platforms. Allowing legitimate traffic can help provide better search results. Stuffing fake identities affect the huge population and hence the platform reputation. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms as the underlying technology, facial recognition systems, and online document verification can help maintain an honest community with much more healthy working and networking opportunities. 

What the big deal, if an identity can be verified within seconds? But it would really be one if your platform is in the spotlight due to data breach that compromises security of millions…

Top 5 Challenges in Online Identity Verification

Top 5 Challenges in Online Identity Verification

The online ecosystem of identity management is more dynamic than ever before. It’s a flexible and interactive system that makes it possible to establish and manage digital identities. These are critical in acting as authentic proofs of identity for accessing modern sharing systems such as in ecommerce platforms, digital banking, travel services and more. 

As AI-based technologies expand to reach larger audiences, serve more customers and secure businesses, hurdles in digital identity verification have become more serious. Maintaining high security standards and meeting strict regulations are by far the most common challenges that separate bad actors from legitimate vendors. 

Here are the top 5 challenges in online ID verification facing organisations and service providers while striving to perform efficient and secure online interactions.

1. Presence of inefficient and costly identity regimes

Defining online identity verification

As a digital service, online identity verification is still beginning to pick up steam, and there are several variants of the definition of IDs and how they are verified. The basic idea behind screening identities is relatively simple, but, as online transactions have increased in complexity and volume, the concept of digital identity verification has developed more than one connotation. 

For different sources and channels, users are often uncomfortable in providing details for screening purposes. Often basic credentials such as name, address and official ID number are not enough to recognise a person and develop relevant profiles. Therefore, in order to gather relevant data, service providers need to act responsibly and make identity verification processes more transparent. 

Changes in online verification processes 

With a rising number of entrants into the identity verification market, as well as the nascent nature of the industry, processes in digital identity are not wholly linear. This subsequently creates market irregularities in terms of serviceability and reliability of identity services. Companies are constantly updating procedures in order to comply with state laws and regulations which are also evolving to meet growing data privacy needs across countries and industries. 

In order to mitigate security and compliance risks, companies will have to stay ahead of industry trends, and try to understand how best to manage identities in the digital economy. 

2. Hurdles in determining accuracy of identity verification

Repeated digital identity verifications

Performing accurate, efficient and customer-friendly verifications is central to maintaining a solid customer base, and establishing a brand as a trusted service provider. This points to the integration of a dynamic identity verification solution to perform repeated verifications and engaging large audiences. Fraud prevention through KYC processes are extremely relevant in this regard. Ongoing monitoring checks also involves vetting existing customers repeatedly for authenticity and reliability.

Technology and back-end support must therefore be updated, reflecting tangible resource investments in maintaining secure platforms. Not only does this secure new and existing customers, it saves lengthy efforts in fixing static solutions of identity verification. 

 

3. Solving data availability and management issues

Collection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Tracing individual identity is an essential part of the verification process, requiring data points to be matched and cross-checked for high accuracy. This entails collecting personally identifiable information (PII), which is essential for firms to collect, but often make customers uneasy. Giving out basic credentials and data on credit history opens up a wide range of security risks, exposing personal data to the very real threat of digital hacks. 

Assuring the maximum level of security and enabling risk management will require identity experts to weigh in on the various data collection methods employed for online ID verification. Users must have control over data collection methods and the use of crucial personal details for online validations. 

Unavailability of data 

For high security and service standards to be accomplished, companies will need to look into solutions for online database development. Personal credentials and documents need to be cross-checked with official databases developed by state authorities. In the absence of such data sources, identity verification checks cannot be performed for the purpose of authentication or, for that matter, to refuse access. 

In the end, determining that someone is really who they say they are will require scores of data points, all verified against a reliable source, before it can be applied to the provision of digital services. 

4. Catering to data protection and privacy regulations

Strict identity verification regulatory requirements

With a steep increase in the application of online identity verification, regulatory requirements are also shaping up. Privacy evangelists are questioning the way personal data is collected, stored and screened in a variety of settings. This means that firms have to keep up with changing tides of policies and regulations. 

While digital technologies are huge enablers of customer friendly services, concerns around data security are also gaining momentum. International standards and regulations catching up with technological advancements and adding complexity to the equation. The GDPR, for instance, came into effect in 2018, and has been a central guiding source for regulated companies, especially to provide users with greater control over data. Similarly,  AMLD6 provides a framework to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, rolling out tougher penalties and liabilities for all entities. 

This is especially true for maintaining strict controls in the case of online gaming, dating, and gambling sites that house age-restricted content. Digital identity screening seeks to protect minors from all such services and from the threat of identity theft

High levels of diligence in identity systems is mandatory for firms to manage services effectively and ensure digital business growth. Security standards also need to be compliant and must reflect data sensitivities where necessary. 

5. Enhancing digital trust and customer experience

Working towards an industry competitive edge

Customers can bank on a number of digital service providers in the current online ecosystem. High risk transactions, suspicious data collection mechanisms and unfriendly interfaces are factors that easily put off both existing and prospective customers. Establishing trust in the market, and ensuring that a high degree of trust is tantamount to achieving long term business success. 

Opportunities in digital identity management rely on finding the right solution for the right user, and extending a helpful hand in dispute management. Services must be developed with a customer-centric approach in mind, and be standardised according to security standards. In the long run, online identity verification tools must deliver usability in the following areas:

  • Quickly and accurately screen digital identities
  • Provide users with data security and ownership
  • Perform repeated verifications for consistency
  • Safeguard against potential cybersecurity threats
  • Risk and compliance management for business growth

It all boils down to striking a balance between data management and identity needs, while keeping in mind customer sensitivities with regards to data privacy.

Biometrics Bucking the Trend of KYP in Healthcare

Biometrics Bucking the Trend of KYP in Healthcare

Over the last few years, biometric technology is deeply entrenched in various commercial marketplaces and industries. Here in 2019, a breakthrough potential of biometrics ‘ practical application can be seen in a variety of vertical domains and markets. Among those, the healthcare sector is reforming the security standards and patients records through biometrics. According to MRFR (Market Research Future), the global biometrics healthcare market is expected to grow $5.6 Billion by 2022 i.e. CAGR of 22.3%.

This remarkable increase is as a result of demand for advanced devices and diagnosis methods in healthcare. Reason being, 2000+ data breaches that compromised the confidential medical information of thousands of patients. In April 2019, about 46 healthcare data breaches came onto the surface which shows a 48% increase in from previous month and over the past five years. To overcome these issues, biometrics are grazing the pastures of healthcare security systems. By introducing an additional security layer of a biometric authentication system, hospitals are ensuring authorized and controlled access to databases.

Biometrics technologies such as face recognition, fingerprint scanning, hand geometry, and iris/retina scanning have long-held promise to ensure patients and employee identification. Hospitals across the world are catching up with the benefits of this technology for the security of confidential medical records, medical insurances, and personal data against data breaches and identity thefts. The purpose of ‘Know Your Patient’ or KYP is well-served with biometrics.

Know Your Patient (KYP) is Easy with Biometrics

Biometrics are used to provide a seamless way for patient’s identification. It is crucially important to identify and verify the identity of patients. According to WHO (World Health Organization), accurate patient identification is among the nine priorities considered for improved patient safety. Before proceeding to medical prescription and procedures, clinicians are supposed to correctly identify the patient. 

Biometrics act as a patient’s identifier that helps identifies an identity if it is too ill to verify the identity. For this, a patient would first have to enroll in a biometric identification system. For this patients would have to prove the identity against insurance documents, medical certificates or government-issued identity documents. After identity registration, biometrics information will be stored that could be in the form of fingerprint scanning or face recognition (mostly). Hospital management will secure electronic medical records against that identity into the database. Once enrolled, identity will be verified at each stage of treatment in the hospital. 

Furthermore, patients identification helps doctors analyze medical history in an effective manner. Within seconds, biometrics are able to authenticate the identity and open up all the personal and medical details that can assist doctors better in treatment. Biometric service can be extended further for patients to view their electronic medical reports at home anytime by logging in to the hospital online portal and verifying identity in real-time through biometrics. 

Biometrics Use-Cases in Healthcare

Biometric technology is paving ways in the healthcare sector. The major concerns refer to patient data privacy and record security. In healthcare, the following are the top use-cases that can serve industry better with biometrics.

Securing Medical Data

A major threat in the medical industry. Due to the incidences of identity theft or unintentional personnel neglection while securing the health data of patients result in various issues. Biometric authentication helps secure the accounts and details of patients and staff by providing an additional security layer in which password leakage and so data tempering is thing of the past. 

Streamlining Patient Identification System

A hospital has to manage millions of health records, test results, medications, and diagnoses, etc. despite their effort of efficiently managing all paper records, 7-10% of patients get misidentified that even leave to deadly consequences. Biometrics such as facial recognition and fingerprint scanning software are contributing to dramatically reduce the record loss and theft. 

Reducing Health Insurance Fraud

Health insurance records and old-age medical benefits are sensitive data that need to be highly secured. Unauthorized access to confidential information can affect hospitals as well as the lives of patients badly. To mitigate the risk of unauthorized data access and insurance frauds, biometrics can help stand a security wall against fraudsters. By directly linking patients biometrics information with medical records, data can be secured.  

Restricting Pharmaceuticals’ Access in Hospitals

Pharmaceutical misuse and identity theft are a million-dollar problem in the healthcare industry. Identification of patients and providing them correct pharmaceuticals is crucially important. Biometrics assist in providing relevant medical details of identity against the patient’s name. In this way, controlled access to pharmaceuticals can be ensured in hospitals.

Protecting patients Identity in Online World

For secure virtual rooms for patients, it is important to take dynamic security measures to protect the identities of the patient in the digital world. Online security of digital patient identity should be protected to avoid fraudsters from misusing them against their malevolent purposes. Online security with passwords and PIN is not resourceful today. Fraudsters have ways to take out username and password information through credentials stuffing. Here biometrics come, that ensure authorised access to online accounts and could be login with biometric verification. Secondly, user experience remain intact with security.

Segmental Analysis of Healthcare Biometrics Market

Applications of biometrics in the healthcare industry are segmented into data security, patient identification (KYP), medical record management, and controlled access. Identity thieves steal identities from medical records that most of the time belong to children and elders. Their identities are used for performing several malicious actions that vary from cyberbullying to money laundering and criminal activities etc. The real identities of children specifically are used as they surely would not have been part of any criminal record. 

Moreover, some of the fraudsters dig out these identities and their financial aid records, medical insurance records, and fee-medical services certificates to avails benefits for free. 

Online hospital portals and medical stores operating online should also be well-aware of the associated risks. Cyberattacks can affect hundreds of patients and even their families. In addition to this, the patients’ record managed online is prone to cyberattacks and breach. Therefore, there is a dire need to take in place KYP practices that verify each onboarding identity first to deter the risks of unauthorized access to private data. 

Regional Analysis of Healthcare Biometrics Market

Based on the regional analysis on the use and need of biometrics technology, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

North America: North America region accounts for the largest healthcare biometrics market share probably due to the demand for regulatory obligations and well-established hospitals. There are some other influentials factors that include a wide uptake of digitization into medical sectors by introducing biometrics and medical insurance progression in the industry. Along with this, the demand for medical applications and software coupled with electronic medical records and efficient maintenance are contributing to regional growth and advancements. 

Region of the United States is advancing in patients’ identity verification solutions and identification along with data security and management. With these initiatives, the region is expected to grow more in the coming years.  

Europe: Leading at the second position being a lucrative market with respect to healthcare biometrics. Healthcare facilities in Europe are driving the healthcare biometric market to grow. Additionally, the investments in medical record management, especially in the field of the healthcare sector, is fueling the growth of biometrics and technological adoption in the region.  

Asia Pacific: The healthcare biometrics market is growing rapidly in the Asia Pacific region. Technological advancements and their adoption in this region are outlining the landscape of the market in this region. Furthermore, India, China, and APAC are also expecting to grow with respect to initiatives in the healthcare industry by introducing biometrics for efficient patients’ records management and identification. 

Conclusion

Biometric identification in the healthcare sector is streamlining the functions and procedures of health data management and consistency in records. Authorized access is contributing to the security of data against identity theft and data breaches. Additionally, biometric verification provides a seamless user experience along with security. This is the reason that its adaption in various fields is praised. In the coming years, most of the medical norms will be seen greasing the wheel with biometrics.

Fintrac Warns Casinos of Gamers Paying with Bank Drafts

Fintrac Warns Casinos of Gamers Paying with Bank Drafts

Canada’s anti-money laundering agency is warning casinos to be cautious of customers who pay for their gaming with their bank drafts. Bank drafts are becoming the latest method for criminals to disguise dirty money. 

FINTRAC, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canda, issued an operational alert on December 10 that cash is not being favored anymore in illegal casino transactions due to excessive media and government scrutiny.

Instead of cash, criminals are choosing bank drafts for their liquidity and quasi-anonymity. According to the Fintrac director, Nada Semaan, professional money launderers are constantly changing their methods. 

“They will always be looking at different ways to do it, and our job is to be a step ahead of them and figure that out. We can’t stop everybody, but we are working extremely hard on this and we are committed to doing more.”

Fintrac tries to identify and investigate the cash linked to terrorism and money laundering by going through huge piles of information annually from banks, securities dealers, insurance companies, money service businesses, casinos, real estate brokers and many others. 

The latest alert published by Fintrac is a part of Project Athena, an RCMP-led public-private partnership aimed at disrupting money-laundering activity in British Columbia and across Canada. This project continues to upgrade previous initiatives targeting the fentanyl trade, romance fraud, and human trafficking. 

The operational alert and a list of signs that dirty money is being washed using casinos were generated through the analysis of Fintrac’s financial intelligence in collaboration with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit in British Columbia.

Fintrac suspects that most people involved in dubious casino-related transactions were money mules who moved crime profits, consciously or unconsciously, on behalf of a money launderer.

According to the alert, the first type commonly reported their occupation as “student” or simply “unemployed”. The second type of money mule often reported their occupation as “homemaker”. 

Fintrac is notifying casinos to examine patrons who:

— Deposit a high volume of bank drafts to a gaming-fund account or who regularly use bank drafts as a form of gaming buy-in;

— Are accompanied to a casino by someone subject to a gaming ban;

— Live in a jurisdiction subject to currency-control restrictions or sanctions and have no local ties to family or businesses.

EU Confirms its Firm Stance on All Digital Currencies

EU Confirms its Firm Stance on All Digital Currencies

The EU has confirmed its firm stance on all the digital currencies until the associated risks have been adequately assessed. 

In a joint statement by the Council of the European Union and the European Commission (EC), it was announced that although digital currencies provide a much faster way of payments, they provide far more risks and challenges. 

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) approved the statement on December 5 based on the data in an official document released in late November. 

For now, it’s not clear whether the newly released statement would affect any further course of action or would become the basis of future laws and regulations. 

In the statement released, several threats associated with the adoption of digital currencies are outlined. The statement reads, 

“These arrangements pose multifaceted challenges and risks related for example to consumer protection, privacy, taxation, cybersecurity, and operational resilience, money laundering, terrorism financing, market integrity, governance, and legal certainty. [..] These concerns are likely to be amplified and new potential risks to monetary sovereignty, monetary policy, the safety and efficiency of payment systems, financial stability, and fair competition can arise.”

According to the joint statement, the risks associated with the stablecoins should be mitigated before allowing them in the EU. 

“No global ‘stablecoin’ arrangement should begin operation in the European Union until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks have been adequately identified and addressed.”

Several nations are thinking of introducing their own digital currencies. Yesterday, the governor of the central bank of France announced the bank’s plans to introduce its own digital currency in the first quarter of 2020.

Child Identity Theft - 7 Ways to Protect your Children

7 Ways to Protect Your Children from Identity Theft

Living in the digital world, the word “Identity theft” makes us more than a little nervous. Knowing that someone out there is using your identity for criminal activities sound so scary. It is even more surprising for parents to know that stealing their children’s identities is easier. What makes it more frightening is the nature of the theft that it may take too long to discover the crime.

No one can provide better protection to children other than parents. Parents are ultimately the best protection against child identity thieves. However, the lawmakers are now actively taking part as well in raising awareness about this matter. In fact, there are some movements for the protection of children’s data – for instance, National Child Identity Theft Awareness Day. 

Moreover, the government is introducing Child protection laws – The Digital Economy Act 2017 – to protect the identities of children in the digital world. These laws enforce the digital platforms to incorporate age verification checks to their digital platforms to keep minors away from the dark web and age-restricted mature content.

National Child Identity Theft Awareness Day

Identity theft is becoming a worldwide issue. Every year millions of people fell victim to this crime and lose billions due to frauds that occurred using stolen identities. According to The Harris Poll, around 15 million Americans fell victim to identity theft in 2017. Not just the adults but the children are equally or more on the target list of identity thieves. According to Javelin’s Report, more than a million children were the victims of identity theft in 2017 which resulted in a loss of $2.6 billion.

Taking into account the alarming situation of children identity theft, the world’s leading global information services company, Experian, started the movement “National Child Identity Theft Awareness Day” – held on September 1 every year. The aim of this movement is to educate the parents about protecting their children’s sensitive information. Most parents are unaware of the reasons and vulnerabilities that lead to identity theft. As per a study, the children who are bullied online are nine times more likely to fall victim to identity theft.

Identity thieves primarily target children because of their clean histories and the criminals can use their information for a longer period of time without getting caught. The reason is parents are oblivious of the fact that their child’s identity is under threat. Hence they don’t necessarily check their children’s credit report.

The Cultivating Threat

The nature of the crime “Child Identity theft” to stay undetected for a longer period of time makes it hair-raising. Every year criminals succeed in exploiting millions of children’s identities. The explosion of the internet and smart devices is not helping either, instead, it has fueled up identity theft to an alarming rate.

Tips for Parents to protect their Children Identity

Tips for Parents to protect their Children Identity

Parents are often under the wrong impression that their child’s identity will never be stolen and that’s what they do wrong. Even if you are sure that your children are safe, a few preventive measures won’t hurt, right? There are some common red flags parents don’t pay attention to and hence their children get stuck with privacy problems. 

Here are some simple tips for parents to protect their precious bundles from falling victim to this rising crime.

Look out for Red Flags

The best way to deal with the problem is to know its root causes first. Once you are aware of the factors that can lead to some problems then you can easily combat that. In order to protect your children from identity theft, you must look out for warning signs. Just imagine you come across a pre-approved credit card offer in your child’s name. It may sound some computer glitch to you. But what if it’s not?

This can be a warning sign that someone is using your child’s identity. If you ignore this thinking of it some computer mistakes then it may lead you to a major problem. 

Monitor your child’s Social Media

Living in the world of mobile phones and tablets, children using the internet is not something new. Every child now has a presence on the internet whether it’s about watching cartoons on youtube, playing games or using social media. You have no idea who the fellow gamers and anonymous friends are. They can even be identity thieves or pedophiles.

Allowing your child to explore the technology isn’t bad but leaving them on their own may have a negative impact. If you are letting your children participate online then make sure to monitor their activities. The passwords of the accounts must always be available to parents so that they can check regularly with whom their children are interacting. Children may find it their privacy breach or may just hate the idea of giving their passwords. But it’s essential for their protection.

Protect your Child’s Social Security Number

The social security number is the key to a child’s identity and is the first thing that identity thieves target. They can use it to unlock many hidden doors for their benefit. The stolen SSN can be used for multiple purposes – the creation of synthetic identities being the significant one. These identities can be used to open a bank account, issue a credit card, get a bank loan or a car and health insurance, etc. By the time such frauds are detected, it has already caused enough damage.

To avoid these situations, as parents what you can do is obtain SSN for your children first and then keep it safe. Parents need to be vigilant in sharing the children’s SSNs. there are many organizations that ask for children’s social security numbers even though they don’t need it. In such cases, parents should inquire about which purpose are they going to use it.

Open Joint Bank Account

Parents are often seen opening bank accounts on their children’s names to deposit saving checks and bonds. But these savings accounts can pave the way to identity theft. Since once your child’s account has an account, it means that there will definitely be bank statements, emails and letters from the bank. The fraudsters can access that information by some means and use it to get their hands on your child’s cash. Moreover, criminals may use that account to do business or for illegal transactions like money laundering, terrorist funding, etc. 

If you are opening an account on the child’s name then make sure to link it to your account as well, or open a joint account. It will help you keep an eye on the transactions and monitor the payments. Whenever there is some suspicious activity you can be notified instantly. Sometimes, clever crooks use the child’s account to take loans from banks which they have no intention of returning. In those circumstances, the child’s name will be reported to the agencies which may lead to a severe mess, difficult to clean up. By having a joint account, your permission will also be required in order to process any payment or loan.

Dispose of Data Carefully

The discarded data is worth a million in the dark web since the criminals can use it for multiple illegal reasons. You need to be very cautious while throwing away the garbaged documents. Always dispose of the documents, or anything addressed to your children before throwing them out. The things that are wastage for you can be valuable for crooks. 

Safeguard your smart devices

The advancement in technology has opened new doors for cybercriminals to exploit the user devices and obtain the personal data stored in it. It is your duty as parents to secure your smart devices in every possible way. Never store your sensitive data on laptops or mobiles. Always keep it stored in external hard drives or flash USBs.

Moreover, set strong passwords for your devices and install security apps and antivirus software to keep them secure. 

Find and Freeze Credit Report

We often think that children don’t have any credit histories so why would identity go after them? That’s where we are wrong. The clear status of the child’s credit history intrigues the thieves since using their identity they can apply for credit cards, open utility accounts, take out loans, commit tax frauds and many other forms of digital fraud. Timely check the credit history of your children. If no credit report exists then it’s best otherwise immediately get the report and proclaim it to the respective authorities. It may be a sign of possible identity theft.

Common-online-frauds

Common Online Scams You Need to Know About

The explosion of the internet and the world moving towards the fourth industrial revolution have exposed the majority of the businesses and individuals. The user experience and ease of access to everything are driving the major proportion of humans towards the adoption of digital operations. This has created another opportunity for the scammers and fraudsters to look out for some extra cash.

With the increased presence of individuals on online shopping platforms and social media, the swindlers are always looking for a chance to fleece you by any means. With advanced technology and social engineering tactics, the fraudsters have become quite sophisticated. Due to this, most of the scams even seem real and not fake.

Here are some common types of scams that people fall victim to.

Smishing (SMS Phishing)

Smishing, also known as an SMS-phishing attack is becoming common due to the smartphone revolution. In this type of fraud, people often receive a text message from “Bank” or “Card issuer” saying there is some problem with the account or someone tried to access their account and they immediately need to contact with their account information. Even some messages say that you have won a lottery or a gift card from let’s say, Wallmart, and you are required to prove your identity through a call or whatever the message says to avail.
Such messages seem like a real warning from the company, but actually sender is some fraudster hoping to receive the account information from the victim. The same is the case with bogus gift cards. In order to avail that offer, the scammers ask victims to pay the shipping fee or and pay a security fee. Biting into such messages, you will have to surrender your card details to the black hat marketers and scammers leading to credit card verification and CNP frauds.

The Dating Scams

With the expanding trend of online dating sites, cybercriminals are availing this opportunity to scam people in a romance scam and gain financial benefits. Such scams are not limited to defrauding people, in fact, there have been multiple cases where the scammers are professional cybercriminals and use victims as money mules and drug mules without their knowledge.

For instance, in 2016 one such incident was reported in which Edwena Doore fell victim to Kenneth Bruce, whom she met online, and landed in jail for five months for unknowingly laundering $700,000. In addition to this amount, she also lost her own money during her relationship with the offender. As per report, she was warned by the police to stay away from Bruce and she did for the time being and then again contacted him few months later.

In these scams, the scammers and imposters lookout for the real-people and after gaining their trust they start their activities by demanding money. These scammers know really well how to play the emotional card and trick the victims that they are ready to do anything as per the scammers. 

The Hitman Scam 

The hitman Scam is a type of scam in which the victims receive an email from scammers saying that they are hired to kill them and if they want to live then they must transfer money to their account. Though it seems very ridiculous why would someone fell victim to such a message? But the truth is people don’t take life threat easy and that’s what the scammers take advantage of.

To make the threat look more real, the scammers add some information about the person in the message so that the person receiving it would feel under threat. This information is something that people already share on their social media accounts. Due to an active presence on the internet, accessing someone’s information is not difficult anymore. Using this information the fraudsters target people and are successful in stealing money from them

BEC frauds

Business Email Compromise (BEC) frauds are a very common type of frauds, especially in the corporate sectors. To target the entity, the criminals and fraudsters have to do a lot of research. What they do is they present themselves as the representative of some company and send an email or make a call to the victims demanding urgent funds transfer or any other financial incentives.

People easily fell for this scam because firstly the email is from an official account and secondly it is full-fledged planned fraud involving detailed information about the target. Moreover, this scam is executed in a very friendly way. Either the scammers manipulate the targets with their sugar-coated chats or they show the urgency to fulfill their request of funds transfer. 

Free Trial Offer Scam

One of the most common scams is the Free-trial scams which fascinate the users a lot. Finding free trial on the internet that just requires the users to pay shipping and handling fees. Such products and services and really attract the customers and they often register for a free trial. But this is not about it only.

On the backend, there is a lot more. The behavior of a user of clicking “I agree” without reading the whole terms and conditions gives it away to the fraudsters to add the clauses as per their advantage. When you sign up for a free trial, you unknowingly get yourself in trouble with a monthly subscription which is automatically deducted every month from your account.

The World of Charity

The scammers are proactively taking advantage of people’s sympathy and kindness by pretending to be a charity organization. Playing with people’s emotions has never been easy like it is now. By creating fake identities on the internet, the scammers are continuously tricking people into transferring the funds for the orphans and people in need. Many people fall for this scam and end up losing their money to the fraudsters. 

What should you do?

These digital scams and frauds are very common and can target any individual with an online presence. People aren’t the only ones getting affected by these frauds, but businesses are equally on the target list of cybercriminals. Most of such online scams rely on the users to take action. In order to avoid and prevent such scams, the people and businesses need to be educated first about the ways the scammer carry out their activities – i.e. social engineering tactics.

Another way is before taking any action, you must verify the identity of the resource. Especially the businesses must follow proper identity verification services to combat BEC frauds.

Remote identity Proofing

The Reason Why Companies Painstakingly Screen Customers

Remote identity Proofing:  generally believe that more customers bring more revenue. But that is not always the case. Sometimes getting more customers can, in fact, mean fewer profits or even a loss. This article looks at the reasons why businesses take great care in acquiring customers.

Screening by Insurance Companies

Let’s start with the striking example of the insurance industry, or health insurance in particular. Selecting the right pool of customers is crucial for them. They need to maintain an acceptable level of risk in their pool of customers. A person living a healthy lifestyle would bring a lesser risk to the pool. On the other hand, a person that frequently eats junk food and does not exercise brings additional risk.
From a business perspective, the less risky customer is more desirable. If the insurance pool contains more customers carrying less risk, the payouts or insurance claim would be less frequent. Conversely, a pool with a higher number of customers that live an unhealthy lifestyle means that the insurance company would have to pay claims more frequently.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense why companies invest considerable time and effort in screening customers.

Click Here For Remote identity Proofing In Real Time

An Example of Bad Screening Process

Say, an Insuretech firm (an insurance firm that primarily relies on tech innovation to earn revenues) uses the strategy of entering the market by providing insurance cover to those people that have been rejected by other insurance companies. This will not be a sound marketing plan.
The people who have been rejected by other insurance providers are likely to be carrying high risk. This would translate into frequent payouts (cash outflow) for the novice Insuretech company. They need good customers that pay their premiums consistently and are less likely to file a claim.
Another angle to look at this business equation is that when a company accepts more of ‘bad customers’ (high-risk individuals), it puts the burden on the good customers to increase their premium amounts. Business needs to generate consistent profits. Hence the emphasis on devising a strategic customer selection criterion.

Ethics Should be Part of the Business Strategy

Be it insurance or manufacturing, ethics play a critical role. For example, if a screening process results in a rejection list that contains more people of a certain race, demographic or ethnicity, this could be construed as discrimination. In some cases, the company might even incur a penalty under the law. Yes, it is not easy, unintentional breaches occur as well.

Using Machine Learning for Remote identity Proofing

Companies can use machine learning to screen customers. Consider a database where the management is setting filters for screening. For example, they might set the minimum income threshold of 120,000 euros to sell life insurance cover. But with machine learning, they might input ‘apparently’ uncorrelated elements such as if they take the bus to work or use carpooling. These parameters are neutral.
But even an apparently harmless filter such as ‘the number of rooms in their house’ could result in a rejection list that might indicate discrimination. Machine learning, data science in particular, can reveal correlations between elements that would not make sense to humans.
Strong coordination between data scientists and compliance can be a win-win. Companies could screen customers more effectively and still remain compliant.
In fact, businesses can refine their screening process by using compliant AI and machine learning screening. This is cost effective as well due to remote identity proofing. Real time identity proofing process refines the onboarding process for companies.
Screening customers is time consuming but when done effectively, the rewards are plentiful. Businesses do not just want every customer out there. Onboarding needs to be carefully aligned with the business goals while remaining compliant to regulations.

Id Verification Services

What are the Different Types and Solutions of ID Verification?

Customer identification is not an option for some businesses, it’s a must. Ignoring due diligence could get them in legal trouble. This article looks at the types and solutions of ID verification. It also looks at why customer due diligence is critical for financial institutions, and what they should look for while evaluating ID verification services.

Types of ID Verifications

Different companies require different types of ID verifications. The ‘type’ depends on the nature of the business. For example, banks have more security checks and layers, as opposed, say, a website, that simply wants to collect verified email addresses. 

Biometric is the most common form of identity verification. It verifies an individual through one or more unique biological traits. Fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, etc. are the classic methods of biometric verification. Add document verification to it and this combination fortifies the identity verification.

Drivers Licence, passport, a government-issued identity document, are the most common papers used in this process. Additionally, a document issued by a credible organization such as the credit bureau might also be used. 

For instance, if a business would like to; identify an individual online, verify their passport, and then match their live face with the picture on the passport, this can be done in no time. How? Let us show you. Shufti Pro offers a free demo. 

Who Regulates ID Verification Services?  

ID verification services help companies achieve anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) compliance. In the US, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Fincen is the main body regulating the compliance procedure. In the UK, the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) – under the Financial Conduct Authority FCA –  checks the AML compliance.

Similarly, other countries have their own regulatory bodies that ensure that banks and financial institutes (FIs) follow due diligence. 

What about the Old Form of Verification?

The old style of identity verification, known as knowledge-based authentication (KBA) asks personal questions from the user to verify their identity. This process is still used as an alternative. However, this is not considered as safe; information about someone can be found easily through social media. 

In addition, KBA is slow. Answering questions about someone’s pet’s name or their first school can be irritating. People want instant access; one-touch should unlock phone, doors, start a car, give access to the bank account and on and on.

There are several ways verification solution providers help businesses. Since the majority of businesses operate online, they need services that can be integrated into their business through the internet. 

Integrating Verification Solutions

APIs are used extensively to connect business portals with verification solution providers. These are used for desktops and websites. Similarly, plug and play solutions are available for Android and iOS devices. And in case, a company does not have a team of developers then hosted verification solutions are also available. Check out different integration options at Shufti Pro.

The world demands faster services; faster browsing, faster package delivery, and of course faster verification. Solutions such as Shufti Pro that use artificial intelligence and machine learning verify customers in real time. This is especially helpful for businesses since they fear the loss of revenue from the friction that compliance processes create.

Electronic Identification

Global businesses face an additional challenge; they have to comply with regional as well as international regulations. This can get complicated. Not many identification services can truly call themselves global. Accurate compliance rests on exhaustive legal and technical work, integrated with the business process to ensure streamlined and compliant user experience.

Trustworthy services mitigate risk by taking the burden of customer verification from companies. It also helps reduce revenue losses due to ID fraud. Trust increases which creates an aura of safety around the business. People like to do business with companies they trust, which check all the safety boxes. 

Id Verification Services help increase customer retention and acquisition. They also assist with due diligence. What this means is that services check the customer’s identity across different lists to make sure that the person is not a financial risk to the company.   

Documents Verification

An entire universe of documents is used for verification. For instance, Shufti Pro verifies 3000+ different types of documents. Among other tools, we use optical character recognition (OCR) to read and verify documents. It reads documents – including handwritten notes – like a human.

Data Sources

A truly helpful verification solution should be robust in checking a customer’s identity across sanction lists and watch lists. These include, among others; the anti-money laundering list, anti-terrorism, and politically exposed person (PEP) lists. This highlights the growing need for customer identification. Shufti Pro checks a person’s name across 1000+ sanction lists plus 3000+ databases. Its own AML database updates every 15 minutes to ensure the most accurate compliance.  

Bear in mind that the quality and authenticity of the database the verification reliable. For high-risk transactions government, credit, and utility data sources serve the best. For low-risk processes or as a supplement, the solution providers might use consumer sources.

Customer Due Diligence

What is Customer Due Diligence CDD?

Customer due diligence is a process that helps achieve KYC and AML compliance. Background checks, customer identification, and verification are standard diligence procedures.

What is Enhanced Due Diligence EDD?

Sometimes a customer carries additional risk, and plain due diligence just doesn’t cut it. They might need constant monitoring. Some politically exposed individuals (PEPs) fall in this category.

A credible identity verification service should;

  1. Ascertain the identity and location of the potential customer.  This will not only help to know your customer but it will give you an insight into their business. A combination of biometric verification and document verification is effective in achieving that.
  2. Give you clear and concise reporting. If you have to sift through layers upon layers of useless information before you get to what you were looking for, then you might reconsider your decision. 
  3. Alert you if there is a high-risk profile that might need EDD. Also, check if it has the capability of frequent or consistent monitoring.

An aspect that lies in the periphery is third parties that also need to go through CDD. Your business might have partners and collaborators, which have access to your resources. It makes perfect sense to vet them as well. See if your service takes care of ‘know your customer’s customer’ or KYCC.

The difference between KYC and KYCC is minimal. Only the subject changes in KYCC, it’s your customer’s customer under verification check. Verifying; identity, location, the nature of the business, etc. remain the standard. All of these ensure that your partners are not mixing their dirty money in your business.   

To Conclude

Most businesses find it not only convenient but feasible to hire the services of a credible provider regarding compliance. It surely is a steep climb in keeping up with the latest regulatory changes regarding compliance. But, you should do your due diligence on your potential verification service. Find out who their existing clients are. This is generally a good sign of competent service. Check out Shufti Pro’s client portfolio For ID Verification Services.

Millenials Bank

Why Millennials don’t care about Conventional Banking Services?

Millennials are different from the baby boomer generation. They earn less than what the previous generation was earning at their age. It is odd that the banks have been unable to capture the market of millennials – the perfect target audience right now. However, faster customer identity verification can make banks millennial-friendly. 

Overview of Millenials

Millennials are the first of their kind – the true digital natives! 

They are internet savvy and armed with smartphones, which they check dozens of times a day. We are talking about people currently in the age group of 18-34. Smartphones play a huge role in their lives. 

The banks have started to think in terms of apps and online services. Also, the young generation is prone to fast internet.

What does internet speed have to do with customer identity verification?

A lot!

Banks are not selling toys or stationery. They have to comply with the financial regulations in providing their services. Say, a millennial wants to open a bank account. The ideal or expected way would be to open it over the internet. But not many banks are providing these services currently.

Why Banks have a hard time Capturing Millenials 

The millennials are not happy with the conventional banking system. They do not have to depend on any particular bank or service in most cases. An army of Fintech companies and products are swarming the markets. 

But despite the banks’ marketing, they are not there where they would like to be, in fact, they are far from it. If there is a bug in the app of a bank, the young customer would not like to wait for it to get fixed. They would like to know, which service is better and faster. 

Moreover, the banks have not yet figured out the perfect products that cater to this market. Millennials are putting off buying large ticket items but, in the future, they will be holding a significant amount of wealth.

Cybercrime is the elephant in the Room 

Let’s address the elephant in the room; privacy and security. We are spending more time gawking at the screens of computers and phones than ever before. You can buy stuff online, apply for a visa, date someone, and the list goes on. However, among this significant amount of data, security is of utmost importance,

Privacy breaches, hacks and other forms of cyber attacks have made this generation weary and cautious of banks. Since the majority of wealth exists digitally, this raises concerns for privacy.

A Safe and Bright Future

One obvious tool to handle security concerns is the verification of identity. When a customer is about to send or receive payment, the verification should be foolproof. This relates to the identity of the user. 

Each time we interact online, it leaves a footprint, which creates their digital identity. As technology gets more advanced, so do the tools. Banking and security services that are powered by AI and machine learning can collect the data better, faster and with better accuracy. Faster identity verification solutions are a healthy sign for banks. 

Conclusion

There are troves of rich data available for businesses. How fast banks capture and utilize it to offer banking products to customers will define who can corner this market first. Banks need to get aggressive in integrating state of the art technology in their services. Otherwise, more technology-based services will take over.

Identity verification services

12 Ways Identity Verification Services Helping Online Businesses

The online marketplace has a culminating presence in the business world. Worldwide e-commerce sales are expected to reach an astounding $4.8 trillion by the end of 2021. Additionally, the cumulative number of online shoppers reaching over 2.1 billion. Moreover, recent studies have reported a 277% increase in global e-commerce sales over the past few years. Online merchants must fight to maintain their competitive advantage when stakes are this high. An automated Know Your Customer (KYC) verification solution can enable them to build a seamless experience. Here are 15 ways in which online businesses can enjoy identity verification services.

Ways in Which it Enhances Security

 

  • Clamping Down the Potential for Fraud

Online businesses, in particular, are more prone as well as vulnerable to fraud. Cases of identity theft and credit card fraud are common in e-commerce stores. Businesses often receive requests for refunds when a fraudulent transaction made. An identity proofing solution helps in curbing the potential for fraud by verifying users remotely. This results in the reduction of chargebacks and an increase in profits.

 

  • Protect Your Reputation in the Market

Online stores that are vulnerable to data breaches and has shoddy cybersecurity systems tend to build up a bad reputation in the online market space. Similarly, when a company incurs one too many chargebacks, it tends to lose its goodwill amongst its customers. This can be remedied by implementing an identity authentication method that can verify consumer identities within seconds. By fixing the loopholes in their security structures, businesses can protect their user data as well as protect their reputations in the market and among customers.

 

  • Shield Customers From Inflated Prices

Online frauds including identity theft and credit card fraud end up increasing chargebacks and fines for businesses. This, in turn, makes a dent in the company’s bottom line and thus forces them to increase their prices to cover these costs. Retailers can protect customers from price increases that are uncalled for. With a sound KYC system in place, businesses can eliminate the threat of fraud in the first place.

 

  • Avoid Costly Lawsuits and Fines

Frequent cases of credit card fraud and identity theft in a business can lead to questions about its online security. It can, therefore, lead to elaborate lawsuits from victims affected by identity fraud. On top of that, credit card companies also tend to sanction merchants who do not observe better fraud prevention measures. Additionally, there are businesses that offer age sensitive products or services. They are legally bound to verify the age of their users. All these problems can be easily addressed by an identity verification system such as Shufti Pro that offers an AI-based solution for Identity verification services that also include age verification services along with facial recognition and ID authentication.

 

  • Protect Your Customers

The foremost advantage an identity authentication system presents for businesses is that it enables them to protect their customers from the fallout of fraudulent transactions. Identity fraud can go unnoticed for weeks, even months on end, allowing the perpetrator to accumulate charges on a person’s credit card. Online ID verification instantly detects a fraudulent user and blocks his/her access before they can cause any significant damage.

How Identity Verification Services Can Improve Sales and Conversions?

 

  • Enhancing the Purchase Process

Over 13% of online customers abandon their purchases due to poor and lengthy customer verification procedures. A number of online websites have complicated purchase processes that require elaborate information from customers in order for them to proceed with their purchase. Sometimes customers are even asked to enter details more than once, thus increasing their frustration. This eventually leads to higher purchase abandonment levels which ultimately drives down sales. An efficient identity proofing system for customers can make life easier on both sides.

With a system like Shufti Pro businesses can implement OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to extract data from a user’s documents verifying their identities at the same time. It significantly reduces the time for data entry and allows for increased accuracy, thereby reducing human error. Automated KYC systems have therefore made the purchase process easier for both the customers as well as retailers and has consequently resulted in increased sales.

 

  • Reducing the Cost of Online Fraud

As the rate of online frauds decreases with a more efficient user verification process, the resultant costs naturally fall. The reduced costs ultimately lead to increased profits creating a win-win situation for online retailers. It also reduces the number of chargebacks and fines for companies, ultimately leading to an increase in their revenues.

 

  • Personalising Offers for Customers

Once a customer’s details are obtained through a verification system, a company can make use of them to identify returning customers. This also enables marketing teams to personalise products or services for customers and target them in a more efficient manner. This practice can significantly impact customer experience, making them feel more valued, resulting in their prolonged lifetime value.

 

  • Complying With Global Regulations

One of the biggest incentives for businesses to implement an effective KYC system is to comply with global compliance regulations. Regulatory authorities – both national and international – Identity verification services have been highly active over the past couple of years to curb money laundering activities. In an attempt to make sure that businesses comply with regulatory requirements, authorities have started sanctioning banking institutions. Over the past decade, the financial sector has faced nearly $26 billion in fines.

KYC services enable businesses to comply with worldwide regulatory requirements effectively by identifying and verifying clients more accurately. Service providers like Shufti Pro also offer AML screening services that allow businesses to screen high-risk individuals through global sanction lists to identify Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). Online identity verification, therefore, makes complying with global regulations easier for businesses.

 

  • Building Trust Among Customers

When online businesses take active measures to prevent fraud and comply with legal and ethical obligations, they tend to build trust amongst customers. Merchants that experience little or no cases of credit card fraud tend to have a good reputation amongst customers and end up acquiring customers for life.

 

  • Providing a Seamless Customer Experience

Another advantage of online identity authentication services is that it reduces a significant amount of hassle for customers. It tends to reduce the time it takes for the customers to enter their details. It further reduces the time it takes them to verify themselves and their credentials through facial recognition and document verification. With verification time reduced to under a minute, customers are able to complete the purchase within minutes. KYC service providers like Shufti Pro are able to provide the sort of seamless experience for businesses and their users that can enable them to reduce cut down their purchase abandonment rates.

 

  • Reduce Errors in Shipping

Manual data entry methods are prone to errors – both on part of the merchant as well as the customer. With digital identity verification, e-retailers can reduce these errors through a service like instant capture from Shufti Pro. The service uses OCR to extract data from a user’s document in addition to verifying them. This reduces both the time and number of errors for e-commerce retailers.

 

Try Out Shufti Pro Identity Verification Services 

Age Verification

How Online ID Verification Supports Age-restricted Sellers?

The online stores selling age-restricted products like gaming services, medicine or drugs are in severe need of performing age verification. According to a recent study, online spendings of children are £64 million yearly which they do without the knowledge of their parents. 4 out of 5 children are making transaction through their parents’ bank cards, PayPal accounts and online accounts.
A recent study shows that two-thirds of teenagers are financially active online. They spend a lot on buying age-restricted stuff which includes gaming services, cigarettes, alcohol, cannabis, weapons, and solvents. Nearly a quarter of teenagers buy movies and video games which are intended for the higher age group. CPP, research for credit card companies shows that 1 out of 7 purchases are done by the children aged between 7 and 16.
The part of human brain that correspond to personal pleasure grows faster than the parts contributing in risk analysis and decision making. Therefore, their activities should be monitored actively and continuously to avoid several issues that might cost more than the bills teenagers pay online. Age verification is a lawful requirement in many countries to allow online activities. Online stores should have a proper age check which makes sure that on the other side, product is not sent to underage customer.

Here are a few industries that need protection against under-age identity fraud

Gaming Industry

Every industry has some set guidelines that have to be followed in order to avoid regulatory scrutiny from their concerned regulators and there are quite a few regulators governing the online gambling industry. Any online gaming and gambling platform that fails to comply with these regulations have to face huge revenue loss, strict disciplinary actions, and hefty fines.
According to a study by the Gambling Commission, 450,000 children are involved in the online gambling process. These children are the ones aged between 11 and 16 and most of them take drugs. For online gambling operations, strict rules are defined. The children under 18 cannot be part of the gambling community. The legal age is 18, in some areas it is 19 or 21. The online buying by less than the judiciary defined age is not allowed and is considered illegal.
Online Gambling is not the only digital menace haunting minors on cyberspace but there are multiple age-restricted products that teenagers are buying online such as

Vapes and e-Cigarettes

According to the 2018 report of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, 78% of high school students are using e-cigarettes. In just one year (2017-2018), e-Cigarettes usage has increased from 11.7% to 20.8%. A proposal is given by the FDA in which access to nicotine products is restricted to teenagers (under 18).
UNC research shows that online vapes and e-cigarettes are easily available at very cheap prices available in multiple flavors delivered on demand. There is no strict verification process available online and vendors are delivering tobacco openly. Now, due to strict local regulatory rules, online vapes and cigarettes have been baned to the under-age community and the judiciary has made age-verification mandatory in the regulatory.

Alcohol

The study of new data from Slice Intelligence shows that alcohol delivery has grown 32.7% in 2017 and it is increasing by the average rate of 3% every month. Online orders through mobile apps have increased to 20% by teenagers. This increase in underage drinkers shows a great risk which online marketplace pays in the form of heavy fines.
All the online stores should make their system free from under-age buyers. This will not only leave a negative emphasis on the health of teenagers but also the reputation of the company will be damaged.

Cannabis and Medical Marijuana

The mainstream of legal deliverance of cannabis globally has impacted everything. The cannabis industry is one of the fast-growing industry today. According to BDS and Arcview Market Research, the global spending of cannabis by consumers will increase 3 times ($32B) by 2022.
Medical Marijuana is supplied legally in the US. Teenagers are taking advantage of it and online stores are delivering their consumers without any proper age verification.
Many companies take service from the third-party delivery system who delivers the order to their customer. As they need to quickly deliver a large number of orders, the verification at a delivery time can be somehow dodged and it would be hefty for the third party delivery system to send the parcel back to the company with additional overhead. Also in many cases, the customer leaves a note by the door; ‘not at home’. So there is no way for the delivery person to identify and verify the identity of a person.

Online ID Verification is the Solution

Online ID verification helps in ensuring compliance especially for the companies selling age-restricted products online. For the verification purpose, customer’s personal information should be obtained and matched against an independent database. This data could include name, date of birth, geolocation, email, contact number and other essential information based on the company’s requirement. The information is matched accordingly to verify the identity and is further processed with the transaction. The onboarding process should be quick to ensure good user experience, but age should be verified through the instant age verification to reduce the risks of online fraud by teenagers.

What other methods can help verify the age of the customer to allow product delivery?

In this new era of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based technological advancements, age verification can be done through facial recognition, image verification (with liveness detection), identity card verification and biometric. The person who wants to buy something will have to first verify his age in the onboard process. AI techniques will match the identity (through anyway) of the customer with the stored database and will give the status of accepted or rejected. In this way, it would be hard for the under-age community to buy restricted products online without any proper consent.

Identity Theft is one of the major concerns of customers… How to deal with it?

For any online marketplace, it is mandatory to run the system under certain compliances proposed by the government. In that regulatory compliance, online stores make sure that the customer identity is used for the legal purpose and will not be sold to any third party. Any flexibility regarding privacy affairs is unacceptable by the law and will result in heavy fines and strict lawsuits against the company.

Conclusion

The online marketplace that sells age-restricted products should ensure that through their system, under-age children are not making any transaction. For this, there should be age verification of the customers onboard which can be achieved through AI-based techniques. Age verification helps the seller to allow purchases only for adults and reduce the chances of usage of age-restricted products by teenagers.

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