Fraud prevention has always been integral to both big and small businesses, and it is more important than ever right now. According to data from the FTC, imposter scams increased significantly over the course of 2020, causing $3.3 billion in consumer losses, up from $1.8 billion in 2019. Online shopping, spurred by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, saw a particular surge in fraud cases. Combined with an increasingly global marketplace, businesses are facing new risks associated with every new opportunity for growth.
To combat this worrisome trend, GIACT—a Refinitiv company and an industry leader in payments and identity fraud prevention—has announced the addition of a new global consumer and business identity verification solution called gIDENTIFY® Global to its EPIC Platform®.
To learn more about how gIDENTIFY Global can help bring trust back into transactions, PaymentsJournal sat down with James Mirfin, Global Head of Digital Identify and Fraud Solutions at Refinitiv, and Tim Sloane, VP of Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group.
What gIDENTIFY Global can offer
GIACT just recently announced the launch of gIDENTIFY Global. “What we’re launching is the ability for our customers to verify the identity of individuals and businesses across 38 countries around the globe through the existing integrations that they have with us,” said Mirfin.
With gIDENTIFY Global, GIACT is building upon their pre-existing identity verification processes. According to the GIACT web site, the gIDENTIFY product “optimize(s) your identification processes by using multiple data sources to confirm customer and business identities in real time.” By expanding to the global marketplace, GIACT can help organizations more effectively grow their business internationally, mitigate fraud, and address KYC (know your customer) to help meet compliance, underwriting, and risk management requirements. In essence, GIACT is increasing its coverage across several worldwide markets to deliver on a global scale what its customers already rely upon in the U.S.
The timing could not be better. According to Sloane, consumer losses have been mounting in the areas of bank fraud, credit fraud, loan and lease fraud, and more. Mirfin remarked, “We think this is a way to give our customers confidence and to ultimately help protect their customers from these types of issues.”
Building trust through great data
Across all sectors, GIACT is seeing customers dealing with an increasingly global client base. Moreover, businesses are experiencing the massive acceleration of digitization. The two phenomena are intimately connected. “Businesses that are able to scale digitally [have] a very low cost of entry into new markets and new sectors,” said Mirfin. “And that’s exciting for them, but they need to do that with protection.” A solution like gIDENTIFY Global helps businesses bring consumers in the door, safely.
“As companies look to expand and broaden out their customer reach, the best way to do that is digitally,” Mirfin explained. “Doing that with confidence is something that we want to help them with gIDENTIFY Global – giving them access to great data, giving them the ability to be really confident about people or businesses that they’re dealing with across borders where maybe they don’t have a physical presence.”
Tracking risk profiles through the customer life cycle
To build their client base and retain customers, many companies integrate new strategies and technologies that increase customer experience and ease-of-use. The complication is that reducing barriers to access can also make it easier for fraud to occur. “There’s a real trade-off there,” said Mirfin. “How much friction do you have, and how much confidence do you have?” Using gIDENTIFY Global with other capabilities on the EPIC Platform allows GIACT and its customers to balance that friction with robust layers of security.
Digital onboarding is normally the first interaction that people think about, and it can be very daunting. Equally important, however, is looking at the risk profile through the life cycle of the customer. Mirfin, offered some questions businesses might ask themselves: “Did you get all the information that you needed to? Did you need to do everything up front? Or can you do step-up verification and authentication as the customer relationship becomes more sophisticated?” Each leg of the customer journey is a potential point of risk, and GIACT is regularly talking to its customers about how they can provide support on that journey.
Streamlining international compliance
Compliance and regulation with digital standards can be incredibly complex. “We always design our solutions in a way that allows our customers to participate in any market standards or regulations that they need to deal with,” Mirfin confirmed. Last June, the European Commission proposed a framework for EU citizens to be able to prove their digital identity. GIACT felt it was imperative for gIDENTIFY Global to allow for compliance around data privacy, processing, and protection. “I think the work that the EU and other standard-setting bodies are doing can only be a good thing,” Mirfin added. “We stay very close to that, and we’ll obviously keep looking at that and working with our customers so that they understand how they can operate within the constraints of any regulations.”
No matter the evolving needs of its customers, GIACT offers dynamic solutions about how to approach identity and personal information. “Somebody asked me the other day to give them a really simple view of what GIACT does,” Mirfin concluded. “I said, we put trust into transactions. That’s really what we do.”