Is Caller ID enough to authenticate your banking customers?

Posted on: May 29th, 2014 by Art Barger

When your bank receives a customer email, your authentication team has several identifiers to help determine if the email is trustworthy or not. The sender’s email is typically the first thing we look at to determine who the person is. The name on the email is another indicator of who might be contacting us. The subject line can also be evaluated before opening an email, and we also have the option of reading and analyzing a portion of the message before engaging with customers. All of these components play an integral part in securing online transactions.

The phone channel is a different story.

Call center representatives don’t have the luxury of reviewing a number of credentials before deciding whether or not they can trust the caller. The Caller ID is the only context your telephone agents get before they pick up the phone. In most cases, the Caller ID and person on the other end of the line match up. However, when it comes to authenticating customer calls, financial institutions cannot make that assumption. They know that one bad call that defeats their identification process can compromise their security, opening the door to potential fraud that can have a damaging impact on customer relationships, business profits, and brand integrity.

While there are ways to strengthen the validity of Caller ID and ANI to verify the authenticity of inbound calls, simply leaving it up to telephone agents to choose is not one of them. Today, trusting security questions to determine the risk of the call is no longer effective, cost-prohibitive, and can create a false sense of trust that can lead to additional fraud and abuse.

Social engineering scams can find their way around even the most difficult challenge questions. Once call center agents answer the phone, they put the ball in the caller’s court. Fraudsters can maliciously answer personally identifiable information (PII) questions, just as good callers can incorrectly answer questions about themselves, too. As a result, bad callers are allowed to gather data on legitimate accounts whereas good customers are identified as false-positives. This can have an substantial impact on their trust and goodwill.

At TRUSTID, we understand the frustrations customers feel when they’re put through lengthy knowledge-based authentication (KBA) methods. When calling your bank, nobody wants to be greeted by a distrustful interrogation. They’re looking to get their problems resolved, not be put in the hot seat to determine if they can be trusted by their own bank.

The TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication solution re-establishes the Caller ID and ANI as trustworthy credentials for identifying customers over the telephone channel. By validating the caller’s physical landline or mobile device pre-answer, TRUSTID doesn’t leave it up to the call center agent to determine if the call is trustworthy or not. The telephone network forensic tool automatically does this for them in real time, routing good callers to the appropriate queue and proactively blocking known bad calls from reaching call center agents.

When phone agents confidently know they’re picking up calls from good customers, they can bypass the interrogation process altogether and go right into serving the customer. This customer-friendly approach is also a business-friendly approach, too. Making the needs of banking customers your top priority, your call center can resolve more issues faster, creating a more satisfying experience for every customer that calls your customer service desk. Doing so allows banks to strengthen the profitable bank-customer relationship, a key component to any bank’s overall business success.