Restoring the trust and usability of Caller ID

Posted on: January 09th, 2013 by Art Barger

Trust, once the very essence of the financial industry, is gone.

That’s according to the recent USA Today article, “Remember when trust actually meant something,” which says most of today’s major brands have implicit trust problems. Many are on a spinning treadmill trying to make up for lost customer and public trust.

This certainly applies to today’s Caller IDs and ANI. The one-time foundation for customer identification and knowing whether an incoming call could be trusted or not, the Caller ID is no longer the relied upon source for identifying incoming calling party phone numbers it used to be. Thanks, in part, to the rapid rise of Caller ID spoofing tools and social engineering schemes.

These telephone scams take advantage of the risky handling of personally identifiable information (PII) over the Internet to defeat security methods like knowledge-based authentication (KBA) security questions. These methods no way of validating the Caller ID and rely too much on PII for authenticating activities such as bankcard activation, money transfers new account applications and customer service processes.

With more banking transactions still being conducted over the telephone than the Internet, financial services industry needs to re-establish Caller ID and ANI as trusted sources for authenticating customers. Why? When you think about it, the ability to automatically validate the actual telephonic device making the call is a far better, more reliable credential than the last four digits of a customer’s social security number.

Today, relying on PII is no longer predictive for identifying customers over the phone. IN fact, it can put a bank’s information and customer accounts at serious risk. And once the trust between the bank and customer is lost, it can be a long road for financial institutions to win back that important trust with customers and the public in general.

Unlike traditional PII-based authentication tools, the TrustID® network-based Physical Caller Authentication doesn’t depend on challenge questions to identify customers over the phone. Rather, it automatically transmits the caller’s phone number to our API before a call center agent picks up. Using real-time telephone network forensics, the actual location of the telephonic device is validate or identified as a spoofed call.

Finally, because this process takes place without interrupting the customer experience or tipping off criminals who are identified before the call is answered, TRUSTID helps restore the trust and usability of the Caller ID and ANI to help banks can reduce revenue losses from fraud and provide a faster, more trustworthy experience for the millions of banking customers who still bank over the telephone.