Stolen identities threaten more than just your customers

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by Art Barger

The underground economy has grown into a 24-hour assembly line of stolen identities.

The recent article, “Banking’s customer identity crisis,” cites a SafeNet report that says 1,355 personal identities are stolen every minute around the globe. With so much information being compromised each day, criminals appear to have an endless supply of personal data and credentials they can use to launch a number of fraudulent activities across multiple banking channels. From fraudulent transactions to account takeovers, thieves have gained the upper hand against knowledge-based authentication (KBA) solutions. And the result is not good for banks that still rely on personal data to validate customers over the telephone channel.

Employing innovative social engineering techniques, crooks do more than just trick call center agents into divulging sensitive customer account information. Aside from fraudulent behavior, there are many more long-term repercussions at stake for call centers, including:

  • Higher operating costs: Telephone interrogations for unvalidated calls can drive up labor costs due to longer call times. Depending on the amount of inbound customer calls your contact center receives each year, using KBA can significantly increase your annual operating expenses, which ultimately cuts into your business profits.
  • Customer inconvenience: Starting each customer call with a bunch of security questions not only interrupts the customer service process, it can take a heavy toll on your customers’ banking experience. In the end, customer satisfaction and customer retention suffers.
  • Loss of customer trust and goodwill: When you greet callers with challenge questions, you’re essentially telling them they cannot be trusted until they answer your questions. This approach can frustrate customers who are just calling in to make a transaction or resolve an issue in a timely manner.
  • False sense of security: In many call center environments, when a caller correctly answers a series of questions the telephone agent is trained to believe the caller is who they say they are. In today’s fraud landscape, believing a person who correctly answers security questions creates a false sense of trust and security that can lead to fraud and other unwanted activity.

Look, we all want to continue improving the overall banking experience for our customers. We want to make it faster and easier for them to perform transactions without sacrificing our ability to provide a secure environment and remain competitive in the today’s marketplace. But the escalating threats and competitive pressures continue to make it a challenge for financial institutions to stay ahead of the curve.

While expanding new services is one way to help customers bank more efficiently, it can also come at a price if you’re using caller authentication solutions that disrupt or counteract the process. With so much personal information clearly getting in the wrong hands, implementing automated customer identification tools that proactively authenticate callers can help lower long-term operating costs, improve the customer experience, and provide a safer channel for your customers to bank on.

The TRUSTID® Physical Caller Authentication solution validates incoming calls while the phone is still ringing. Within seconds, banks receive credentials letting them know if the call is spoofed or coming from a legitimate customer. The call is then automatically routed to the appropriate operator or IVR system, which can begin serving the customer instead of putting them through a lengthy, intrusive interrogation process. By removing the unnecessary steps that get in the way of providing excellent customer service, criminals aren’t given the opportunity to perpetrate identity fraud using stolen information. And the best part is, banks and businesses save on labor costs, create a more efficient and secure environment, and deliver a more satisfying overall experience for their customers.