Dial up Your Identity Verification Processes with Mobile Directory Information

Anne-Marie Kelly
Blog Post10/08/2018

Identity verification is receiving considerable attention as government institutions and businesses strive to improve their Know Your Customer (KYC) capabilities, manage risk, and provide assurance to consumers that they’re doing as much as possible to guard against identity theft and associated fraud.

The first step in knowing your customers is being able to verify that they are who they say they are. Access to their mobile account information can help, explains Anne-Marie Kelly, Executive Director of Identity Management and Fraud Solutions at TransUnion Canada.


Know thy customer: the importance of identity verification

Canadian consumers are increasingly concerned about being victims of identity fraud. The 2018 Fraud Survey by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) found that:

  • 67% of respondents said they’re doing more to protect themselves from being a victim of fraud than they did five years ago
  • 76% said they are concerned their personal information is at risk due to businesses being vulnerable to cyberattacks

Canadian businesses can take action by combining identity validation services with proprietary and multi-merchant data. Using an identity toolkit is a crucial first step in protecting customers, and identifying and mitigating the risks associated with fraud.

Knowing who your customers are not only helps to mitigate risk but also empowers you to strengthen relationships with customers and build confidence in your brand. By knowing your customers and verifying their identities upfront, you are able provide at least some level of confidence that they can trust you with their data and that you have systems and processes in place to help prevent fraudulent activities.

Enhancing your identity toolkit

Taking steps to verify a consumer’s identity to a high degree of certainty is vital at any stage of the customer life cycle, from onboarding new customers to managing accounts and enhancing customer retention efforts. The more information you have in your identity toolkit, the more confident you can be in confirming that consumers are who they say they are.

Using standard data sources to verify consumers’ information simply isn’t efficient anymore and doesn’t offer the level of security today’s consumers require. Cyber criminals are constantly finding new ways to commit online fraud by using information that is easy to access and quick to amend. No matter which channels a consumer uses to engage with your business, they are still open to an element of risk when it comes to fraudulent activities regarding their personal information.

This is why you need to enhance your identity toolkit with data sources such as TransUnion’s directory services solutions, which enable you to compare consumer-provided information such as telephone and address with third-party directory information sources.

Making mobile information work for you

An important element of the identity toolkit is contact information, which includes address and phone details. Landlines are a standard component of the identity kit; however, this data is not as useful in identity verification as it once was. Today, more Canadian households (20%) subscribe exclusively to mobile wireless services than those subscribing to landline phone services (14%), according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Communications Monitoring Report 20161

The report notes that close to 80% of people in North America, Europe and Asia access the internet on their mobile phones, with an anticipated five billion mobile phone users across the globe in 2019 – with this in mind, it makes sense to include mobile account data in the identity toolkit to present a more holistic, detailed view of the consumer.

Financial institutions decide on the criteria for the offer and which customers would be the best fit. Depending on the business strategy and desired outcomes of the campaign, they can then tailor the offers with as few or as many criteria as they like, as qualification rules can take into account a range of variables, including credit status, (from sub-prime to super-prime), region, demographics, credit history and recent or historical credit behaviour.

Mobile Directory Services to complement verification processes

TransUnion’s Mobile Directory Services were designed to do just that. A complementary service to our existing (landline-based) TransUnion Directory Services, Mobile Directory Services offers access to real-time mobile account information for over 90% of mobile subscribers in Canada. With this additional layer of data, organizations will be able to enhance their identity verification processes, thereby helping to reduce identity theft, and give customers greater confidence in their fraud-prevention efforts.

Mobile Directory Services is part of the TransUnion IDVision suite of solutions, which you can read more about at : TransUnion.ca/IDVision

To learn more about improving your identity verification with mobile directory information, visit:

transunion.ca/product/mobile-directory-services

1Source: Communications Monitoring Report 2016 published by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Copy of this version available at :
https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/PolicyMonitoring/2016/cmr.pdf. This reproduction is not represented as an official version of the materials reproduced, nor as having been made, in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the CRTC.


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