Consumer Authentication at the 2018 KNOW Identity Conference

The KNOW Identity Conference, a major conference in the identity space, hosted its 2018 event from March 26 to March 28, at Washington, D.C.’s Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The KNOW Identity Conference is presented as a central event for identity innovation, offering a uniquely differentiated, powerful, and immersive event that convenes the world’s most influential organizations and smartest minds across industries to shape the future of identity. This year, the KNOW Identity Conference brought together leaders from multiple industries, including cybersecurity, trust & safety, and Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.

This year’s event dealt largely with the challenge of consumer authentication. Each day included a widely attended keynote speech which served as an overview of the issue, and included questions from attendees. The first session touched on the blind spots in present-day authentication in financial services. The panel consisted of an array of professionals from diverse industries: James Whitman, Chief Commercial Officer at MEDICI; Jonathan Smith, CTO & Co-Founder at Civic Technologies; Alex O’Rourke, Partner, Fintech Group and Co-Leader at McGuireWoods LLP; Ranjita Iyer, VP of Identity Solutions at MasterCard; Rodger Desai, CEO at Payfone. Data governance and thwarting cyber-attacks through better authentication methods were major themes in this session. According to Desai, authenticating consumers, whether they are new customers or long-time account holders, can be incredibly challenging. He said, “Institutions need to ensure the people they are conducting business with are who they say they are without applying too much friction during account opening or access.”

With the increasing complexity of technology, today’s consumer expects quick, seamless interactions. The KBA (Knowledge-Based Authentication) question method is becoming antiquated. Therefore, balancing accurate authentication with a positive customer experience can seem impossible. While knowledge-based authentication remains a common practice, recent research indicates 30%, of legitimate users, cannot successfully answer KBA questions, while as many as 60% of criminals can, according to Smith.

Faster, More Comprehensive Authentication

Desai’s Payfone, a mobile and digital identity authentication solution provider, provides a fail-safe measure for mobile users that is intended to safeguard intellectual property, sensitive information, and business reputation. The New York-based startup’s technology verifies users’ SIM cards so customers can speak to a customer-service representative without having to answer many security questions first. The software can catch inconsistencies, such as an unauthorized user trying to access a mobile app or service, allowing legit clients to do business faster, said Desai. The company expects to authenticate 50 million transactions a day in 2018 as it enters the insurance market, a five-fold increase from last year, Desai said.

Software company ID Analytics, a subsidiary company of LifeLock, took things a step further in authentication. In response to a marketplace in need of consumer-friendly authentication, ID Analytics is offering a product called ID Connect 2.0.

ID-Connect 2.0 leverages advanced photo-capture technology to perform fast, cost-effective, and comprehensive authentication. The solution allows most consumers to take a photo of their driver license, or other government-issued ID, to capture and extract the data on the ID for authentication. By employing a data-driven examination of both the document and the associated identity in near real- time, ID Connect 2.0 delivers a comprehensive authentication assessment without damaging the customer experience.

Image Source: Image, License Summary.

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