Understanding the Need for Continuous Identity Assurance


Customer enrollment methods must strike a delicate balance between security and convenience — during sign-up and subsequent logins. Yet, sophisticated threat actors can manipulate your verification and fraud program, skip through your Identity Assurance Levels and make your business vulnerable.

As threat levels rise and consumer patience decreases, your identity management tools can make or break your process. Explore the challenges companies (and clients) face with current verification processes and how customer acceptance platforms can provide the continuous identity assurance needed. 

Identity Management Insights and Trends

The abrupt rise of digital technology during the pandemic left many companies scrambling to adjust their online acceptance and enrollment programs. Indeed, in 2020, scammers and identity fraud affected 47% of businesses worldwide. Consumer identity fraud also hit new highs in 2020 and 2021, leaving people wary about sharing personally identifiable information (PII) online. 

The threats haven’t dissipated, nor have consumer concerns. However, customers expect a seamless user experience throughout their journey, from their initial application to subsequent logins. As companies assess their fraud detection and Identity Assurance Levels, they should consider their financial risks and the impact on customer experience.

Harder To Decipher Between Real Customers and Fraudsters

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), one in five people loses money from imposter scams. Moreover, identity fraud has steadily grown since 2018. Consumers reported over 1.4 million identity theft instances to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network in 2021 versus less than 700,000 in 2019. Although identity fraud reports peaked in 2021, the levels still remain more than double the 2019 rates. 

Likewise, identity and payment information remains accessible to cyber criminals. Around 4.5 million card details are available for purchase on the darknet. Individuals can buy fake documents for as little as $1 and purchase verified accounts for about $300. Deepfake technology makes it easier to forge documents and take over identities. The FBI calls synthetic identity theft “the fastest growing financial crime.” 

Difficult To Meet Customer Expectations

While companies focus on tightening identity management processes, consumers continue to demand frictionless experiences with trusted brands. Gartner predicts that by 2024 organizations that provide an excellent total user experience “will outperform competitors by 25% in satisfaction metrics for both customer and employee experience.”

Yet, a confusing digital onboarding process can decrease trust and impact enrollment. According to Google, “three in five customers will not buy from a brand they don’t trust.” As concerns about fraud remain top of mind, companies should adopt methods that increase confidence without sacrificing convenience. 

Navigating the Current Identity Verification Process 

Customer identification programs (CIP) for pre- and post-authentication vary based on the business type and industry. Often, companies use several vendors to ensure compliance, assess fraud risk and verify identities. Customers may need to prove their identity on different platforms and devices to sign up. After passing the Know Your Customer (KYC) verification, login methods are less intrusive but still rely on multiple services.

Customer onboarding technologies use various strategies:

However, there is an alternative to multiple customer onboarding technologies. Instnt Accept™ lets customers sign up with a single click, and it acts as your first line of defense by performing a KYC check and preventing fraud. Instnt Accept provides Day-Zero to Day-N identity assurance, including indemnifying businesses up to $100 million in fraud loss liability protection.

Key Challenges of Identity Management

The current digital identity verification and management process involves multiple steps and vendors. Each platform must integrate with existing onboarding software, typically requiring custom-built solutions that significantly burden your information technology (IT) resources. If you switch platforms, your team must start the integration and management process from scratch. 

Technologies that don’t integrate well together do more than cause a headache for IT. They create data silos, raising the risk of account takeovers and other fraudulent activities. Indeed, time is money, and complex and inefficient processes increase your operating expenses. 

At the same time, inconvenient pre- and post-authentication methods lead to lost sales opportunities, as frustrated users give up. Those that can’t navigate your identity verification tools at each stage of the customer lifecycle may reach out to your business using costly communication methods, such as a call center, instead of completing an online, automated process. 

Few businesses can afford to lose revenue, yet the current identity management process is broken. Companies need continuous identity assurance. Fortunately, a fully managed customer acceptance platform can improve the customer journey while reducing fraud loss. 

What Is Continuous Identity Assurance, and How Does It Work?

Continuous identity assurance provides a measure of certainty of user identities, from the opening of an account to the future of account use. It creates a circle of trust extending across your customers’ omnichannel journey. Companies can standardize their identity assurance process using the framework from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The guidelines define assurance levels for digital identification enrollment, authentication and lifecycle management standards.

Continuous authentication solutions, like Instnt Verify™ work by collecting intelligence about users and their behavior. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies review digital identities to grant access to verified customers while flagging fraudulent activities. Effective identity and access management systems with continuous authentication establish the digital identity of applicants. It enables consumers to complete your onboarding process easily. And when your user needs to update their payment information or phone number, the best tools continuously verify their identity.

Continuous Identity Assurance Is the Edge You Need

Companies can leverage continuous identity assurance to reduce risks and improve the customer experience while coping with sophisticated fraud techniques and higher threat volumes. In addition, ongoing identity assurance supports portable KYC verification, making the process more convenient and secure.

For example, Instnt Access™ uses the Hyperledger blockchain. It provides risk and security LoA-based access and an embedded OEM ID wallet. The frictionless experience onboards customers with one click without compromising security.

Digital identity solutions with continuous authentication impact revenue growth and profit margins. Fewer steps during enrollment can decrease abandonment, whereas lower false rejection rates reduce user frustration. Moreover, improving your process can differentiate your brand since “over 90% of customers feel that the companies they buy from ‘could do better’ when it comes to onboarding new users/customers.”

Identity assurance tools also affect customer lifetime value, reducing churn due to lack of trust, security concerns or complicated methods for updating or changing information. Eliminating the need for multiple vendors also lessens operating expenses. Cloud-based managed acceptance platforms can integrate within minutes, allowing your IT staff to focus on high-level tasks and spend less time managing several technologies.

Improve ID Management With Ongoing Identity Assurance

Increase your revenue and reduce costs using a customer acceptance platform with continuous identity assurance. Instnt Verify™ enables your organization to authenticate transactions from authorized account owners, effectively stopping account takeovers while aiding AML efforts. With Instnt Verify, you will gain identity assurance from account opening on Day-Zero to transactions on Day-N. Sign up today for a free demo.


About the Author

Instnt's fraud loss indemnification technology provides coverage of up to $100M for fraud losses stemming from synthetic, third-party, and first-party fraud. With Instnt's comprehensive fraud loss protection, businesses can confidently extend their services to a wider customer base, enabling them to embrace more opportunities and enhance revenue streams while maintaining a secure, fraud-free environment.