Verify identity then build customer relationships
Gone are the days of filling out forms by hand with customer details – a relief for many brands.
Technology has taken care of that, with data being collected digitally, leading to an increase in the extensive use of digital databases and CRM systems. These are being utilised to deliver better customer contact, service, and marketing to current and potential customers.
As technology improves data collection is becoming even more commonplace, with big retail giants introducing sophisticated methods to everyday shopping experiences. For example, Amazon GO’s new chain of convenience stores advocate a ‘No Lines, No Checkout, and No Hassles’ approach, which automatically identifies who you are as you enter, and charges you as you leave, by collecting data on the items you purchase.
Interestingly, in 2020 social media networks are becoming dominant players in data collection and shaping the way CRM systems are populated today. Many are providing analytics services to develop customer profiles based on their behaviour across social platforms.
However, with all this data collection in an increasingly ‘big data’ world there will be a greater risk of data breaches, with cybercrime estimated to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. Data breaches not only have a hefty price tag for brands, but how the stolen data can be used is a big concern. Private credentials, credit card information, account takeovers and having one’s identity sold over the dark web are just a few of the implications. Businesses need to act accordingly to protect themselves while collecting customer data. Doing so can also aid them in generating a 360-degree view on their customers, ideally shaping a long-term two-way relationship between the organisation and the customer.
To achieve this brands need to undertake one or more of the following:
Contact data verification
By not obtaining verified and up to date contact data from their customers, brands put themselves not only at risk of fraudulent activity, but collecting inaccurate data that will have a negative impact on CRM, sales and marketing, and everyday business operations.
To make sure customers are who they say they are it’s vital to match a particular name to a specific physical address, telephone or email, at the onboarding stage, in real time, to ensure a standout user experience. Such an approach also guarantees reliable future contact with your customers.
This requires sourcing and having access to a global dataset of billions of records containing data from trusted country specific reference sources, such as credit agency, government agency, utility company and international watchlist data.
With a combination of more age-exclusive brands popping up and consumers becoming more comfortable in making online purchases, compliance measures and customer due diligence will see a further demand for age verification software.
It’s vital a person’s age is verified at point of purchase or during the customer onboarding process, preventing minors from accessing age restricted content, and buying age restricted goods and services. Also, this verified customer data can be used for further segmentation.
Also called IP geolocation or Geoip, IP location can reveal the location of a shopper’s device or server to help ensure that you are not dealing with a fraudulent purchaser. This technology can check if the IP address the online transaction is set to be made from matches or is near the verified physical address of the customer. For example, if someone is attempting a purchase in a different country from their registered address an additional verification procedure would be wise prior to completion of the purchase.
ID and document scanning verification
This solution lets brands, particularly those that are in highly regulated industries such as financial services and gambling, to capture, verify and store customer ID information. They can do this using machine-readable zone (MRZ) and optical character recognition to extract key information from a customer presented ID. The technology can then compare the selfie taken by the customer by using artificial intelligence (AI) and facial biometrics to verify that the customer is a real person behind the ID presented – allowing them to access their account seamlessly.
The identity solutions outlined in this blog are necessary to ensure customers are who they claim to be and enable brands to build a 360-degree view of them. The end result is the opportunity to build a successful long-term two-way relationship with customers. This is critically important in the current economic storm caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s also worth noting that with the range of sophisticated technologies available to assist with ID verification, that brands must ensure they can create an efficient supply chain to access them. The best way forward is to select a service provider that can offer all of this functionality under one roof. They will provide a more cost-effective identity solution, helping to maximise return on investment, while allowing marketers to focus on delivering a standout two-way relationship with customers.
Barley Laing joined Melissa in 2014 during an exciting expansion phase of the California headquartered company.
As UK Managing Director with 17 years of data industry experience, his role is focused on meeting the customer onboarding, data quality and compliance needs for organisations in the UK and worldwide.
The team that Barley...