Equifax Announces the Acquisition of Anakam, Inc
We keep this blog focused on sharing best practices and knowledge in the areas that Equifax focuses on. Periodically there are announcements from Equifax that are relevant to that. Here is an example.
Equifax has acquired Anakam, Inc. (Click here for the official announcement). Anakam’s multi-factor authentication solutions and progressive authentication platform will complement the Identity Fraud Detection and Out of Wallet Identity Verification services from Equifax.
When a prospective customer applies for a product from a business, multiple kinds of fraud could come into play. Depending on a company’s existing relationship with the prospective customer, identity fraud can be combated in different ways.
When the prospect is interacting through a faceless channel, Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) via “Out of Wallet” questioning is the best practice. For example, one of the questions could be, “Did you ever live in any of these following addresses?” The set of questions are generated such that there is a very high probability that only the prospect would know the answer to those. They are adaptive, in the sense that the questions are calibrated based on perceived fraud risk.
This sort of time consuming, invasive “Out of Wallet” questioning is tolerated by end consumers because no existing relationship between business and customer exists. Once the customer wishes to take account related action or purchase additional products and services later in the customer lifecycle, KBA authentication can be quite frustrating to the end user. For example, when you have to wire transfer a significant amount as a down payment for a house or a car. Though the wire transfer can be initiated through the web, there is an additional step of knowledge based authentication session either on the phone with a call center employee or on the web which can easily take 15 to 30 minutes. This adds cost to the bank and frustrates the customer. Enter Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
A pass code can be sent from the business to the consumer through a channel known to the institution to be in the possession of the end consumer and a potential fraudster won’t have access to. By requiring the pass code to complete the interaction, identity can be insured. By leveraging the ever-present cell-phone as this channel, a secure identity verification platform supports the interaction while not creating a customer service problem. This multi-device interaction is also dramatically more secure than “mother’s maiden name” style questions or the easily stolen “last four social security digits” while not being as cumbersome as hard tokens.
The combination of these two technologies creates a single point of management for multiple identity fraud initiatives. Suppose a financial institution is leveraging the newly combined Equifax platform. A customer establishes an online bank account and Out of Wallet authentication is performed. At a later time, the customer decides to buy a house and needs to wire transfer the down payment to a third party account. As she submits the wire transfer request, her phone buzzes with an SMS text. As she examines the pass code present in the text, the order processing screen on her computer requests the pass code present on her phone. A few keystrokes later and her order is complete, and the bank is certain they are dealing with the account holder. The customer has ease of use, the bank and the customer have peace of mind.
Multi-factor authentication is a topic we will discuss further in the coming months. In the mean time, reach us via e-mail to learn more.
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