Since the start of the pandemics there has been a dramatic change in how individuals engage with organisations. There has been a steep increase in digital engagement, with more and more companies introducing new technologies to better the digital customer’s experience for the purchase of their products and services. “The reality is consumers are moving to digital channels,” says Shaun Strydom, Founder and Executive Head at Contactable.
Despite constant technological advancements, fraud is still prevalent and expert fraudsters have simply adapted their skills to suit a new environment. For example, a challenge arises when companies need to onboard and verify customers – with everything shifting online, more due diligence checks are now being done via a phone call, mobile app, or web, giving fraudsters a new opportunity to gain access to personal data.
Fraudsters are targeting consumers by pretending to be well established businesses and thereby gain access to their personal information. They pretend to be onboarding a client and take down all their personal information such as their ID number, contact number, email address, physical address, and even banking details. Therefore, organisations have had to put additional measures into place to protect their customer, but also to ensure that they are onboarding the correct person before they provide access to their products and services.
“The level of complexity has increased in how organisations need to deal with their customers.” Customers now want to be in control of their own information, provide as little information as possible in any digital engagement, and also be assured that their information will be protected. On the other hand, they also want a fast and pain-free process when engaging with organisations which often requires a lot of information to allow access to their products and services.”
The result is that the pressure is on for technology providers and fintech companies to create solutions that meet both the needs of customers and organisations.
Digital onboarding technology that utilises sophisticated biometric and identity document verification with independent “golden source” verification of customer data, provides a frictionless customer experience whilst providing the organization with verified information that the customer is who they say they are.
Biometric verification and authentication which can include facial, voice, fingerprint and palm recognition, helps protect customer data and does not require the use of complex pins and passwords which can be easier to exploit or obtained by fraudsters.
“The added benefit with biometric security is that there is no need to remember a ridiculously long password,” says Shaun, and recommends that it would be best for your personal data to be onboarded through technology that makes use of a more robust due diligence process.
Shaun also points out the different measures that consumers can take to ensure that their data is kept out of the hands of fraudsters.
“Don’t enter your personal data into websites that aren’t secure.” This means that when you do online shopping, you should always check that the site has a lock at the start of the URL and contains https:// at the beginning of the URL.
Another measure you can take as a consumer is to never provide any personal information to anyone on a phone call. Should you be onboarding with a new organisation, be sure to contact them if you are unsure about any of the procedures indicated on the phone call.
“Do not click on any links sent to you in emails that are not official communication,” stresses Shaun. Although some emails can look legitimate, he warns that you should not click on a link via email if you weren’t expecting to receive some form of communication. Rather contact the organisation in this case, to avoid a possible phishing scam.
Lastly, Shaun stresses the importance of secure passwords if you are using these as opposed to biometrics. “Do not make use of the same password on all platforms, each platform should have its own password and change it regularly.”
Although organisations are expected to safeguard their customer’s data from fraudsters, the consumer can also play their role, to ensure they do all they can to keep their personal information safe and out of the hands of fraudsters’.