News, Education and Events Decoding Digital Payments & Fraud

News, Education and Events Decoding Digital Payments & Fraud

Email Verification Can Help Address the Challenge of Identifying Consumers Across Borders

Email Verification Can Help Address the Challenge of Identifying Consumers Across Borders

By Keir Breitenfeld, Senior Business Consultant, Experian

Imagine this. You recently accepted a new position which requires you to move your family to another country. While you’re thrilled for this new opportunity, you begin to feel overwhelmed with all the tasks you’ll need to complete, including renting an apartment, opening a bank account, finding schools for the kids, buying a car and finding new doctors—the list goes on. And, although you may expect to encounter challenges along the way, such as language barriers or a new set of cultural rules, you don’t anticipate having to prove your identity. But without your identity, it can be impossible to complete many of your tasks as you start your new life.

When people move abroad, there are expectations for the same hassle-free experience they come to expect from U.S. businesses. Unfortunately, that is not always possible, as identities do not always follow them to a new country. Oftentimes, the information typically used to verify identities is not transferrable across borders—this includes social security numbers, credit histories, employment records or home addresses. As a result, businesses struggle to identify and recognize their customers, causing frustration and dissatisfaction with the brand.

With nearly 250 million international migrants worldwide, businesses need to find a way to make it easier on consumers without putting the business at risk for fraud. Fortunately, email addresses are a stable alternative data source for identity verification and can help companies validate customers even when they are residing out of their home country.

Why Emails?

Email addresses have become an integral part of verification and identity risk assessment checks. According to Emailage, on average, 3.5 billion people have 1.7 billion email addresses. Additionally, 91 percent of people keep their email address for more than two years and 51 percent of people have the same email address for more than 10 years.

Email addresses are often more valuable because they provide businesses an opportunity to analyze a deeper set of attributes. There are reliable pieces of information about a person that are associated with an email account including birth date, gender, location, company and establish date. Companies can develop a rich profile of a consumer through their email address’ attributes, strengthening their ability to check identities.

Part of a Whole

It’s important to remember, email verification can only be one part of the fraud prevention process. Companies need to implement several measures to keep their consumers safe while providing a positive experience. Email verification and email attributes can be supplemented with other alternative data sources, such as biometrics, email risk scoring, mobile phone identity data, multi-factor identity data checking (name, phone, email, IP and address), and document verification. The combination of fraud prevention strategies can be a powerful resource for businesses as they navigate the challenges of protecting their customers across borders.

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