Identity Proofing in the World of FinTech

In recent months, there has been a marked uptick in conversation about ‘FinTech,’ technology that aims to make financial services more efficient. The discussion can skew favorably or unfavorably, but always with the undercurrent of uncertainty. While nobody can foresee future regulations, industry growth and sustainability, and what exactly defines FinTech (what is included in this market, anyway?), third-party data sources can help those in the industry to mitigate one key piece of uncertainty: applicants’ identities. With Ekata, lenders and originators can quickly and accurately validate individual identities using Identity Check™ and the associated Risk Signals.
One of the key positives of the FinTech industry includes the ease by which borrowers can access funds. New technology has enabled marketplace lenders to streamline both the process and costs related to providing capital to consumers and businesses. Given this more accessible marketplace, our online lending clients are experiencing a flood of new applicants, which are coming at lenders from variety of angles (online, inbound calls, web forms, etc.). No two processes are necessarily the same but, generally, the steps to onboarding include initial validation and additional due-diligence. Aside from the need for pure identity verification, what Ekata hears directly from alternative lenders is a desire to automate the initial validation in the lending decision.
Initial validation is, fundamentally, confirming that an applicant is who they claim to be; that the information submitted is valid and matches. As more and more applications are herded to online forms, lenders are searching for the quickest, most-accurate, and most cost-effective ways to expedite ‘good’ applications and weed out the ‘bad’.
Here’s where Ekata comes in: our API can confirm, in less than a second, that the submitted information is ‘true’ and matches, e.g., the phone number submitted is a valid number and is associated with the name on the application, and that the name on the application is a valid name (Bob Marley, Keyser Souza and Jesus Christ are probably not applying for loans). For those applications that pass the initial validation test, the lender can now move to the next step in their process, which may include any manner of criminal or credit background checks, for which the lender will have to pay a fee.
Lenders, wouldn’t it be better to know if an applicant was worth the cost of a credit pull before you had to pay for a credit pull?  Yes, it would, and Gartner agrees. According to Gartner’s Absolute Identity Proofing report, lenders should reduce reliance on regulated and static PII data and increase reliance on dynamic, layered, and non-PII data.
Ekata Identity Check™ provides substantial, non-PII insight on applications, including actionable risk-signals, without any of the baggage related to credit header data. Identity Check flags risky data elements, including auto-generated email addresses, proxy IPs, and name-address mismatches. Phone signals, like line type delineation, prepaid status, and carrier information, help to identify risk and add new elements of payment history to a thin file customer. A real time check against the initial applicant’s data provides a valuable filter to remove questionable data from entering the process.
After weeding out all of the incomplete, incongruent, or otherwise ‘bad’ applications, lenders are left with a big pile of incomplete lead forms and have expressed a desire to do something with them. “Just because someone came to my website or called into my call-center and couldn’t finish the application process doesn’t mean that they’re a bad prospect,” says one East Coast online lender. “I’d love to be able to do something with the data that I was able to capture.”
Ekata is well positioned to help lenders with these types of files. The amount of data that Ekata captures, curates and updates in the Identity Graph is unmatched. Lenders can take what they’ve captured, compare those data elements with the Ekata Identity Graph, and piece together a prospect profile for all manner of marketing (physical mail, email, phone); in one example, a lender was able to verify almost 30 years of an applicant’s address history and, based on related parties by historical address, able to uncover even more potential clients.
Ekata dynamic identity data is rich, complete, and accurate, with updates occurring in real-time, every day of the year. Linking the latest information on a person’s phone, addresses, email, and associated people, Ekata data provides an easy layer for businesses’ identity assessment processes.
Get A Demo Of Ekata Identity Check™ from one of our resident Identity Check experts.
Learn more about how to use Risk Signals in Originations

Start a Free Trial

See how Ekata can reduce fraud risk for your business, contact us for a Demo.