Consumer Verification Gets Invisible
Smartphone technology has become mainstream. With 4.8 billion mobile phones estimated to be in use in 2017, smartphones have and will continue to impact our lives forever. Empowering people around the world to easily carry the internet in their pocket, readily accessing it from anywhere and at any time, businesses with a mobile strategy have a competitive advantage.
Not only has mobile technology revolutionized the way people engage with one another and how they seek out and find information, it’s also changed the world of commerce — accelerating eCommerce in particular. The implication for this on business is enormous, and it’s already having an impact.
Retail on the Go
Look no further than the retail sector. Last year witnessed another important development: a near meltdown in the traditional brick-and-mortar retailer sector. Venerable brand names like Macy’s, Sears, JCPenney and more all closed multiple locations en masse, with some even seeking bankruptcy protection or flat out closing shop. Once the anchor tenant for shopping malls, these brands are fighting hard not to be sinking ships. And, contrary to previous struggles, the trend is not due to a recession or downturn in the economy.
At the same time, online brands are thriving. Not isolated to just Amazon, many are newer, leaner, more innovative brands. Even well-established names like Walmart, Target and Nordstrom have seen success with investments into making the online shopping experience a convenient and hassle-free affair, promoting free shipping, easy returns and exclusive online discounts. Like their mobile-first customers, they, too, are adept and adaptive to the online shopping experience — and it’s showing.
The technology is here and you’ve probably already used it. Consumers are ordering coffee on a mobile app on their way to work to avoid lines, shopping for new shoes during their lunch breaks and having them delivered the next day or ordering toothpaste as their flight lands so it arrives by the time they get home.
With these new changes in mobile technology and consumer expectations, businesses are challenged with conducting themselves online as they do in-store. That includes verifying customers to ensure they are who they claim to be. For example, age verification is key for companies that offer age-restricted products and services online. Validating a credit card that belongs to the individual is needed to prevent fraud. And, on the logistical front, addresses must also be verified to reduce shipping errors and costs from bad or wrong addresses.
The answer lies in leveraging mobile data to ensure specific criteria are met by customers. Accessing current mobile data will enable you to provide the right product to the right person at the right place.
The Identity Challenge
If 2017 was the year mobile torpedoed brick-and-mortar, 2018 will be the year to throw up the defenses and protect your mobile commerce from mobile fraud.
Aside from cracking the eCommerce code for mobile transactions, one of the great challenges for retailers and businesses of all stripes lays in the realm of identity verification. You can build a branded app and create a beautiful interface, but how do you make sure that your customer is, in fact, who he or she says they are?
Creating a seamless workflow for verifying legitimate customers and accurately identifying fraudsters during account creation is one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses trying to offer a frictionless onboarding experience. Let’s face it: You want to sell, but you don’t want to sell to fraudsters or the wrong customer. Fraudulent transactions, false identities and outright theft are prevailing and increasing risks for mobile devices.
The Mobile-First Solution
Your business obligations are immovable, but your customers are mobile. That sounds like some kind of potential violation of Newtonian physics, but it isn’t a massive disturbance if you have the right strategies, tools and technologies in place to help. With more than 5 billion unique mobile subscribers worldwide — more than two-thirds of the global population — access to mobile network operator (MNO) data presents a great opportunity for businesses to leverage mobile devices during their customer onboarding process and immediately verify the customer using it.
By combining MNO data with traditional data sources for identity verification, businesses can implement an additional layer of authentication to help reduce fraud, chargebacks and shipping errors and costs. A mobile-first solution offers a seamless onboarding experience that allows shoppers to browse or buy without delay or inconvenience.
The RegTech space is primed for good disruption. Given the importance of combating fraud, your need to meet commercial objectives. With the growing demands from on-the-go, always-on, always-connected consumers, you don’t have time for that. Not with millions more mobile customers getting set to onboard.
Zac is a versatile leader experienced in managing and scaling high-growth companies. He is a veteran of all facets of startup and tech operations, including strategic planning and execution, corporate management, and building high performance teams. His expertise in risk and compliance software continues to drive innovative and effective solutions for businesses operating worldwide. Zac is passionate about fostering changemakers to make an impact and build groundbreaking solutions that are solving our world’s most pressing problems.