Article 4 min

Address verification services 2.0

Address verification services - risk intelligence

Adding geolocation intelligence to your onboarding

Behind every fraud, there’s a fraudster. Fortunately, online transactions originate from a physical location, providing tangible information to help uncover fraudulent activity. Real-time address verification offers the ability to discern the precise transaction location, an insight that can help distinguish between a valid transaction and fraud.

For example, if the address on the account is Portland, Oregon but the actual location of the current request is in Moscow, Russia, it might be fraudulent. Or perhaps that Oregonian is on a trip to Russia and it’s actually a legitimate request — but at least it can be flagged for further investigation.

Adding layers of additional risk intelligence information, like geolocation, offers more chances to find unusual patterns that might be a fraud.

Address verification services

Typically, an address verification service (AVS) checks the address provided by an applicant with the address on a data file. To simplify the check, AVS only considers the numbers of an address, not the full address. AVS is available for addresses from the U.S., Canada, and the UK from major credit card companies, and expansion to other countries is in progress.

While AVS does provide value, verifying addresses is complex and often the information is unusual or doesn’t follow a standard pattern. It only uses numbers that can lead to false positives or false declines, resulting in additional checks or outright sales losses. And, as AVS is only available in limited countries, its applicability to global markets is lacking.

More problematic is the fact that AVS relies on static data. Consider the extent of data breaches that occur and the number of legitimate addresses available to a fraudster. AVS only checks if an address matches the record, so anyone with knowledge of the address can pass the check.

Document verification

Another way to investigate the legitimacy of an address is through the use of document verification. This process uses images of ID documents customers capture using a mobile device or high-quality webcam. Address data from the ID document is extracted using optical character recognition (OCR) and this information is then verified against data sources.

Combining two layers of data — the actual ID and the address — offers increased risk management. Other fraud prevention capabilities of document verification, like verifying other data points and authenticating a selfie, add in even more layers for fraud prevention.

Unfortunately, fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated and well-funded. With the increasing use of document verification, there’s no doubt that fraudsters are working on better forgeries and other high-tech workarounds to fool the technology. How can document verification technology be further improved for better fraud prevention?

Risk intelligence

Enter Risk Intelligence, an added layer of real-time geolocation on top of ID Document Verification.

Using information like geolocation or IP location, Risk Intelligence helps identify your user’s location when verifying ID documents. The process helps ensure your customers are authenticated and have provided the correct information during their onboarding, helping to reduce the risk of fraud.

Users complete their ID Document Verification and Risk Intelligence in the same workflow, so there’s no impact on verification response times. You can confirm where customers are located without any friction in their verification journey. Risk Intelligence also verifies the email ID the user entered during onboarding.

Proof of address

For many use cases, proof of address is a requirement. Perhaps a product or service is only available in a specific area. Or, perhaps there’s an age restriction and you want to ensure that the person receiving the product or service meets the legal criteria.

Or maybe you want to maximize your fraud prevention efforts without causing extra effort or friction for your customers.

Risk Intelligence provides an additional layer of information to support your risk mitigation strategy and enables you to understand better where exactly your customer is. Combining Risk Intelligence with the power of document verification is the next level of address verification and a powerful add-on for your identity verification program.