Article 4 min

Verifying Gen Z — the next generation of consumers

Verifying Gen Z

July 13, 2021  

Verifying consumers who have established identity profiles is relatively straightforward; the identity data exists and procedures are clear. But how can Generation Z consumers — the largest population segment on the planet — be appropriately verified, given most of them have thin credit files due to little or no credit history?

While the exact division between generations is debatable, Pew Research recently defined Gen Z as anyone born after 1997. There is an estimated 2.47 billion people who fall within this generation.

These young people are entering their prime consumption years. They’re starting to enter the workforce, choose brand and service affiliations, and make buying decisions that will echo for decades. Where they shop, where they bank and countless other consumer choices they make are up for grabs and the companies that can verify them now have fantastic opportunities to potentially lock down lifetime consumers.

The first generation born after the popularization of the internet, Gen Z has grown up online. While not born with mobile devices in their hands, they might as well be; their social connections, information consumption and consumer activities often take place on their phones. They expect online interactions to be seamless and reasonably quick and have a low tolerance for interruptions, delays and inconveniences. If you’re selling to Gen Z, your online and mobile processes must be solid and effective, or they’ll click somewhere else.

Herein lies the problem for companies who sell products or services that require (or desire) identity verification. These companies need to vet individuals for compliance, fraud prevention, trust, and safety issues but don’t want to inconvenience their potential Gen Z customers.

But the ability to verify these individuals is hampered by the apparent lack of matchable data. The typical credit source data is often sparse, or non-existent. Gen Z consumers are also particularly hard to match with accurate address data. They might live with their parents, or on campus, or maybe they live with a partner, but their address is their parents’ home.

So, how can companies verify thin-file Gen Z customers?

Identifying Gen Z customers

Fortunately, data exists that provides this necessary verification — student data. Universities, colleges, trade schools and other educational institutions need to collect accurate identity information to enroll students. When combined with other data sources, this provides the necessary information to perform precise identity verification.

We are thrilled to announce we can offer our customers this important data layer for identity verification through Trulioo GlobalGateway. Now, a large part of a generation that was difficult to verify can participate in the modern economy without unnecessary friction and delays. This data set, which contains over 120 million current or former students, is a massive enabler for companies to onboard Gen Z customers, knowing full well that they can help sign them up safely, securely and quickly.

This data set is an especially unique and valuable information source to expand market access. Due to strict regulations under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the data vendor has specific requirements about how student data is used. Trulioo understands working with complex data privacy standards; we have strict information security and data privacy processes, including ISO 27001 certification. As a result, we have built up unparalleled country coverage and data source access; student records data is another powerful way to leverage the Trulioo network.

One major fintech company saw a 30% rise in match rates when running a batch using student records.

The resulting lift in match rates is potentially substantial. One major fintech company saw a 30% rise in match rates when running a batch using student records. Depending on how significant Gen Z consumers are to your business, adding this source to your identity verification processes might represent your biggest growth opportunity.

Gen Z is the ultimate new market segment, a largely untapped, enormous group of people about to grow in wealth. Gen Z already represents $44 billion in annual buying power and influences $600 billion in family spending. As this group ages, advancing in the workforce and making significant purchases, their dominance in the marketplace will continue to grow.

Forward-thinking companies will seize the moment now; using Trulioo GlobalGateway to help acquire the massive number of Gen Z consumers as they enter their prime consumption years is a rare and growing opportunity.