Verified Identities

10 reasons you should verify identities

What a day! It seems like it’s hard to find good news these days and even harder to find some indisputable truths everyone can agree on. At Authenteq we are always eager to help fix the world’s problems, so here are 10 indisputable benefits of verified identities to get you through the day:

1: Verified Identities Reduce Anti-Social Behavior

Britain used to hand out Antisocial Behavior Orders (ASBOs) to people who were shown to be engaged in antisocial behavior. These orders were in effect from 1998 to 2014 but the acronym “ASBO” is still in common usage today in reference to antisocial behavior. Antisocial behavior is found where you find people. As a species, we are just not the most “go along to get along” bunch. This tendency towards antisocial behavior is scientifically proven to increase when anonymity is involved. This trend has been proven in multiple behavioral studies but few as cute as the Seattle Halloween study which found that masked children took more candy than they were supposed when compared to their unmasked piers. “In fact we had some groups that came, and they simply turned the bowl over, divided all the candies up, put it in their bags and left. They robbed us blind!” Scott Fraser, one of the researchers involved said in an interview with The Salt. Verified Identities are proven to lead to better behavior in real-life and on digital platforms. More information on the cute Halloween study can be found here.

2: Verified Identities Reduce Fraud

In 2018, the Office for National Statistics published estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales. The figures reveal that in England a person is more likely to be a victim of fraud or cybercrime than of any other offense. The study estimates that there were 6 million crimes excluding fraud and computer misuse, but this number rises to 10.5 million when those two are included and together those two types of crime account for almost half of all crimes in the region. Anyone operating an online business, especially a platform in the Trust Economy, must take all reasonable steps to keep fraud off their platform. Verified identities help with this as most fraudsters do not wish to commit fraud under their own real-life identity. Crime has a tendency to seek the path of least resistance and a platform that bases its customer accounts on verified identities has a far higher barrier to fraudsters than a rival platform that does not verify identities. Which platform would you want to operate or do business with?

3: Verified Identities Improve Machine Learning

Ah, good old artificial intelligence. The Terminator movies have taught us to fear you as an existential threat but judging by the state of personal assistants (Hey Siri! I’m talking about you) that threat is still far, far in the future. Machine Learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that learns to perform specific tasks based on algorithms and statistical models without using explicit instructions. It relies on patterns and inference instead. This type of AI is particularly vulnerable to the old adage “garbage-in-garbage-out”. If it is working from misleading data it will draw incorrect conclusions. Verified Identities help with this in two primary ways:

  1. Knowing that you have a single customer view means information for a single customer is not spread over multiple anonymous accounts
  2. Knowing that the vital details (age, sex, etc.) are true and accurate really helps machine learning produce accurate results.

Just remember that you need consent from your customers to process their personal data. In addition to it being the right thing to do, GDPR is KING in Europe (and anywhere European identities are processed) and you don’t want to touch those fines! And, if you are still worried that AI is plotting to become our overlord check out http://inspirobot.me/. This should give you some reassurance that AI still has a little ways to go before it can take over the world… some of the inspirational quotes it generates are simply hilarious.

AI-Generated Inspirational Quote. Courtesy of http://inspirobot.me/

4: Verified Identities Produce More Accurate Analytics

With any type of analytics, the more accurate the information the more accurate the analytics. Most businesses are run on metrics that are determined and tracked through analytics. Verified identities help with this by making the data that goes into the analytics more accurate. Customers may lie about their age and other statistical data points when they sign up for a service. They may even have multiple accounts. But with verified identities, an individual’s vital statistics are known and verified, and a single account view can be enforced. Both of which lead to more accurate analytics.

5: Verified Identities Enable Effective Platform Bans

So, Joe4242666 broke your platform rules and was banned? Banning the fraudster is great as banning bad actors from your platform is foundational to fostering a good online community. Too bad Joe 4242667 just joined your platform and it is still the same fraudster. An inability to keep bad actors from rejoining a platform is a serious threat to its viability. Verified identities solve this problem as the real-life identity of a fraudster is banned instead of just their online persona “du jour”. 

6: Verified Identities Improve Trust & Safety

For businesses in the Trust Economy, the ability to seamlessly establish & sustain trust determines success or failure. This is particularly true for platform businesses that create value by facilitating connections, interactions, and transactions between end-users, or between end-users and businesses. Fostering trust has simply become a cornerstone of building strong and successful brands in this space. By reducing fraud, by keeping bad actors off the platform, and by creating an environment where people are on their best behavior, verified identities improve all aspects of Trust & Safety.

7: Verified Identities Can Establish Driving Eligibility

What would be a good way to remotely verify that an individual is eligible to drive a vehicle? Verifying an identity where a driver’s license forms the foundation of the identity verification process is the way to do this. The process verifies that the customer has a valid driver’s license while at the same time verifying the individual’s real-life identity, providing all the other benefits that come with it. Safer roads is a happy byproduct.

8: Verified Identities Allow Responsible Age Restriction

Asking users to self certify that they are over 18 to access an age-restricted service is as good as it is useless. Especially when that service is being accessed anonymously over the internet. Verified identities allow for an accurate age verification process.

9: Verified Identities Allow You To Meet Regulatory Compliance 

There are many forms of regulatory compliance where Verified Identities help. In age-restricted or KYC regulated industries verified identities are the only effective way to truly comply with regulatory requirements. The short history of the evolution of KYC regulation alone was enough to fill 3 whole articles on this site.

10: Verified Identities Protect Your Brand

This benefit is really an accumulation of all of the other points on this list but it is a real benefit. Less fraud, better customer behavior, and more responsible corporate behavior, these things all add up to both an increase in positive impressions of your brand and a reduction in the likelihood that your brand will get entangled in some form of negative publicity.

To learn more about how Authenteq’s Identity Verification works visit https://authenteq.com/authenteq-identity-verification/

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