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Ferreneik Betton

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Why it’s time to automate your customer verification process

Why it’s time to automate your customer verification process

You want the digital experiences your business offers customers to be highly functional and efficient. At the same time, customers expect a seamless online experience, as well as frictionless and secure payment choices.  In order to meet those needs, verifying your customer’s identity with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning should be a fundamental first step for every business to deliver better online customer onboarding processes.  However, many companies are still relying on outdated processes, causing unnecessary friction for customers and exposing their businesses to errors and potential costly reputational damage.  Automating certain parts of the identity verification process with AI encourages digital user experiences without compromising usability. It also provides better security and protects your customers, business and services from fraud in the digital world.   Here’s our guide to why you need the process and why our solution can provide you with the right level of automated identity verification.    What is automated identity verification?  Automated identity verification uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to strengthen the verification process. With a higher level of security and more efficient ID checks, it’s easier than ever to prove who your customers really are. In the broader sense, automation can support essential business needs: Improve internal operations Increase response time  Assist in necessary manual checks Reduce costly errors  Get higher success rates  Provide more accurate, quality data for better decision making    What does your company achieve with automation?   When you automate, you can: Have a streamlined user experience: Provide a smoother experience for customers. Achieve a faster onboarding process and reduce drop off rates.    Handle spikes in the volumes of onboarding: By automating some or most parts of the process, you can reduce the time taken to verify new users manually and improve your team’s speed.   Design your own user flows: With automation, you choose where to add verification within your carefully crafted user experience.     Reduce internal costs: Using automated processes allows you to choose how much of the verification process to optimise, making it cheaper for you and more efficient for customers.   Scale globally across multiple jurisdictions: Entering new markets is challenging, but with automation, you will successfully serve multiple jurisdictions without increasing cost. Plus, your teams are better equipped to verify users in newer markets in line with regional regulations.     Make AML, KYC processes more robust: Automated AML helps teams check and investigate more profiles a lot faster than manual evaluation. Provide your teams with accurate quality data and the capability to react quickly to detected misuse. Your teams can mitigate risk and reduce the possibility of exposing your customers or business to fraud.    What processes can be automated?  With our complete solution, you can automate any part of the verification process, from the document and facial verification to anti-money laundering watchlist screening. This way the level of automation you use works alongside your industry requirements.  Here’s what processes you can automate:  Data extraction checks. We extract data using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) from the document’s visual zone or by reading Machine Readable Zone (MRZ), barcodes or PDF417 barcodes whenever present (On North American documents it is printed on the back of the card). Using Near Field Communication (NFC) for ePassports, we can read the chip data, including the photo.   ID document authenticity checks. Our AI and machine learning systems can do multiple comprehensive checks on an ID document to ensure valid data. We scan the document against police databases to check they are not fraudulent, reported, lost or stolen. We test to ensure that the document is original (not a copy or damaged) and doesn’t have signs of tampering.    Biometric face match. Using machine learning, we assess whether the user’s face matches the face on the checked ID document. Our systems can quickly evaluate the face of customers against their ID’s image to identify and match their characteristics accurately.    Liveness detection. Our AI confidently detects that a person is physically present to prevent spoofing attacks and checks that your user is a real person. We can accurately detect that the image is not an automated bot. Likewise, it is not a bad actor wearing a mask or using a photo of someone else.   Address verification. To assist your teams when needing to complete proof of address, we’ll extract customer address information from supporting documents like a utility bill or bank statement using OCR technology. We’ll check their name, date of birth, or address against an official third-party database.    AML watchlist screening. Your compliance teams can automatically screen extracted customer details against thousands of AML databases as part of the identity verification process:    Sanctions and watchlists. Against 1,000 global government regulatory and law enforcement watchlists and over 100 International and National Sanctions lists. Politically Exposed Persons (PEP). To comply with enhanced due diligence (EDD) regulations, we can screen customers against a database of more than 5,000 structured sources that are monitored daily. Adverse media. We screen against the world’s most accurate database of adverse information and media entities. The data is collated into a comprehensive, structured profile through machine learning classification techniques. Relevant adverse articles related to a single entity are presented  in one structured profile with FATF-aligned categorisation. Ongoing monitoring. We can monitor a user’s profiles or entities on an ongoing basis with automated adverse information and media monitoring. You can receive alerts to any changes in a customer or business client’s risk status against real-time databases.   What are the challenges of automated identity verification? While automation can benefit your business with improved processes and help get customers through faster, it doesn’t replace human experts with knowledge and experience in verification. A combination of automation and human experts is needed for those tricker submissions. That is why we champion a hybrid approach. This approach provides a balance of automation for some, and where required, an added layer of security that automation is not capable of delivering to the process. Our leading AI technology is enhanced with our expertly-trained identity verification specialists. Layering in verification specialists gives you a 100 per cent document submission rate. It provides you with a multifaceted defence against fraud.  As a result, your platform is built on solid identity verification that is more accurate, secure, and faster to detect misuse.   Get the right level of automation

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Explore cards - What are Yoti cards and how do we use them in the Digital ID app?

Explore cards - What are Yoti cards and how do we use them in the Digital ID app?

Making Yoti relevant and useful whilst preserving privacy We want to make sure that the Yoti app is useful to our whole community. We built Explore – a place where you can discover where you can use your digital ID. We also have some special offers for community members. This will look exactly the same in the Post Office EasyID app. Country-specific content In your digital ID app, you will only see content that is relevant to your country. This means that we only show you partners that you can use your digital ID with or offers that are available in your country. The app knows which country you are in by using your phone number’s country code. We do not use geolocation information to do this. This may mean that when you travel to a different country, you will still see offers only relevant to your phone number’s country code.   Keeping children safe Some of the organisations that accept our digital ID apps require their users or customers to be over a certain age. For example, buying alcohol from an online store or using an age-restricted social media provider. To ensure we adhere to the UK Childrens’ Code and similar Childrens’ Codes that are evolving in other countries, all users will only see content that promotes age-restricted products once your digital ID app knows you are the appropriate age.   Your app will only recognise you’re the appropriate age if you have uploaded your ID. The app will automatically be updated to show you appropriate content. This information about your age is not seen by anyone at Yoti because we cannot access your personal data.     Our Privacy first approach means you will see content that may not seem relevant to you. Other than country-specific and age-related content, we will not (and cannot) show you content that is specifically appropriate for you. This is because we have no access to your online browsing history, and we do not record how you as an individual use the app.  We do not ‘learn’ from your behaviours. When you click on an Explore card, we do not track your onward journey. We do not and will not send or sell any of your personal data to the next site that you visit unless you expressly consent via your app to share the data. You always have to consent to sharing information with other companies if you choose to visit their site. This means that using your digital ID app is much more like going to your local shopping mall than typical online shopping.   We think this is a better, more private way to shop. You make all the decisions. No one is trying to nudge you towards buying something. You are simply able to browse anonymously without anyone knowing what things interest you.    Making content more relevant in the future As we get more partners and offers into the app, we will try to make the offers more relevant to you. But we will still never profile you. To start with, you will be able to filter by category. So, if you just want to see what special offers are available, you will be able to go straight there. If you just want to get some advice on how to stay safe online, the information will be there. As we develop further we will let you tell us what information you’d like to see.  And to reiterate, if you never want to see offers and simply want to read the latest news about Yoti, we will let you tell us what you want to see. If you then change your mind, you can always reset to see everything once again. In the meantime, please do use the Feedback area of the app to tell us more about the type of content you would find useful.   Yoti sometimes makes money from partners and offers in the app We think it is important to be up front about the way businesses make money. Yoti makes money by charging businesses who need to verify your identity. Some of our partners also choose to feature their products within the Yoti app.  We charge some of those businesses a small marketing fee, usually a percentage of the money you pay them.  We always do our due diligence on partners promoted within our app to make sure they are legitimate businesses. However, it is important to clarify we are not a price comparison app. This means we cannot guarantee we will be showing you the lowest price for a product. We will, however, do our best to ensure it is a good deal for the community. By working with our business partners in this way we’re able to keep our app free for individuals like you. We have new businesses signing up every week to use Yoti. So make sure you check your Yoti app regularly to learn more about what we’re up to and see how you can make the most of your digital ID.

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Yoti, First Advantage & Disclosure and Barring Service: The future of background screening and digital identity verification

Yoti, First Advantage & Disclosure and Barring Service: The future of background screening and digital identity verification

Earlier this year, the UK Government published plans to build a UK digital identity and attributes trust framework. The framework aims to build trust around the use of digital identities and deliver standards for how organisations should safeguard customer data and protect privacy.  This trust framework falls in line with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) announcement of their plan to introduce digital identity verification during the screening process. These changes will impact how your team carries out background screening checks.    Digital Identity is on the rise. Are you prepared? A digital identity is a representation of your real identity and who you are in a digital world.  We’ll be taking part in a webinar with First Advantage and special guests from Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to discuss the new world of digital identity in background screening. Together we’ll explore how technology will streamline employee onboarding and help reduce the risk of identity fraud.   During the discussion, you will learn:  Why digital identity is essential to DBS checks. How the new legislation will enable the introduction of digital identity for criminal record checks. What digital identity is and how it will impact background screening How to bring it to life with a live technology demonstration by Yoti.   The webinar will take place Wednesday 24th November.    Book your spot now.

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Get ahead of new age and identity verification regulations with our handy guide to know your customer (KYC) processes

Get ahead of new age and identity verification regulations with our handy guide to know your customer (KYC) processes

It’s no longer financial institutions, real estate, art dealers, casinos, lawyers, and accountants who are the main targets for financial crimes online. Criminals are finding it harder to use them for money laundering due to rigorous regulations and effective know your customer (KYC) processes. To go undetected, they have set their sights on online multiplayer gaming, online marketplaces, FinTech, online gambling and many more small and medium businesses.    Lawbreakers are attracted to these platforms because they have little to no anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regulations. For example, multiplayer online gaming platforms have experienced a rise in illicit activities on platforms. According to Newzoo’s report, 35 per cent of UK gamers have had a negative experience when paying online, and 18 per cent have experienced fraud while paying for games.   Criminals can purchase in-game content or credit (often through prepaid cards), sell these to other users (possibly at a discount) and then receive cash credited to their account from that legitimate source.    It’s a type of money laundering that can go undetected by a customer and by you, but its impact hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Financial Action Task Force (FAFT). Recommendations issued by the FATF define criminal justice and regulatory measures that should be implemented to counter this problem. They recently published guidance on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs), explaining that these industries should come under anti-money laundering regulatory guidelines. Necessary measures are set to increase in the coming years.   However, it will be an entirely new process for many online service providers to follow in order to protect their business and customers. For experienced industries, it’s challenging enough to be compliant.    Suppose your industry is one of the businesses providing innovative ways consumers’ access entertainment, gaming, shopping, gambling, banking, and more. To be proactive in protecting them and your business, here’s our quick guide to help you prepare for the changes and hit the ground running to smash those requirements.     What is Know Your Customer? Know your customer (KYC) is a set of processes that gather personally identifiable information to understand if a customer is genuine and will not attempt to use your services for illicit activities. The best place to do KYC checks is during the customer onboarding process, as it is the first step with every new customer.  Otherwise, you could unwittingly facilitate fraud, leave your services vulnerable to costly reputation damage, and risk losing genuine customers’ trust. Last year, 198 fines, totalling 10.4 billion dollars, were issued globally against financial institutions for non-compliance with AML, KYC, data privacy and MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) regulations.    What is the difference between AML and KYC?  AML is a broader framework that refers to a range of the policies, regulations and procedures businesses must have to identify, monitor and report any illicit activities. KYC is the first line of defence in an AML program. It ensures your customer is who they say they are. Plus, it helps you assess the level of money laundering risk a customer might present.     What is Customer Due Diligence (CDD)? Customer due diligence (CDD) is various components of the identification collection of data. CDD is effective at managing any potential risk to your business. The process of gathering customer data about their identity, background and activities to evaluate what level of potential risk (high or low) a customer falls under. Once your business has a payment processor, it’s your responsibility to check the source of the funds. Your industry and business needs will predetermine the risk criteria and when to apply them.    The Law Society explains that Under regulation 27 of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017), you must carry out CDD measures when:   establishing a business relationship carrying out an occasional transaction that amounts to 15,000€ or more you suspect money laundering or terrorist financing you doubt the accuracy or adequacy of documents or information previously obtained for CDD   We will cover when you are required to carry out CDD below.    How does the KYC process work?  Firstly, there are three critical best practices to KYC that you must ensure to:    Establish the customer’s identity  Understand the nature of the customer’s activities (means to satisfy that the customer’s funds are from a legitimate source) Evaluate what level of money laundering risk they could pose    Here is how those key elements work within your customer onboarding process.    1. Establish the customer’s identity It starts with collecting basic information about your customer, which is done using digital identity verification technology (we’ll dive into its role in more detail later). In America and some other jurisdictions, it is referred to as a customer identification program (CIP). It follows the same method of collecting basic data to confirm your potential user’s details and identity are genuine, so you’re sure they are who they say they are.    The basic information needed is their name, address, date of birth, requested identification documents such as a passport or driving licence, and documents confirming proof of address.    The FAFT currently recommends a risk-based approach for industries experienced in complying with AML -This will differ for every industry. Therefore, you would be required to assess the potential risk to your business to understand the level of KYC or the amount of information your business will need to collect.     2. Assess the risk by practising Due Diligence There are three recommended due diligence practices you could add to your KYC process:   Simplified Due Diligence (SDD): This involves identifying your customer and making sure they are who they say they are. As mentioned above, this is performed on all customers during onboarding using digital identity verification. It’s you being confident that the user has zero to no intent of misusing your platform.  Customer Due Diligence (CDD): This is commonly referred to as standard due diligence (SDD). It’s used for customers and transactions that present a low risk, where you’re satisfied that the business relationship or transaction presents a low risk of money laundering or terrorist financing. At this level, you must continue to monitor low-risk accounts to spot any red flags or suspicious activity.  Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD): EDD occurs when the risk for money laundering or terrorist financing through the services you provide is high. It requires you to carry out deeper additional checks to verify your customer’s identity and understand their activity in order to mitigate any risks.    There are many circumstances and factors where the risk of money laundering is high, and you’ll need to carry out EDD measures. Risk factors include customer, country, product or services.  For example, customer risk factors can affect gaming industries in the gambling sector because it is a cash-intensive business. The risk of illegal activity by customers is considered high.     Things to note:  It is a business’s responsibility to put policies in place that define when EDD should be triggered. To provide guidance around this, it could trigger when the customer is a foreign national, resident in a high risk or high secrecy jurisdiction, involved in a high-risk industry (as defined by FATF), a high-value transaction (thresholds are set by JMLSG, FATF, regulators), politically exposed or just doesn’t smell right. EDD must also include looking for publicly available information from reliable sources for adverse information, media or allegations of criminality. Satisfying the source of funds and source of wealth is also part of the EDD.    3. Ongoing monitoring: Evaluate the money laundering risk   Identification and screening of customers are vital to the onboarding process. To protect businesses from becoming vulnerable to illicit activities later on, they must monitor customers on an ongoing basis and keep an auditable record of all checks. This is to spot if there are any changes in customer activities that pose a risk.     The role of digital identity verification solutions in KYC  Regulations are constantly changing and evolving as new vulnerabilities pop up. As online access grows, experienced industries are using digital identity verification solutions more regularly to maintain compliance and manage the identity process. In fact, it is encouraged by the FAFT to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve how you do those KYC checks.    AI and machine learning help to improve the accuracy of KYC checks, reducing the possibility of criminals using false or stolen identities from entering your platform. It gives you a better quality of data and helps to manage customer identification efficiently. Not to mention, an identity verification solution makes requesting and verifying an ID match to a real person more straightforward for the customer. It uses a customer’s biometrics to correctly match it to their ID (passport/driving licence), along with checking that the document is an authentic one.       How Yoti can support you  We help you proactively carry out KYC checks without affecting the customer onboarding experience while accurately identifying potential risks. The verification system fits within your current user flow without disrupting your customers.    Our identity verification solution is a hybrid of AI technology enhanced by a team of expertly-trained identity verification specialists. Working together, using AI and fraud experts allows you to detect potential risk and misuse accurately.    To ensure only genuine users get through your identity checks, we can do necessary identity checks and enhanced checks as per your industry requirements. We can verify proof of address documents, check your customer’s name, date of birth, or address against an official database and screen against AML watchlist using global databases (Sanctions and watchlist, PEP, adverse media, and ongoing monitoring).    How do your customers prove who they are?  For your customers, it’s as easy as capturing an image of their ID document and a biometric selfie.   Robust identity verification in 3 steps:  Select the issuing country and type of ID, such as passport, ePassport, or driving license Take a photo of the front and back of the document via a mobile phone or computer camera Take a selfie using a phone or computer camera      See how we make it hassle-free to verify your customer’s identity. Try it now for yourself

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How to strike a balance between fraud prevention and seamless customer onboarding

How to strike a balance between fraud prevention and seamless customer onboarding

Our Identity Verification solution makes onboarding as hassle-free as possible for your users.  Digital identity verification has become a crucial part of onboarding customers, with businesses needing to check that they are genuine, protect customers’ data and mitigate fraud. Having identity verification embedded into your online customer journey ensures you have identified and verified your customers’ identities.  Even so, it can be challenging to establish a balance. Finding the best way to streamline the customer’s digital experience while complying with know your customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML) industry requirements isn’t easy. Businesses are often forced to choose between robust security to prevent fraud or providing a frictionless user onboarding experience.  Competition is tough, no matter the industry. Businesses are focused on making the online customer journey faster and more streamlined. The call is often to reduce the level of friction experienced to keep customers coming back. While this could speed up onboarding and transaction processes, it will cost your business a customers’ trust and puts your online services at risk of misuse. Customers need to trust your business with their personal information, and they also expect a certain level of friction. Digital identity verification is necessary friction that is an essential factor in building trust with customers remotely.   Every industry is different, and their need for a verification system will differ, which is why a digital identity verification solution needs to be flexible and scalable enough to meet those needs. The correct identity verification method can help you strike a balance between KYC requirements and having the right level of friction that doesn’t negatively impact the customer experience. Let’s look at how you can achieve that balance.    How do you streamline the identity verification process?  Our Identity Verification solution makes the onboarding process simple while protecting your business, ensures you’re in line with KYC, AML compliance and helps you reduce drop off rates.  Our verification system fits within your current user flow without disrupting your customers. It is a cross-platform solution that allows you to integrate your way.  We give you a complete solution that lets you:   Verify the identities of your customers your way. Simply configure the checks you need in line with your industry and security requirements. Only pay for the types of checks you need your users to complete. For example, if you just need to capture an image of your users’ ID document or require matching the person in real-time to the image on their ID, you only configure those types of checks to be carried out.   Deliver the right level of friction after onboarding. For higher-risk industries, we can enhance the type of checks you need. Our Identity Verification solution is scalable and gives you the capability to integrate our other solutions into your user flow. Let’s say you’re in the gambling industry. You already use our Identity Verification solution and now need to perform age checks. You can save the high-assurance identity checks for those that need them. With our facial age estimation technology, you can keep the onboarding process free of checks and scan accounts at scale. This allows you to detect the most at-risk accounts and introduce friction to those most likely to not be the required age by asking them to prove their age with an ID document.   Connect with our solution to fit the size of your business. For a fully-branded customer experience, you can place our verification technology in your existing flow with our SDKs built for web, mobile web and native mobile apps. For smaller businesses that require low-volume checks, it’s not always worth the time and resources to integrate. Our no-code portal lets you send your customers to complete the verification flow via a web link and manage the results in a simple dashboard.   Protect your customers’ data. Quickly verify the identity of your customers and receive a granular view of checks and an overall recommendation.  We offer you flexible data retention options to reduce your exposure to data leaks and ensure GDPR compliance. Businesses can store the data encrypted on our servers and call API for results without having to store the information on their systems.   Scale globally and securely. We support 1,000 ID documents from over 200 countries, allowing you to scale globally and serve multiple jurisdictions. Our identity verification specialists are expertly trained in verifying documents from across the globe, helping you detect fraud and reduce the cost of damages.   How do your customers prove who they are? The user flow gives your customers a simple way to prove who they are with just a government-issued ID document and a biometric selfie.   Robust identity verification in 3 steps:  Select the issuing country and type of ID – passport, ePassport, or driving license.  Take a photo of the front and back of the document via a mobile phone or computer camera.  Take a selfie using a phone or computer camera.      See how it works Seamless identity verification directly on your website or app:   How do we verify your customer’s identity? Our hybrid of leading artificial intelligence (AI) technology is enhanced by a team of expertly-trained identity verification specialists. Using a combined approach helps to make our verification systems more accurate, secure and faster at detecting misuse.  Let’s look at the different identity verification methods. Document verification  Data extraction: We extract data from a document using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) from the document’s visual zone or by reading Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) or barcodes. We read the PDF417 barcodes whenever it’s present (for example, on North American documents where it is printed on the back of the card). For ePassports, our native mobile SDKs can read the chip data, including the photo, using Near Field Communication (NFC). We also can verify the digital signatures as part of the document’s authenticity checks. We use a combination of data extraction methods, both automatic and manual, to ensure we have an optimum solution for each document type within the wide range of documents we support. Depending on your business’s risk appetite, you can choose to configure our verification system to ‘fallback’ to manual data extraction or to ‘always’ have a human check the data extraction, even if the automatic extraction was successful.   Document authenticity checks: We use a combination of world-leading AI and dedicated 24/7 identity verification specialists to perform multiple checks. Our hybrid approach ensures that ID document checks determine that they are original, not a copy or damaged and that the document doesn’t have signs of tampering. This provides the highest level of assurance that an ID document is genuine.   Facial verification  Biometric liveness detection: To ensure your users are real and to prevent spoofing attacks, our AI liveness detection confidently detects that a person is physically present when the image is captured. We can accurately detect that the image is not an automated bot. Likewise, it is not a bad actor wearing a mask or using a photo of someone else.    Biometric face match: We assess whether the user’s face matches the face on the checked ID document.     We can enhance the checks as per industry requirements.  Proof of address verification  Receive a proof of address document or verify a customer’s address -they can upload a supporting document like a utility bill or bank statement. Checking a customer’s address can be done in two parts:  Capture an image of the supporting document, and using OCR technology, we can also extract the address information and manually review the data.  Verify the customer’s address against a relevant third-party database.                Trusted third-party database checks  We can check your customer’s name, date of birth, or address against an official database for additional security.   AML watchlist screening  You can screen your customer’s details against the following major global databases:    Sanctions and watchlists: We can screen customers’ profiles against 1,000 global government regulatory and law enforcement watchlists and over 100 International and National Sanctions lists, updated in real-time.    Politically Exposed Persons (PEP): In high-risk situations where customers are linked to higher-risk countries or business sectors, businesses can comply with enhanced due diligence (EDD) regulations by screening against a database of more than 5,000 structured sources that are monitored daily.   Adverse media: We screen against the world’s most accurate database of adverse information and media entities, collated into a comprehensive, structured profile through machine learning classification techniques. Relevant adverse articles related to a single entity are collated in one structured profile with FATF-aligned categorisation.   Ongoing monitoring: We can monitor a user’s profiles or entities on an ongoing basis with automated adverse information and media monitoring. You can receive alerts to any changes in a customer or business client’s risk status against real-time databases.   Know your customers and protect each other against fraud Make it more convenient for your customers while protecting them and your business. Our identity verification system is intuitive and recognises that you need to strike a balance between stopping fraud and having the right level of friction necessary without impacting the customer experience.

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Be the company people trust: why you need to prioritise data privacy

Be the company people trust: why you need to prioritise data privacy

It’s not just your consumer’s responsibility to protect their personal data, but yours too. Everyone is in on the conversation of data privacy; if you don’t make it a priority, then you risk losing your consumer’s trust. With the rise of online services and the ever-growing move to a digital world, consumer concerns over data privacy and how businesses handle their information have risen.  People are no longer comfortable sharing their personal information now that they’re more aware of its value and potential misuse. A McKinsey survey discovered that 87 per cent of consumers say they would not do business with a company if they had concerns about its security practices. In comparison, 71 per cent said they would stop doing business with a company if it gave away sensitive data without permission. The need for transparency into how data is collected, shared and used is in hot focus for businesses to be more accountable—likewise, consumers need more control over data consent. In the last few years, governments have become more involved in regulating data collection and protecting consumers’ privacy rights. Regulatory restrictions like the EU’s GDPR and recently the state of California’s CCPA  provide more updated frameworks aimed at protecting consumer data. Being compliant with an ever-changing regulator landscape while maintaining trust with your consumers is challenging. In comparison to the damage, mishandling of personal data can be a costly reputational fallout. The opportunities beyond being compliant have far greater value for your business. Data is valuable, which makes it even more important to protect that data and ensure privacy. Investing in a privacy policy is advantageous to maintaining and improving the value of your brand. We’ll discuss why you need to prioritise data protection, your consumer’s concerns about data privacy and how we can help you protect their data. Let’s look at why you need to prioritise data protection and consumers’ privacy to build better trust.    Seeing the advantages of making data protection a priority Being transparent gives you a competitive advantage Every company understands the importance of consumer data, but not many seem to understand prioritising how they collect, share and use personal data is just as important. Instead, it is treated as a checkbox exercise to meet industry regulatory requirements and show compliance.  Data protection shouldn’t be treated as just a checkbox exercise. There is clear business value in having a comprehensive privacy policy and being transparent with consumers about how you handle their data. Deloitte’s report into data privacy as a strategic priority points out that “[i]t can also help the business use its superior data privacy capabilities as a strategic differentiator in an increasingly digital and competitive marketplace.” Your business’s ability to remain competitive with industry peers is crucial to its survival. Of the companies that took part in a Cisco survey, 97 per cent stated they had seen benefits like a competitive advantage or investor appeal from investing in privacy.    Protecting personal data supports innovation  Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner at the ICO, in her keynote speech at the data and the future of financial services 2021 conference, reminds us that, “[a]t its core, data protection is about trust. It has always been about trust. Data protection law was born in the 1970s out of a concern that the potential from emerging technology would be lost if we didn’t embrace innovation. That link with trust remains today. The data-driven innovations you are planning will only work if people are willing to share their data with you, trusting it will be used fairly.” Many still see privacy as something that gets in the way of innovation, but the opposite is proven to be true. If you’re in the business of providing products/solutions/services that follow a customer-first approach, then consumer trust is central to your brand.  Columbus CEO Thomas Honore writing for MicroscopeUK, highlights that “[d]ata is your most powerful tool for driving disruption and innovation, not only by providing insights but also by giving you direction.” A proactive approach to data protection is key to maintaining trust. It is a worthwhile investment that many industry leaders understand the value of prioritising data privacy. Forty-two per cent of companies surveyed for a Cisco report said that investing in privacy has enabled agility and innovation in their organisations.   Responsible data protection builds trust and understanding Gathering personal data is valuable and helps your business better connect with the ideal consumer, as it allows you to understand your consumers. Having strong security controls and being upfront with consumers about how you protect their data will build trust. PWC research on Americans and privacy found that 81 per cent of surveyed consumers say the potential risks they face from data collection by companies outweigh the benefits. Additionally, 84 per cent of consumers for a Salesforce survey said they are more loyal to companies with strong security controls.   What concerns do your customers have? Consumers are demanding more be done particularly in the way their information is used, handled and shared or in some cases without their knowledge. Trusting companies with their personal data is now a source of hesitation for a lot of consumers.  They are most concerned with:   The rise of data breaches  Data breaches are a consumer’s top concern about the handling of their personal data. Their fears are not unfounded. Over the last few years in America alone, the RSA reported that 45 per cent of consumers had their personal information compromised by a data breach.   A lack of control Consumers are much more aware of how valuable their personal data is to a business. As a result, they are now more conscious about who they share it with and how much. In the PwC research into Americans and Privacy, 81 per cent of consumers feel they have little control over data collected about them by companies while only 10 per cent of consumers feel they have total control over their personal information.  Therefore, prioritising privacy and implementing data protection processes and procedures is vital on both sides. It upholds an honest approach that meets your consumers’ data management expectations. Likewise, being upfront by informing them about why and what data you’re requesting will empower them to make an informed decision whether to share.   How Yoti can help build trust on both sides Businesses are required to collect certain information about their consumers to be compliant. As such, your consumers have to feel secure when sharing personal data. That is why we build our solutions with privacy in mind; Encouraging personal data ownership is a core ethic of our seven ethical principles. We give consumers a privacy-friendly way of verifying their identity details.  Our Digital ID app helps your consumers share only the details you need and nothing more. As privacy is a priority, our Digital ID app helps your business protect personal data. This is done by us ensuring to: Encrypt your consumer’s personal data separately to protect against privacy breaches and cyber attacks. We split up their personal data, encrypt it and securely store it on our databases.   Only allow the user access to their encrypted details. The key to unlocking it is all stored safely on their phone. They are the only ones who can unlock the app with a five-digit PIN or biometric. We call this activating the master key. This master key is stored on your phone and is the only way of pulling together your attributes and turning them into readable text. Yoti also encrypts your master key for extra security.   Request what details you need. Consumers only share specific information rather than all of their data. Like you, the app gives businesses the ability only to request what personal information you need from them and is a sure way to build trust on both sides.   To make sure we’re accountable and continue to build solutions with privacy and security at the centre, we take regular guided advice from our Guardian Council, an independent board of expert professionals and dedicated advisors from data privacy, human rights, online harms and last-mile technology sectors.       Our digital footprints will continue to grow the more we embrace technology. While many consumers are getting to grips with it and aim to take control of their personal data, keeping their data secure is at the heart of a customer-first approach. The better we are at protecting our consumer’s personal information, the easier it will be to share it with trust securely.

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