Identifying customers is vital for many organizations. Entrepreneurs often look for a balance between limiting the business risks and providing optimal customer service. So when the risks threaten to get out of hand, identification services present a good solution.
As accessible as possible
Checking if customer’s data are correct: that’s important for most entrepreneurs, and for some it’s even a legal requirement. For example when renting out vacation accommodations, granting automatic approval or logging in to an online portal. “Most organizations strive to help their customers as much as possible”, clarifies Carol Scholte from Rabobank. “They organize their entire service around it. But at the same time, they have to comply with legislation and regulations like Know Your Customer. That presents a dilemma: how can you abide by all the rules for identifying your customers, while making your services as accessible as possible. That usually involves weighing risks: what are you willing to accept, and what aren’t you?”
Making do with a checkmark
Scholte uses the example of a signature for a direct debit authorization. “The letter of the law says that it has to be a signature in ink, using pen and paper. But that’s difficult for a lot of organizations to arrange, so they make do with a checkmark on an online form. In so doing, the business weighs the chance that the person won’t cover the debit authorization. In other words: how much would it cost to have the customer sign an authorization in ink, versus the financial risks if the customer decides not to cover the direct debit after all?”
Alcohol and cigarettes
But as Scholte explains, at a certain point businesses and organizations reach a line where the compliance risks are simply too great. “Things like the legislation and regulations for hiring employees, where the Tax Authority requires companies to identify their staff. Or the sale of alcohol and cigarettes, where the entrepreneur has to be certain that the customer is over the age of 18. In those cases, identification services and validation services can come in really handy. Because the entrepreneur can use them to organize the optimal processes and cover the business risks, without hassling the customer.”
Identified in detail
According to Scholte, people almost always carry the tools for identifying themselves. “They can identify themselves via mobile banking without having to scan their passport, for example. That’s because banks have already exhaustively checked their proof of identification before they could open an account. Banks can therefore use those data to identify someone, confirm their age, or sign a lease agreement digitally. The last option can be done by writing their initials in the screen or signing via iDIN, depending on the process and the risks the organization is willing to accept. The alternative is sending a written contract in an envelope via the mail, then having the customer sign it and send it back. That’s cumbersome and not very customer-friendly.”
Several parties offer identification services, such as Rabobank’s Rabo Identity Services.
“The benefit of Rabo Identity Services is that it combines several different services under one roof.”
Scholte explains: “In addition to digital signatures and identification, it also includes the IBAN Name Check and passport scan. Or the option of using a selfie scan to check whether someone using a passport for identification is actually who they say they are. Organizations can choose the service that best suits their needs, depending on the level of reliability they want to use. Another benefit of our service is that we can offer them via APIs, so the organization’s process is always leading. Companies can create the optimal customer journey, whether it’s for onboarding new tenants or selling alcohol. They can then build the customer journey and choose the right identification services from our platform, depending on the risks they want to accept or mitigate.”
Pleasant for the customer
“Every organization, entrepreneur, marketeer or customer journey manager has to choose between making processes watertight and making them as customer-friendly as possible. They have to find the right balance that keeps risks manageable, while ensuring optimal conversion. We at Rabobank can help them think through that process”., says Scholte. “In that area, we wear our Digital Identity Service Provider (DISP) hat instead of our bank hat. We know better than anyone how to optimize your services to make them pleasant for the customer, while complying with all of the relevant legislation and regulations.”