TransUnion Improves Consumer Digital Onboarding Experience, Tackles Fraud for Financial Products

South Africa’s financial services industry is battling to meet the booming demand for greater digital access to products and services during the COVID-19 pandemic, while simultaneously addressing the challenges of an increase in online fraud aimed at consumers, says global information and insights company TransUnion.

According to TransUnion’s latest quarterly analysis of global online fraud trends, fraudsters are targeting businesses less, but increasing COVID-19 focused scams against consumers online recently. Suspected fraudulent digital transactions against businesses worldwide decreased 9% from the beginning of the pandemic (March 11, when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic-May 18) to when businesses began reopening (May 19-July 25). By contrast, TransUnion’s latest Consumer Financial Hardship surveys found South African consumers have been a target of digital fraud related to COVID-19 schemes has increased 17 percentage points from the early days of the pandemic (week of April 13) to more recently (week of October 5) with 42% saying they have been targeted.

Today TransUnion launched Seamless Onboarding, a new solution to help the South African financial services industry provide consumers with a simpler digital application and onboarding experience. Commenting on the launch, Keith Wardell, director for product at TransUnion Africa, said many financial institutions were challenged to balance the need to protect themselves and their customers from fraud, while continuing to provide a seamless customer experience.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the shift to transact online, fraud is shifting digitally as well. Businesses must protect their customers while limiting transaction barriers. Despite consumer demand for a smooth user experience on digital channels, traditionally fraud detection and prevention solutions negatively impacted that experience,” said Wardell.

TransUnion Seamless Onboarding will help businesses offer greater digital access to products and services, while addressing an increase in attempted fraud that can come with a rise in digital transactions. It provides a digital onboarding process that delivers a friction-right experience, while increasing conversions and loyalty, reducing fraud, and improving operational efficiencies.

According to analysis from research and advisory firm Forrester conducted on behalf of TransUnion*, more than half of financial services firms see their identity verification methods as burdensome on good customers. Forrester found this leads to customers abandoning new financial product applications before completion.

TransUnion Seamless Onboarding helps address the challenge of digital fraud by including identity establishment and verification, fraud prevention and service orchestration. The service is delivered via a single API that significantly reduces integration time and effort for financial institutions.

“TransUnion Seamless Onboarding includes a multi-layered fraud strategy that leverages TransUnion’s vast offline and online data, insights and analytics to create a great experience for good customers and also effectively be used to stop fraud. This way, we enable institutions to get a more accurate risk assessment and reduce false positives for fraud,” said Wardell.

* TransUnion commissioned Forrester to complete a number of research studies August/September 2018 including a look at “Fraud Detection and ID Verification in Financial Services