The Rules Have Changed in a Digital World

To thrive in a digital world, organizations need Identity Intelligence: real-time, predictive insights about all relevant knowledge of customers, including their identities and creditworthiness.

Identity Intelligence isn’t just a repository of consumer data. It’s an interactive approach to analytics that enables organizations to verify and screen customers at every stage of the customer journey, gaining insights, fine-tuning offers, and optimizing the customer experience.

Identity Intelligence means using consumer data to improve outcomes for both the organization and the consumer. It’s quick as a consumer flipping through a mobile app in the sharing economy, and it’s robust enough to deliver double-digit growth for companies in industries as varied as financial services, healthcare, and hospitality.

Why is Identity Intelligence so important?

  • Profitability requires identity intelligence. Businesses used to be able to get by with a more cursory approach to verifying the identities of consumers and assess their creditworthiness. But old models won’t deliver continued growth.

  • Businesses need to find more good customers, including customers invisible to most organizations today. Lenders and other businesses have captured prime customers. Remaining growth will have to come from non-prime, financially underserved customers. These consumers make up roughly 30% of the U.S. It’s a large and growing market, comprising Generation Z consumers, immigrants, many military families, and other financially underserved consumers. Traditional account screening services, which focused on serving prime consumers and keeping out fraud operators, do a poor job screening these consumers. This is a profitable market segment, representing nearly $2 trillion in assets and generating fees and interest of over $187 billion.

  • Identity intelligence can streamline customer experiences, a critical requirement for serving “digital natives.” Businesses can use customer knowledge and predictive insights to simplify workflows and streamline customer interactions. When competitors are always just a few clicks away, keeping customers engaged and satisfied with online interactions is more important than ever.

  • Fraud operators are becoming more sophisticated and can make use of breached data, automated hacking tools, and even AIFraud operators are applying a vast arsenal of tools to perpetrate identity theft, especially over digital channels. Lenders and other organizations need to apply identity intelligence to tell real customers from clever impersonators.

What Is Identity Intelligence?

In 2010, Gartner proposed the concept of Identity Intelligence, which referred to enterprises having complete, real-time knowledge about the identities and activities of their employees. In contrast to directories of user identities and access rights, Identity Intelligence correlated data and events from disparate data sources to provide new insights about employees and their activities.

We believe that companies need that same kind of intelligence about their customers. But we want to broaden the scope of intelligence in two ways: first, by focusing on customers, and second, by enabling that intelligence to be predictive.

In our view, Identity Intelligence is knowledge and predictive insights about a consumer that:

  • Draw on broad data sources to increase the probability of a match.
  • Take advantage of sophisticated Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and other techniques, to accurately identify and analyze a specific individual
  • Include predictive insights about traits such as financial stability
  • Can be used for making business decisions, with or without assistance from other data sources.

Identity Intelligence enables you to bring on more customers by providing four capabilities:

  1. Mobile Account Opening – providing fast, frictionless and secure account opening and screening on any device, anywhere, anytime
  2. Identity Proofing – authenticating the identity documents consumers present to open account and verify high-risk transactions, even through mobile devices and even in an environment with rising fraud
  3. Credit Risk Management – screening consumers for all kinds of account decisions (including credit and risk decisions) with the confidence that comes from broad data sources and advanced data analytics
  4. Re-evaluating Rejected Accounts – even companies that have addressed the previous three capabilities may still be rejecting too many accounts; new predictive analytics techniques enable lenders and other companies making credit decisions to say “yes” to consumers that might have otherwise been rejected; re-evaluating accounts is a special analysis that is performed only on rejected accounts in order to grow as many accounts as possible.

To learn more about our Accelerated Insight Platform and topics related to building Identity Intelligence into products, services, and workflows visit our website HERE.

Reaching The Invisible Marketplace

While the U.S economy continues to grow, there are signs that the credit market is tightening. making it even more challenging for lenders to approve borrowers and meet growth and profitability goals. 

Identifying good customers will be more important than ever, but where will they come from?  Recent estimates suggest 30% of adults in today’s credit market are virtually invisible to traditional screening methods. Future success will require access to hard to reach populations:

  • Mobile applicants
  • Digital natives
  • Non-traditional customers 

Want to learn more? Download our eGuide, 'The Invisible Marketplace' by clicking the button below. 


Predictive Analytics

As the leading provider of predictive insights about customers, we can help your organization dramatically enhance its Identity Intelligence, enabling you to identify more customers and grant them fast, fair, and frictionless access to your business.

Want to learn more? Download our 'Predictive Analytics Solution Brief' by clicking the button below.


Mobile Account Opening

Businesses in every digital industry should offer mobile account opening to their customers. Why? Because mobile devices have become the default computing devices for consumers, and consumers carry and interact with those devices all day, every day.

Need to do something? Check something? Know something? Consumers reach for their smartphones.

Why not enable consumers to open an account as quickly and easily as they do everything else on their mobile devices? Businesses that support mobile account opening will gain customers before their less nimble competitors do.

Mobile Account Opening Is a Natural Fit for Digital-First Consumers

Survey results from Pew and other organizations show just how devoted consumers are to their smartphones and tablets:

  • 67% of American adults own smartphones.
  • About 66% of email is first read on smartphones and tablets.
  • 46% of American adults say their smartphones are things they couldn’t live without.
  • 77% of people aged 18 to 24 responded "yes" when asked “When nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone.”
  • 57% of smartphone owners have done some kind of online banking.
  • 47% of smartphone users have used their mobile devices to comparison shop while in a retail store, and 69% of those comparison shoppers changed their product selection based on the information they found on their phone.
  • 18% of smartphone users have submitted job applications over their smartphone.

The average American mobile device owner now spends 162 minutes—almost 3 hours—per day on mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets have become our constant companions—our ready-at-hand shopping centers, entertainment consoles, reference libraries, social networks, and financial tools.

Especially for Millennials, a business’s failure to provide adequate mobile features is a reason for customers to choose a competitor. In a survey by SNL Financial, 54% of Millennials said they would consider switching institutions based on the apps available for their mobile devices.

For 10% of Americans, including many thin-file and no-file adults, smartphones provide the only means of Internet access. For these consumers, online access means mobile access.

A Special Case: Mobile Account Opening for Financial Services

Most banks and credit unions now offer mobile apps for their customers. Most of these apps are designed to perform routine tasks for a customer already known and trusted by the institution.

Here’s how financial customers are using these apps today:

  • Checking balances (94% of mobile banking users)
  • Transferring money between accounts (61%)
  • Receiving alerts from their institution (57%)
  • Depositing checks through remote deposit capture, often limited to checks below a certain value such as $3,000 (51%)
  • Making an online payment (28%)

All these features are convenient. Customers have come to expect them. But these features represent only some of the activities a customer might engage in with her financial institution.

To reach Millennials, unbanked and underbanked consumers (together, about 30% of American consumers and a growing market), and tech-savvy consumers generally, businesses must offer mobile services that are more comprehensive and as good or better than the competition. And these services should rightfully include mobile account opening.

The Financial Brand estimates that by 2020, one in four financial accounts will be opened on a mobile device. Institutions that lack mobile account opening will lose out to their competition.

Obstacles to Mobile Account Opening

If businesses want to grow accounts, and if consumers are shopping for products and services on their mobile devices, what is stopping businesses from offering mobile account opening today?

There are two major obstacles to mobile account opening today.

  • Identity Proofing
    The first obstacle is verifying that applicants on mobile devices are really who they say they are. Identity verification is a key part of Identity Intelligence.
  • Customer Experience
    The second obstacle is delivering a great customer experience and ensuring that applicants do not grow frustrated and abandon the application process.

Doing It the Hard Way: A Typical Mobile Account Opening Process Today

To understand how these obstacles create problems for both businesses and customers, consider a typical mobile account opening process:

  • The business displays a welcome message and asks the applicant for basic identity information for customer relationship management (CRM) records. If the business is a financial services organization, this information will be used for Customer Information Program (CIP) compliance. (The USA PATRIOT Act requires financial institutions to verify the identities of their customers.)
  • The applicant provides the requested information, including name, current address, date of birth, and Social Security Number.
  • The business verifies this data, looking for completeness and any indication of fraud.
  • Once the information is verified, the business may present one or more products or services to the applicant.
  • The applicant selects products or services, completing the initial process.
  • The applicant later visits a storefront or branch to complete the CIP verification process.
  • In the case of financial services companies, hospitality chains, or retailers, account cards, debit cards, credit cards, or any other physical assets can be delivered through the mail.

When performed on a mobile device, especially a smartphone, these steps pose several problems:

  • Toilsome typing.
    This process entails a lot of typing, which can be difficult on a small, mobile device keyboard.
  • Bad data leading to bad results.
    Typos, misconstrued abbreviations in address data, and other errors can lead to the institution initially rejecting the applicant or requiring the process to be repeated.
  • High abandonment rates.
    Extensive typing and re-typing can frustrate applicants, leading them to abandon the application process (and contributing to the high abandon rates for which online account opening is famous).
  • Slow or erroneous document authentication.
    Some apps might attempt to circumvent the need for typing by allowing the applicant to scan an identity document such as a driver’s license and use that document’s data to automatically populate many fields in the application form; but this creates new requirements for the institution to read and authenticate identity documents in real time; to date, the success rate of such services has been low.
  • Skewed analysis and poor decision-making.
    The data submitted by the applicant might contain errors other than typos. For example, it might include old address data, which might degrade the quality of the business’s identity verification and risk assessment. About 30% of U.S. adults are carrying ID documents with outdated information, according to banks.
  • Low match rates.
    The business’s own account-screening services may deliver low match rates, especially for Millennials, immigrants, and other thin-file and no-file consumers–the populations most likely to turn to mobile account opening in the first place.
  • Missed opportunities in account segmentation.
    The business’s account-screening services might be able to match the applicant’s CIP data but not reliably predict the likely profitability of the customer. Consequently, the bank’s mobile app might fail to offer the most appropriate products to the applicant, missing an opportunity to better meet the applicant’s needs and to possibly engage in productive cross-selling early on.

What all these problems have in common is data: either the difficulty of entering data easily and accurately, or the difficulty of verifying and assessing that data to support making the best possible business decisions in near real time.

Data analysis turns out to be the keystone to successful mobile account opening. Handling data correctly is a win/win for the applicant and business:  the applicant benefits from a much better experience, and the business gains a customer that it really understands and is ready to serve.

Mobile Account Opening Done Right

Consider how the mobile account opening process could be transformed by real-time Identity Intelligence, including:

  • The applicant’s identity
  • The applicant’s financial stability, socio-demographic stability (a predictor of customer churn), and appropriateness for particular products and services
  • The applicant’s identity document
  • The status of any DDA account used to fund any type of new account that carries a balance

In place of the typing-intensive process described earlier, businesses could offer a fast, frictionless mobile account-opening experience benefiting from Identity Intelligence in customer screening, product guidance, and onboarding. Aided by real-time data analytics, the app could support a significantly smoother process:

  • The mobile app displays a welcome message and asks the applicant for information for basic CRM and KYC/CIP compliance.
  • The applicant uses a smartphone or tablet camera to take a photo of a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license. The applicant types in a Social Security number or other Taxpayer Identity Number, since those numbers do not appear on photo IDs.
  • Through real-time identity proofing data analytics, the business verifies this data, looking for completeness and any indication of fraud.
  • While most businesses’ account-screening services yield match rates around 70%, this business is able to match 90% or more of applicants.
  • In addition to matching identity data, the account-screening services include a real-time assessment of the applicant’s financial stability, riskiness, and likelihood of churn. Using this assessment, a business can tailor its product offerings to the applicant at the time of account opening. The mobile app could also incorporate other offers, such as seasonal offers for gift cards.
  • If the applicant specifies an existing DDA account at another business for funding a new product, the status of that other account can be verified in real time, ensuring that the account exists and has not been closed.
  • Once all this information has been verified, the business presents one or more products to the applicant.
  • The applicant agrees to one or more products, completing the initial process.
  • Membership cards or, for financial organizations, debit cards and credit cards; disclosures; and any other physical assets can be delivered later through the mail.

Let’s sum up this new, streamlined approach to mobile account opening:

  • The applicant has scanned an ID card, done minimal typing, and perhaps selected products through tapping or swiping, using the gesture-base user interface common to many new mobile apps.
  • Because minimal typing was required and product offerings were appropriate, the applicant is unlikely to abandon the process.
  • Within minutes, the applicant has become a new customer.
  • Meanwhile, the business has reduced its risks in opening the account for the applicant and offered the applicant the most appropriate products, given the applicant’s financial standing and life needs.

Real-time Identity Intelligence has transformed the customer experience of mobile account opening from a risk-prone slog to a low-risk snap.

Taking Mobile Account Opening to Brick-and-Mortar Locations

At the same time that businesses are striving to deliver better customer experiences on mobile devices, they are also re-thinking the customer experiences they provide in brick-and-mortar locations such as stores and branches.

For example, some financial businesses are adopting the model of a universal banker trained on all products and functions in the branch. In this model, a teller is free to roam the branch floor, greeting customers and guiding them through decisions and tasks on a mobile device such as an iPad. Even institutions that have not converted their staff entirely to the universal banker model recognize the benefits of bankers using tablets in branches.

One of the advantages of implementing an Identity Intelligence solution for mobile banking is that the same data analytics used for mobile account opening on a consumer’s device can be integrated in mobile apps and other customer software used in brick-and-mortar locations.

In other words, by solving the Identity Intelligence problem for mobile account opening, businesses can simultaneously solve data challenges in their face-to-face interactions with customers.

Real-time Identity Intelligence turns out to be a key enabler of multiple strategic initiatives.

  • Learn about AI Extract, the Accelitas web service that automatically extracts data from government-issued IDs to streamline mobile account opening.

Want to learn more? Download our ''7 Warning Signs Your Mobile Account Opening Process is Costing You Business" eGuide by clicking the button below.



"Lenders are missing out on up to 30% of the market, because their traditional screening tools lack the right customer data and intelligence. Leveraging AI techniques and alternative data can unlock predictive insights that help our clients identify and say 'yes' to more good customers."
Greg Cote Accelitas

Greg Cote Accelitas, Inc.

Looking to grow your identity intelligence? Let's talk.

Accelitas delivers the intelligence to grant fast, fair, frictionless access to good customers that others miss. By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and alternative data to confirm identity and predict profitability, our Accelerated Insight API Platform powers real-time services that provide a faster, smarter way to seamlessly open digital accounts, verify identities, and say “yes” to good customers.

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