Traditionally, the financial services industry has insisted on paper copies of documents to confirm a person's identity when bringing on new customers. But the time and resources required to provide and process paper-based forms of identity made it a laborious
task for FS organisations and their customers alike and meant many began to transition to electronic authentication back in 2007.
According to our research, 75% of financial services organisations now use some form of electronic authentication to verify customer identities in the applications process. However, there are still a number of smaller companies battling with piles of paper
identity documents and a significant 37% of these are still using paper-only methods when authenticating new customers. Although the companies that do use electronic authentication cite a number of benefits including increased profitability and improved customer
service, the research found that SMEs are often less aware of these advantages. In some cases, misconceptions still exist. For example, a number of organisations that we questioned thought that paper methods are in some way safer than electronic ones.
Electronic authentication can relieve the administrative burden of having to contend with mountains of paper documents to verify customers and also help bring customers on board far quicker. It is important that we, as an industry, take steps to educate smaller
companies on the advantages of electronic authentication, so they too can reap the benefits of abandoning paper processes.
Micah Willbrand, UK Head of Authentication Services, Experian