In the wake of the Target data breach last December — which put an estimated 70 million customers at risk for identity theft after thieves stole massive amounts of credit and debit card information as well as username and passwords — fraud protection has become a major concern for consumers, and for good reason.
For victims of identity theft, cleaning up the mess is no fun. Some 10 percent of victims must spend more than a month working to clear up associated problems, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). And those whose issues linger are more likely to experience problems at work and in their relationships. Nearly half of identify theft victims who spent more than six months resolving financial and credit card problems reported experiencing severe emotional distress.
To avoid this plight and find peace of mind, the number one place consumers are looking is to their banks to provide them with fraud protection services.
So how can you find the right partner to give your customers the protection they need? Here’s what to look for:
Comprehensive protection: While credit monitoring is an important service to provide, it shouldn’t be the only one. The right partner will offer protection against the entire spectrum of identity fraud sources — including mail fraud, online hacking, checks, public records and more, and should provide services that secure, monitor and restore your customer’s identity.
A robust technology platform: Can the company’s technology platform scale with your program? How extensive is its range of security controls? You’ll want to make sure all of your customers’ data can be protected.
Knowledge of regulatory policy: Fraud protection services can’t operate in a vacuum. A good partner will have a firm handle on today’s regulatory environment and be equipped to adapt to — and make you aware of — updates and changes as they come down the pike.
Ask your provider what customer communications options are offered and whether they can be branded to your specifications. Transparency is a critical component of a successful and compliant fraud protection program.
Responsive customer service: Automated alerts and technological tools are important, but there are times when consumers want to get help from a “live” specialist. Does the company offer access to a dedicated resolution specialist, who is officially certified to help you? Ask how quickly one of your customers can reach a specialist, and about the range of problems that he/she can assist you with.
Education options: Being proactive and planning ahead can help you and your customers be better prepared in the event of a breach. Look for a partner who offers tools to help you educate your account holders and employees in strengthening their security.
Proven results: Over the last decade, a variety of fraud protection services have sprung up in the marketplace — some of dubious quality, where their focus is on other services and they simply provide fraud protection as an add-on. These marketing companies are focused on acquiring your customers for their own use, rather than servicing your customers on your behalf. Avoid taking chances with a partner whose goal is to create a relationship only to get to your customers — look for a provider who has been around a while and can point to proven success stories and solutions.
With nearly half of all consumers today looking to their financial institutions to protect them against fraud according to the 2013 Identity Protection Scorecard recently released by Javelin Strategy & Research, it’s more important than ever for you to connect with the right partner to provide the strongest protection plan possible. For more, check out our suite of products and get in touch.