What to Know Before You Offer ID Fraud Protection

identity theft protection for community banks and credit unions

Convincing consumers of the need for ID fraud protection is difficult — the threats are unseen, and it can seem like the odds are against it happening to any one person. But as the recent data breach at Equifax has made the point all too clear: everyone needs it.

Do you currently offer ID fraud protection to your consumers? Consumers already look to community financial institutions to protect their money — providing assurance for other information can be a natural fit.

Unfortunately, the range of features and price points for ID fraud protection vendors is head-spinning. And developing a competitive service from scratch is out of the question for all but the largest institutions. So we’re taking this opportunity to highlight the “must-haves” consumers will expect when subscribing to an ID fraud protection service.

In short, if an ID fraud protection service doesn’t 1) monitor, 2) alert the subscriber, and 3) resolve issues with a consumer’s sensitive information, it’s probably not worth the time and money to offer it. Keep reading to learn exactly what you should look for in each of these three categories.

 

Monitoring Personally Identifiable Information is a Must.

 

This is almost a given, but it’s important to cover the basics. Especially because some ID fraud products (particularly the cheaper options) do not include proactive monitoring — instead only helping consumers recover their identity after fraud has occurred.

In 2016, consumers reported paying over $744 million in fraud complaints; the median amount paid was $450.* You can help them defray that cost.

A monitoring service should work proactively on behalf of the subscriber. It should check the credit file for new credit activity but also the dark web to watch if personal information is ever bought or traded.

The Equifax breach offers a good example. We know that personally identifiable information (PII) of millions of users (upwards of 145 million — or close to half the U.S. population) has been exposed to hackers. There is no way for consumers to reclaim their PII once it becomes public, but it can be watched and necessary action can be taken if a criminal party attempts to use it. With 24/7 monitoring in place, it may even be possible to prevent the fraud from wreaking financial damage.

 

Providing regular and timely alerts offers valuable peace of mind.

 

Suspicious activity alerts are an essential tool that should be included in any paid ID fraud service. Watching for criminal activity doesn’t do the subscriber any good if they can’t take action in a timely fashion. Ideally, subscribers should receive monthly status updates (“Everything is normal, nothing to be concerned about”) in addition to emergency notifications — ensuring peace of mind is essential.

 

Resolution can be overwhelming — offer guidance.

 

There’s no service robust enough to completely prevent fraud from happening. So you want to make sure the vendor you choose can help subscribers recover their identity and restore the security of the information. Resolution services come at different tiers. While a self-guided resource center may allow you to keep costs down, pairing subscribers with a dedicated resolution specialist will ensure a much more satisfactory experience. Recovering a stolen identity is a time consuming and emotional process. The extra help is worth it.

 

A well-rounded service can make all the difference

 

There are a lot of additional features that may be included with a paid ID fraud protection service. Here are some of the others that we recommend:

  • Annual credit reports
  • Monthly credit scores
  • Lost wallet services

Fraud victims paid 42% less out of pocket if they owned an ID protection service at the time the fraud occurred than if they did not.** There’s never been a better time to offer it.

The Equifax breach has put consumers in a vulnerable position — and they will be looking for trustworthy organizations to help them recover. If your institution is prepared, you may be able to create an essential partnership with your members or customers that will last for years.

Kasasa offers an ID fraud protection service that can be offered at a great price to account holders. Read more on our website.

*Federal Trade Commission Sentinel Network Data Book 2016
**Javelin 2017 Identity Fraud Report

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Kasasa