Q&A: Strategies to Implement and Enhance Digital Onboarding

September 21, 2020

Recently we had a chance to have Question and Answer session with Charlie Heidlage and Amanda DuPont of Thomson Reuters following CaseWare RCM’s Strategies to Implement and Enhance Digital On-boarding webinar.

The webinar examined digital banking and its importance, especially the onboarding process. How should FIs approach their future onboarding technology strategy given stressed resources and tight budgets?


We asked the experts.

Charlie is the partnership manager for the CLEAR Suite of solutions. He is responsible for the strategy and oversight of all technical partners within the corporate investigative arm of Thomson Reuters.

Amanda has more than 23 years of experience in the legal industry. She is a CAMS certified, licensed attorney, and practiced law in Minneapolis for over eight years.

Amanda joined Thomson Reuters in 2006 and has held roles throughout the business. In her current role as public records product specialist she works closely with corporate commercial customers to help develop innovative solutions in the public records arena.


Question:  How do we mitigate the risk of identity theft? And this is where we do not do face-to-face validation of who is submitting the documents?

A: Really important question because there's two points to identity today. Is the person real?  Obviously, does this person exist. Is that person presenting to me? That's definitely a technology challenge.

There are a lot of really good solutions and there's so much to answer in that authentication question. So you need a two-pronged approach. Is the document authentic and is the person who they say they are?


Q: What are some good and credible digital sources to use to verify a person's ID?

A: You should be able to talk to vendors and say what's your ID verification menu of options?

In our case, we have a global directory of people, We can tell you if they register into a public records database across the globe. We can do the same thing with a company globally.

You want to know the menu of items, whether it's their credit bureau data, utility records, service ID, records, the list goes on and on. But you should talk to vendors to see how they can help solve the non-documentary component, in my opinion.

At the end of the day, it comes down to not just one single source of data but a myriad of data points. But it is also the absence of those data points. If somebody comes through, and they are completely clean and there's nothing on this individual, that is just as much of a red flag as a fraud charge.

Other thing to point out is that you are not required to authenticate every piece of data.  We need to make a reasonable effort that the person is who they say they are they're presenting to be. And there's lots of ways technology can solve that. I constantly get requests to verify California driver's license. And I say you actually have to validate the identity through CIP.

I know people don't have to validate the California driver's license number, but you want to be able to prove that person's real and true, and in front of you.

There are easier ways for onboarding through technology like what we're talking about.


Q: Fraud seems to be the biggest problem that you're addressing with digital onboarding. But what about AML and CFT risk?

A: So from an AML perspective, you do screening with onboarding data. Screening can confirm if someone is not a bad actor.

In order for your sanction screening or denied party screening to be effective, you have to know who the person actually is in order to verify that they are not a risky person. If you can establish who they are, then it gives you the opportunity to properly screen.

Once you know your customer, then you can properly identify your fraud risk.

And with those two pieces in place, you can screen effectively against people you're not allowed to do business with.


Watch the Strategies to Implement and Enhance Digital On-boarding webinar.


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