An estimated 34-million consumers will be purchasing online in South Africa in 2019 and businesses need to adapt if they are going to protect these transactions.

This is the advice from Tim Collins, head of product at TransUnion Africa, who says: “The increased sophistication of online fraudsters is a growing risk to South African businesses and the customers they serve.

“Those businesses that fail to protect consumers from fraud will be the ones that ultimately disappear.”

Identity verification is no longer limited to a set of core documents and a few pieces of personal information. It is about understanding someone’s digital footprint, the devices they use and how they use them. Only by combining personal and digital data, can businesses truly protect their most valuable asset – their customers.

A number of South African businesses are fighting back with solutions from TransUnion’s fraud and identity management suite, IDVision with iovation. This enhanced fraud suite unifies personal and digital identities by combining TransUnion’s collection of over 58 million African consumer records, with iovation’s global device intelligence – based on experience with over 5,9-billion devices globally.

Underscoring the need for a comprehensive approach to identity management and fraud prevention, a recent study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of TransUnion, uncovered that 68% of financial services firms reported their customers increasingly interact with them through digital channels instead of face-to-face.

In addition, 62% of financial institutions indicated that the growth of online interactions has increased fraud and identity theft risk.

“Digital reputation is critical to accelerating the growth of online services in Africa,” says Jon Karl, co-founder and executive vice-president: corporate development at iovation, a TransUnion company. He explains that while the continent is consistently a global hot spot for the origination of online fraud, its digital economies are also advancing in leaps and bounds, and require innovative solutions to unique challenges.

“IDVision with iovation’s insights from experience with over 5.9 billion global devices allows businesses in South Africa to get an upper hand on fraudsters, while streamlining access for their genuine customers,” adds Karl. “Our combined solution provides unrivalled insight into offline and online identities, enabling businesses to quickly adapt to the fast-changing and evolving fraud landscape.”

IDVision with iovation quickly deploys a holistic strategy that both fights and detects fraud while optimising customer convenience and security by:

* Establishing Identity: Identity is verified against a broad set of personal and digital data for greater identity confidence.

* Authenticating Customers: IDVision with iovation validates the customer’s claimed identity to confirm they are who they say they are. It employs methods that match the risk level by utilising authentication at specific touchpoints.

* Preventing Fraud: Fraud risk of online transactions or identities is assessed to identify potentially fraudulent actions or behaviours. Suspicious behavior is investigated to identify inconsistent data elements.

Ensuring a secure, seamless customer experience is fundamental for businesses to effectively grow and thrive in a digital world. As more consumers move online, data compromises and fraud threats continue to rise. This has magnified the need for robust identity verification and fraud detection tools that do not hinder the customer experience. IDVision with iovation enables genuine customers to have a secure, seamless experience whilst preventing fraudulent actions.