Tristan Prince - Experian: The importance of a layered approach in Identity Verification

March 6, 2024 by Gillian Channer - VP of Product Management at Mitek

Tristan Prince is Fraud & Financial Crime Product Director at Experian. He believes that the organizations that will succeed in the future are the ones which know what good customers look like, because they use machine learning, layered strategies, and many different data points to ensure the most accurate digital identity verification. 


Tristan sat down with Gillian Channer, VP of Product Management at Mitek, for a conversation about fraud management trends, technology, and the customer experience:

Gillian: What kind of challenges do you face when helping organizations to identify fraud risk in their digital customer journeys?

Tristan: For many years, fraud professionals were viewed as sales restriction. In a lot of organizations, the product managers and product owners would see fraud prevention as something that stopped their customers from getting a smooth, online digital journey. And, as we know, a good smooth digital journey is the difference between success and failure for many organizations. Consumers want an instant decision for the products they apply for online. So balancing that friction in the application or onboarding process is critical. 


Gillian: What innovations and opportunities do you see bringing about the biggest advancements in fraud prevention right now?

Tristan: The new capabilities coming online like behavioral biometrics and voice biometrics represent a real opportunity. 

There is no silver bullet from a fraud prevention perspective. So the critical thing is for organizations to create a layered strategy using many different capabilities. The more technology and the more innovation that we drive, the more fraud prevention capabilities we can bring to market. That allows organizations to use many different data points to assess risk. 

The technology that’s driving that is machine learning. 


Gillian: Can you explain more about why machine learning is key?

Tristan: Machine learning is enabling people to take multiple different data points and use those to make better decisions. It’s been proven to both increase the amount of fraud an organization can catch, reduce the number of referrals they’ll receive, and also to help remove good customers from those referral cues. So, it’s enabling faster decisions. 

Verifying digital identities gets you so far, but if the fraudster’s got the genuine identity, it becomes very difficult. But if you layer in device, behavioural biometrics, voice… actually it can uncover the difference between the genuine consumer and the fraudster. 


Gillian: You mentioned friction in the customer journey earlier. Do you still find there is that inherent tension between these new fraud prevention technologies, and the goal to make customer onboarding as smooth as possible?

Tristan: One of the really important points around customer friction is that you shouldn’t be putting every single customer through the same journey. A lot of organizations will run all their fraud management controls in parallel, and they’ll run those for every customer who comes through their digital journey. But in reality, 99% of your customers are good customers so why would you put a good customer through the same process as a potential fraudster? 

A big differentiator for organizations as they try to address those challenges around customer friction, digital journey, and the pace they want to onboard people, is understanding what good looks like; what trust looks like. 

A lot of organizations are now using orchestration capabilities to change that journey dynamically for customers so if a fraud signal appears, they might step up to a document verification, or a realness check. And they’re using that to intelligently improve the online digital journey for good customers. 

That will be the differentiator between an organization that will succeed in the future and those potentially that will fail.

Our interviews with Tristan were captured for a series of short videos. To hear more of Tristan’s observations and insights, watch the full videos.

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