Hello Soda https://hellosoda.com Data | Global | Different Thu, 21 Jan 2021 13:54:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.9 https://hellosoda.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/cropped-hs-favicon-32x32.png Hello Soda https://hellosoda.com 32 32 Is It Time to Refresh Your Customer Personas? https://hellosoda.com/blog/is-it-time-to-refresh-your-customer-personas/ Thu, 21 Jan 2021 13:54:01 +0000 https://hellosoda.com/?p=14536 The digital lanscape is continually changing. Companies regularly evolve and update their services, but how often do they refresh their customer personas?

The post Is It Time to Refresh Your Customer Personas? appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
Technological innovation is changing the way we live our daily lives, transforming the digital landscape at an exponential rate. While it, and the wider world continues to evolve, consumer needs and intent evolve in sync.

Companies regularly evolve and update their services and product offering to keep up with the times, but how often do they refresh their customer personas?

Customer Personas

As we recently explored, defining a target audience is the first and most essential step towards success for any company or business. It can enable small businesses to effectively compete with large companies by targeting their niche market; no one can afford to target everyone.

Personas are profiles of your target audience that would make ideal customers. A persona typically involves much deeper and more detailed research than the target audience since it hoans in on specific characteristics and interests of your target audience. Once these personas are defined, most companies will use them as part of their sales process in order to target the people most likely to buy their products or services.

However, too often companies evolve their offering and neglect to update who they’re targeting. Products change, buyers change, the marketplace changes, competitors provide compelling alternatives and businesses learn more about their customers. All of these conspire to render yesterday’s persona documents less useful – sometimes they become downright irrelevant.

Developing personas are not a task to be done once, then filed away. They should be kept as true reflections of how a business is developing. By giving your current buyer personas a refresh, you can better define your strategies, develop informed lead nurturing programs, improve your conversion rate and improve revenue performance.

Updating Your Personas

Effective persona development allows you to leverage existing client and buyer personas as well as develop new leads. If you have not performed a persona restoration in recent memory, you’d better get started.

According to a Nielsen Norman Group survey, only 28% of organisations regularly update their customer personas (quarterly or more frequently). But, those who do report a very positive impact on user experience. Nearly half of organisations (46%) update their personas every 1-4 years and the remaining 26% make revisions after 5 years or not at all. As expected, teams who do not revise their personas for 5+ years are typically less satisfied with how successful their customer personas are in creating a better user experience.

Our recent blog post on key audiences details how to form customer personas, but one great way of keeping your personas fresh and up-to-date, is speaking to your customers. By speaking to the people who have recently bought from you, you can understand their problems, how your products or services helped overcome them and even find ways of further improving your service. 

How We Can Help

To remain effective, customer personas should be ‘living’ documents, updated to account for changes in your business or the things you learn as it evolves. If you’ve noticed a drop in traffic or conversions, you may be targeting the wrong audience and thus, need to check whether your personas are up-to-date.

Hello Soda’s global marketing solutions enable businesses to truly understand their customers and their customers’ unique characteristics. Our engine analyses all available data points from a customer’s digital footprint which can be utilised to accurately and effectively personalise your marketing efforts.

With Profile iD, you have real-time, meaningful insights at your fingertips and can tailor your marketing to ensure that everything your consumers see is relevant, based on life events, interests and hobbies, when and where they go on holiday, their personality and when they’re online.

All this and more enables you to truly tailor your marketing to enhance engagement retention cross-sell and upsell personalise your user experience with profile personalisation.

Book a demo today and see for yourself how powerful our suite of marketing personalisation solutions are.

The post Is It Time to Refresh Your Customer Personas? appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
How to Target Your Key Audience https://hellosoda.com/blog/how-to-target-your-key-audience/ Tue, 19 Jan 2021 10:26:36 +0000 https://hellosoda.com/?p=14521 Given the current economic state and the amount of competition businesses face, having a well-defined target audience is more important than ever.

The post How to Target Your Key Audience appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>

Given the current economic state and the amount of competition businesses face, having a well-defined target audience is more important than ever; no one can afford to target everyone. 

Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting their niche market. But, how do you define the people most likely to buy your products or services?

Your Target Audience

Defining your target audience is the first and most essential step towards success for any company or business.

Your target audience is basically your potential customers, or the customers who are most likely to buy your product or services. Companies need to target a market with whom they can communicate with – a group of people with the same level of education, goals, interests, problems, etc, that will need the product or service they are selling.

If a business targets people who are not interested in their products or services, they might get more traffic to site for example, but it won’t drive sales or conversions.

The most commonly used data to define the target audience of a company are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education background
  • Purchasing power
  • Social class
  • Location
  • Consumption habits

For example, if you had a business that sells educational toys, your target audience might be children, mothers, education specialists or teachers. A gambling business’ target audience would definitely not be people younger than 18.

There is no point trying to reach everyone in order to increase your chances of sales and profit. It will actually cost more and decrease your profit margins in the long run.

Personas are profiles of your target audience that would make ideal customers. A persona involves much deeper and more detailed research than the target audience since it includes:

  • Personal characteristics
  • Purchasing power
  • Lifestyle
  • Interests
  • Engagement in social networks
  • Professional information

Choosing your target audience

Different consumers have different needs and intent; if you do not define your target audience and just go after everyone, you’re less likely to pinpoint the key requirements of the people most likely to require your products or services and, as such, cater to a more general audience who do not need your products or services.

To define your target audience, you need to answer the following questions:

  1. Who are they?
  2. What are their biggest problems?
  3. Where do they find their information?
  4. What is the benefit of your product or service?
  5. What do they dislike?
  6. Who do they trust?

It’s important not to break down your target too much; you can have more than one niche market. By answering these key questions however, you can hoan in on the people most likely to buy your products or services. But where can you gather this information?

How we can help

Hello Soda’s global marketing solutions enable businesses to truly understand their customers and their customers’ unique characteristics.

Our engine analyses all of the available data points from a customer’s digital footprint, returning insights on geo-tags, interests, likes and hobbies, affluence score, estimated date of pay and more. All of which can be utilised to accurately and effectively personalise your marketing efforts.

Consumers are tired of seeing the same content and receiving the same offers as everyone else.

With Profile iD, you have real-time, meaningful insights at your fingertips and can tailor your marketing to ensure that everything your consumers see is relevant, based on life events, interests and hobbies, when and where they go on holiday, their personality and when they’re online.

All this and more enables you to truly tailor your marketing to enhance engagement retention cross-sell and upsell personalise your user experience with profile personalisation.

Book a demo today and see for yourself how powerful our suite of marketing personalisation solutions are.

The post How to Target Your Key Audience appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
Automate Your Address Verification With UtilityConnect https://hellosoda.com/blog/automate-your-address-verification-with-utilityconnect/ Fri, 15 Jan 2021 16:02:38 +0000 https://hellosoda.com/?p=14432 With over 3,500 utility and telecoms providers across the globe, UtilityConnect is our unique solution for instant address & location verification.

The post Automate Your Address Verification With UtilityConnect appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
The world is a very different place to what it was last year, never mind 10 years ago. Customers expect instant access to the services they sign up to, and an adoption of automated solutions has made that a reality.

Consequently, businesses have had no choice but to innovate – and quickly – or risk losing market share and reputation to their more digitally nimble competitors.

Going digital

Many of the interactions we once had face-to-face have quickly moved online. Those hoping to sign up to services which require identity verification no longer have the luxury of being able to call into their local branch; the global pandemic has decreased typical human interaction meaning account opening and identity verification now has to be done remotely.

But when online activity increases, so too does the risk of online fraud and fraudsters are continually developing more sophisticated ways to attack businesses and customers.

Traditional forms of verification have no place in a digital-first world. Accepting paper copies of utility bills as a way of verification is time-consuming, open to errors and leaves your business and customers vulnerable to fraud.

The adoption and use of technologically-advanced, automated solutions has become the norm and companies are no longer discussing “if” they should integrate them, but “how”.

UtilityConnect – Address Verification

UtilityConnect is an alternative, consent-based identity solution that automatically verifies your customer’s name and address directly from their online utility account with over 3,500 providers supported worldwide. 

Your customer simply selects their utility provider and enters their account credentials. UtilityConnect then retrieves the customer’s name, account number, billing address and a digital copy of their most recent bill directly from the data source and in real time which means you can rely on up-to-date and accurate name and address verification without the hassle of paper bills for you or your customer. 

The biggest benefit is that this is an automated system. Fully automated technology minimises friction for the customer, and reduces costs for companies by removing or reducing manual review.

It’s time to switch to a digital, automatic and safe way of verifying your customers in real time. Trust your transactions and automate proof of address with UtilityConnect.

Our UtilityConnect product guide details all you need to know about our address verification solution. Download it today for more information:

UtilityConnect Overview Download

 

The post Automate Your Address Verification With UtilityConnect appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
The Benefits and Challenges of Online Age Verification https://hellosoda.com/blog/the-benefits-and-challenges-of-online-age-verification/ Thu, 14 Jan 2021 13:55:20 +0000 https://hellosoda.com/?p=14470 The e-commerce landscape has been revolutionised in recent years, but a high-demand has seen the industry face unforeseen challenges.

The post The Benefits and Challenges of Online Age Verification appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
It is estimated that 2.14 billion people now buy products or services online, 27.43% of the global population. Technological advancement has ensured growing numbers of businesses realise the necessity of, not just being online, but providing a first-class digital experience.

The e-commerce landscape has been revolutionised in recent years and with features like next-day shipping, secure payment methods and virtual changing rooms, shoppers feel much more confident in making online purchases. But this high-demand has seen the industry face unforeseen challenges.

Increased demand

Many of the interactions we once had face-to-face have quickly moved online. Those hoping to sign up to services which require identity verification no longer have the luxury of being able to call into their local branch; the global pandemic has decreased typical human interaction meaning account opening and identity verification now has to be done remotely.

Easy, secure online shopping has made e-commerce accessible to all people and all industries, including those which would typically require identity verification. Previously ‘underserved’ industries such as e-cigarettes, alcohol, dating apps and adult-only subscriptions are being enabled online by identity and age verification software.

Almost a third of the global population buys products or services online and 86% of Millennials make purchases through their mobile phones. This unprecedented access to online products and services is making it harder for age-restricted merchants to regulate their products and services. But, without the necessary checks and if underaged customers are able to access these platforms, they can be subject to serious repercussions, legal and otherwise. 

The physical sale of alcohol for example, is one area where the legislation is very clear. A legal purchasing limit is set, age verification is required and fines are actively enforced. These purchases require a face-to-face interaction solely for age verification.

The government has estimated the cost of alcohol misuse in society at around £21 billion a year, including £11 billion in alcohol-related crime in England and Wales.

According to government guidance, ‘online retailers face a fine of £5,000 for selling or supplying alcohol to children. In addition, personal licences can be suspended or forfeited on a first offence. If a retailer persistently sells alcohol to customers under the age of 18, the fine increases to £20,000.’

The alcohol industry is of course, just one example of a sector which requires verification; sites selling cigarettes/e-cigarettes, knives, online gaming, gambling, pharmaceuticals and online dating apps are all subject to age-checks. Companies need to at least do their due diligence to try and verify the age of their visitors before they purchase.

This, along with the increased wider online activity – increasing the risk of online fraud – has raised the already high demand for competent identity and age verification software.

In the past, verifying a person’s age online was difficult, especially when purchasing items can be as simple as providing genuine credit card details. ID verification solutions offer a crucial and important barrier to purchase for age-restricted commerce vendors.

In addition to regular online businesses, online marketplaces have a responsibility and obligation to self-regulate and ensure the goods being sold on their platforms are not in danger of reaching vulnerable customers.

Social media is another platform which may find itself subject to age-verification regulations in the future to protect those most vulnerable; currently, users are typically asked to put in their birthday when they sign up for a service, but there is no real verification to ensure it is accurate.

It is time for online operators to take responsibility and self-regulate, rather than expecting customers to police themselves. Robust identity verification provides a way for companies to accurately determine the age of their customers and a variety of industries can benefit from online identity verification to age-restricted goods and services.

How can we help

The digital age is ever-evolving and businesses should keep up with the changes and latest technologies. Secure and reliable levels of verification and authentication should be implemented to prevent fraud from taking place. With businesses wanting advanced authentication measures that have little or no impact on their digital customer experience, utilising alternative digital data sources is the answer.

More often than not, traditional identity checks are unnecessarily long and require information or documents that the individual may not have access to.

Hello Soda’s age verification solutions provide businesses with a robust way to quickly and effectively verify a customer’s name and date of birth. This can be done throughout the user journey, whether during the registration process or checkout.

Our comprehensive family of KYC and AML solutions all work together and are delivered via a single API integration. Using this wide range of data, we provide a unique, real-time ID scoring system that intelligently verifies the identity and can be sure your customers are who they say they are. 

Our global ID, KYC & AML platform, Sodium, is designed to help save you time and money, streamline your customer journey, automate your onboarding process, reduce fraud and achieve regulatory compliance. One simple integration; a flexible 360° solution that is scalable and secure.

Utilise a single element or multiple processes – it’s entirely up to you. Learn more about how we can help to automate and simplify your verification processes to help you to learn more about your customers. 

Book a demo today and see for yourself how powerful our suite of solutions are.

The post The Benefits and Challenges of Online Age Verification appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
Shortcomings of Manually Entering Utility Bill Data https://hellosoda.com/blog/shortcomings-of-manually-entering-utility-bill-data/ Tue, 12 Jan 2021 14:13:47 +0000 https://hellosoda.com/?p=14295 Industries of all kinds have already embraced automation; it’s time the same practices became standard for utility providers.

The post Shortcomings of Manually Entering Utility Bill Data appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>

Organisations have long struggled with the task of collecting data from disparate utility providers. With big data, sustainability and reducing energy costs, it should be easier than ever for organisations to access the energy data they need to make smarter, more profitable energy decisions, but many still resort to manually entering utility data.

Manually collecting and entering utility bill data comes with several shortcomings, all of which are magnified by the enormous amount of data that’s available today. Specifically, a manual approach poses eight critical limitations:

  1. It is more time-consuming.
  2. It is more prone to errors.
  3. It limits visibility.
  4. It lacks granularity and depth of data.
  5. It creates a lag in data reporting.
  6. It leads to high soft costs.
  7. It poses logistical and user experience challenges.
  8. Overall, it increases abandonment rates.

The adoption and use of technologically-advanced, automated solutions has been accelerated due to advances in AI and alternative data and has now become the norm. Companies are no longer discussing “if” they should integrate them, but “how”.

Industries of all kinds have already embraced automation to overcome challenges related to data access, operational efficiencies and organisational silos; it’s time the same practices became standard for utility providers.

Check out our infographic below where we further explore the shortcomings of manually entering utility bill data:

Embed this image on your site (copy code below):

<p><a title="Manual Data Entry - Hello Soda" href="https://hellosoda.com/blog/shortcomings-of-manually-entering-utility-bill-data/"><img style="max-width: 850px;" src="https://hellosoda.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Short_Comings_of_Manually_Entering_Data-1.jpg" alt="Manual Data Entry - Hello Soda" width="100%"></a></p>

How we can help

Here at Hello Soda, our automated solutions support businesses in creating a smoother, safer onboarding experience for their customers. Our product suite and single, universal API, can help you securely verify up to 68% more customers than with traditional, manual identity verification methods.

Hello Soda’s one simple, global solution, Sodium enables customer verification in real-time. Utilise a single element or multiple processes – it’s entirely up to you. Learn more about how we can help to automate and simplify your verification processes to help you gain a better understanding of your customers. 

Click here to book a demo today and see for yourself how powerful our suite of solutions are.

The post Shortcomings of Manually Entering Utility Bill Data appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
Building Trust in Mobile Banking https://hellosoda.com/blog/building-trust-in-mobile-banking/ Tue, 12 Jan 2021 08:57:33 +0000 https://hellosoda.com/?p=14278 The use of digital technology has been accelerated in banking & institutions have realised the necessity providing a first-class digital experience.

The post Building Trust in Mobile Banking appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>

Today’s financial landscape is very different to that of yesteryear. Countless new business practices, regulations, and compliance procedures have emerged, while technological innovation has rapidly changed business models and operational processes.

Adding the development of remote solutions and growing numbers of businesses are realising the necessity of, not just being online but providing a first-class digital experience.

But how do banks ensure customers feel their information is safe with a lack of human interaction? Here, we will explore how institutions can build trust in mobile banking.

Rise of mobile banking

The shift to digital was taking place well before COVID-19, but the pandemic, as well as advances in AI and alternative data, have helped accelerate the adoption and use of digital technology.

Consequently, businesses have had no choice but to innovate – and quickly – or risk losing market share and reputation to their more digitally nimble competitors and mobile banking is no different. A recent Aite Group survey found that 86% of senior millennials, 83% of young millennials, 72% of Gen Xers, 38% of baby boomers, and 17% of seniors now gain access to their banking accounts using their mobile phone at least once a week. Even mobile corporate banking transactions are increasing in volume. Citi reported a tenfold increase in users of its corporate mobile banking app, CitiDirect BE, in March 2020 when compared to the same month a year earlier.

Financial institutions are capitalising on a willingness to incorporate technology into banking and onboarding by creating convenient, intuitive and personalised mobile apps. In our podcast episode with Dimitris Litsikakis, Global Head of FinTech at deVere Group, we discussed the wider implementation of ‘super-app’ wallets, which will house customers’ entire financial footprint.

Digital devices can be used to perform biometric and liveness checks, improving the accuracy of verification. But businesses who do consider customer experience when using mobile and ask users to manually key in numerous and complicated fields which require extensive amounts of information, are likely to suffer from dropouts.

1 in 3 adults under the age of 37 in the UK, say their primary banking relationship is with one of a host of mobile-first challenger banks now available and according to finder, almost a quarter (23%) of all British adults have opened an account with a digital-only bank. They also found that two-thirds of banking customers say they plan to convert fully to a digital bank in the future.

We recently explored the future of high-street banks and ran a poll to further explore the attitudes towards digital banking solutions. While there were no respondents who stated they do not trust mobile-led digital banks, asking how likely they would be to ditch their traditional bank accounts completely, half of all respondents stated that they would not consider doing so. 

Building trust in mobile banking

When online activity increases, so too does the risk of online fraud and fraudsters are continually developing more sophisticated ways to attack businesses and customers.

Industry experts reported a 37% increase in mobile phishing attacks globally in Q1 2020 compared to the previous quarter and a 173% increase in mobile banking Trojans for the same period. In this shifting landscape, organisations need to keep on top of their anti-fraud measures ensuring they’re up to the job of protecting their customers and deal with breaches accordingly.

Ultimately, the best way financial institutions can build trust in their mobile banking processes is by building a safe, secure application with an excellent user experience.

Trust should be at the core of any financial institution’s digital strategy; a bank needs to trust that the person sending a transaction request is a legitimate customer and a customer needs to be sure that the digital aspect of their bank is secure. Financial institutions can build trust in mobile banking by creating safe, secure applications incorporating multi-factor authentication while considering customer experience for ease of use and functionality. 

The initial interactions a new customer has with a business set the tone for the entire relationship; the likelihood of a customer sticking with a business (and recommending them to others) increases with the level of emphasis they put on creating an excellent customer experience.

Continual communication between customer and provider in a systematic way throughout the life cycle will also instil trust and improve user experience, building emotional, lasting relationships which translate to higher customer lifetime value.

How we can help

Here at Hello Soda, we utilise digital data gathered from a range of sources such as digital footprint verification, document authentication, facial recognition matching, liveness verification, live utility data address verification, and CRA identity checks. Working together, these sources can act as a catalyst for creating digital identities and improving financial inclusion. The added benefits for an organisation when using these data sources is that they provide additional insights into a consumer’s behaviour, likes, dislikes and background.

Traditional checks, such as using credit history mean that many good customers are turned away. A vast number of younger people do not have CRA data so if this source is used, they are rejected. Equally, in countries with thin files, where traditional data does not exist or is scarce, our product offering can be used to qualify and verify new customers.

We have a comprehensive family of KYC and AML solutions all working together and delivered via a single API integration. Using this wide range of data, we provide a unique, real-time ID scoring system that intelligently verifies the identity and can be sure your customers are who they say they are. Our global ID, KYC & AML platform, Sodium, is designed to help save you time and money, streamline your customer journey, automate your onboarding process, reduce fraud and achieve regulatory compliance. One simple integration; a flexible 360° solution that is scalable and secure.

Utilise a single element or multiple processes – it’s entirely up to you. Learn more about how we can help to automate and simplify your verification processes to help you to learn more about your customers. 

Book a demo today and see for yourself how powerful our suite of solutions are.

The post Building Trust in Mobile Banking appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
The Changing Landscape of Identity Fraud https://hellosoda.com/blog/the-changing-landscape-of-identity-fraud/ Thu, 07 Jan 2021 11:44:51 +0000 https://hellosoda.com/?p=14217 Digital technology has had a massive impact on the way we live our daily lives, but it’s also had an impact on how exposed our identities can be.

The post The Changing Landscape of Identity Fraud appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
The world is changing. Advances in AI and alternative data have accelerated the adoption and use of digital technology and growing numbers of businesses are realising the necessity of, not just being online but providing a first-class digital experience.

We almost take this new world for granted; from video conferencing and saving all of our information on the cloud, to startup brands having instant access to their customers – globally, people are becoming more connected with the use of digital solutions.

This acceleration in growth has had a massive impact on the way we live our daily lives, but it’s also had an impact on how exposed our identities can be to fraudsters.

Digital identity verification

Traditionally, when performing some form of identity verification or onboarding, businesses would use methods such as proof of address or sending a copy of a passport and manual checks. These outdated processes can be time-consuming, frustrating and create a poor user experience for customers who may be likely to move to a competitor. Relying on traditional data to verify identity doesn’t just alienate the modern digital customer, it can also lead to huge demographics being unable to access the services they want. 

Digitally-nimble businesses have been opening doors and services to those thin-filed customers who would typically fail frictionless onboarding. Where these customers usually have some form of identification, they often lack the documentation and credit records required by traditional institutions to assess creditworthiness and perform consumer due diligence.

This is where utilising a wider range of data sources can be used to draw insights on a consumer’s profile. Alternative data is the antithesis of traditional data in that it includes anything from mobile phone usage, monthly payments and social media activity, to biometric identities derived from iris scans, fingerprints and hand geometry.

By leveraging alternative data sources, businesses can construct a richer, contextual understanding of individual users, enabling both more accurate risk assessment and personalised customer experiences. Combined with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, businesses can automate manual tasks in the onboarding process, significantly reducing time and cost, and enabling previously excluded customers.

Companies are capitalising on a willingness to incorporate technology into onboarding by creating convenient, intuitive and personalised processes. Modern problems require modern solutions and as such, it is important to integrate automated processes to ensure individuals are able to make use of the services they need as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Digital fraud

When online activity increases, so too does the risk of online fraud and fraudsters are continually developing more sophisticated ways to attack businesses and customers.

In this shifting landscape, organisations need to keep on top of their anti-fraud measures ensuring they’re up to the job of protecting their customers and deal with breaches accordingly.

Millions of people are affected by fraud every year and it is estimated that in 2019, criminals made $4.2 trillion from fraudulent activity worldwide and around half (54%) of fraudulent incidents were cyber-related.

Bank executives and experts list cybercrime as the leading risk for banks and according to Barclays Bank, there was a 66% increase in reported scams in the first six months of 2020 compared with the last six months of 2019. Fraud volumes also rose 61% between May and July 2020.

There are a number of reasons fraud has risen, the global pandemic for one but mainly:

  • A greater number of mobile transactions.
  • More sophisticated synthetic IDs.
  • More goods and services are sold online.
  • More cross-border transactions.
  • More automated botnets.

These scenarios are more susceptible to online fraud and in the current economic climate, it’s never been more important to make sure your anti-fraud measures are up to scratch. More than 2 in 5 consumers worldwide have experienced a fraudulent event online, and according to PwC’s bi-annual Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey, 47% of companies have experienced fraud in the last two years.

How we can help

Fraud is on the rise and fraudsters are getting smarter, but with the right partner and tools, you can minimise the risk of fraud to your business and customers. Identity has changed and so too should the way we tackle identity fraud.

At Hello Soda, we’re proud to have provided anti-fraud solutions for a number of global, high-profile clients in over 91% of the world. We’ve worked with innovative businesses that are challenging the norm and finding new ways to protect and provide value for their customers.

Prevent the risk of fraud for your customers with our suite of global identity verification solutions. Sodium, our single, universal API, enables customer verification in real-time. Utilise a single element or multiple processes – it’s entirely up to you. Learn more about how we can help to automate and simplify your verification processes to help you gain a better understanding of your customers.

Book a demo today and see for yourself how powerful our suite of solutions are.

The post The Changing Landscape of Identity Fraud appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
Can Digital Identity Verification Save the Sharing Economy? https://hellosoda.com/blog/can-digital-identity-verification-save-the-sharing-economy/ Tue, 05 Jan 2021 11:47:38 +0000 https://hellosoda.com/?p=14165 Sharing economy platforms have permeated almost every aspect of consumer lives. But how do platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo ensure supply meets demand?

The post Can Digital Identity Verification Save the Sharing Economy? appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
Sharing economy platforms had permeated almost every aspect of consumer lives well before COVID-19, but the pandemic, as well as advances in AI and alternative data, have helped further accelerate the adoption and use of these technologies.

But how do platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo ensure supply meets demand? Here, we will explore how digital identity verification can help the sharing economy.

The sharing economy

The sharing economy is a system built around the sharing of resources. It often involves a way of purchasing goods and services (such as taxis, deliveries or a place to stay) that differs from the traditional business model of companies hiring employees to produce products to sell to consumers. People in the sharing economy are often self employed and can work as and when they like; think Uber, Airbnb, etc.

This economy is estimated to be worth a staggering $335 billion by 2025 as people change the way they live, work and consume. 2020 saw demand for sharing rides, homes, skills, electric bikes or scooters plummet, but at the same time, home delivery services of food, groceries and other goods have thrived. It’s estimated that over 14 million Uber trips take place every day while in the first half of 2020, Just Eat’s revenue was up 44% YoY to £1 billion. 

One of the main characteristics typical of sharing economy companies is their on-demand access and idle capacities and resources. Users often have the ability to pick and choose their jobs and when they want to work, but when demand increases it’s important that these companies have the workforce standing by to meet it.

Onboarding in the sharing economy

An idle workforce poses its own problems, but if demand rapidly increases, companies in these sectors need to be able to onboard at scale. 

When performing some form of identity verification or onboarding, businesses would traditionally use methods such as proof of address or sending a copy of a passport and manual checks, and sharing economy startups are no different. These outdated processes can be time-consuming, frustrating and create a poor user experience for customers who may be likely to move to a competitor. 

As we explored recently in our blog post on Financial Inclusion, 21% of young adults aged 20-34 in the UK live with their parents. That is 2.7 million people who are unlikely to be named on utility bills, have a credit card, pay rent or have a mortgage; 2.7 million people who may not have readily accessible bills or statements that they’re named on. Students are another key population that struggle with traditional identity verification processes; 40% of students say that they would find it inconvenient to provide a paper copy of a bank statement, whilst 28% stated that it would be impossible for them to provide a paper copy of a recent utility bill.

Due to their lifestyles, these demographics are staunch advocates of the sharing economy, and relying on traditional data to verify identity doesn’t just alienate the modern digital individual, it can lead to huge demographics being unable to access the services they want.

This is where utilising automated solutions and a wider range of data sources can be used to draw insights on an individual and have them using services as quickly as possible. Alternative data is the antithesis of traditional data in that it includes anything from mobile phone usage, monthly payments and social media activity, to biometric identities derived from iris scans, fingerprints and hand geometry. 

By leveraging alternative data sources, businesses can construct a richer, contextual understanding of individual users, enabling both more accurate risk assessment and personalised customer experiences. Combined with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, businesses can automate manual tasks in the onboarding process, significantly reducing time and cost, and enabling previously excluded customers.

Modern problems require modern solutions and as such, it is important to integrate automated processes to ensure individuals are able to make use of the services they need as quickly and efficiently as possible. This way, with the nature of sharing economy companies, everyone’s a winner.

How we can help

Here at Hello Soda, we’ve a comprehensive family of KYC and AML solutions all working together and delivered via a single API integration. Utilising all forms of data, this integrated approach helps increase pass rates in countries all over the world, which in turn increases revenue and customer acquisition with real-time onboarding, creating a better customer experience. 

Traditional checks, such as using credit history mean that many good customers are turned away. A vast number of millennials do not have CRA data so if this source is used, they are rejected. Equally in countries with thin files, where traditional data does not exist or is scarce, our product offering can be used to qualify and verify new customers.

Our global ID, KYC & AML platform, Sodium, is designed to help save you time and money, streamline your customer journey, automate your onboarding process, reduce fraud and achieve regulatory compliance. One simple integration; a flexible 360° solution which is scalable and secure.

A unique and real-time ID scoring system intelligently verifies identity through a combination of data sources, including digital footprint verification, document authentication, facial recognition matching, liveness verification, live utility data address verification and CRA identity checks.

Utilise a single element or multiple processes – it’s entirely up to you. Learn more about how we can help to automate and simplify your verification processes to help you to learn more about your customers.

Book a demo today and see for yourself how powerful our suite of solutions are.

 

The post Can Digital Identity Verification Save the Sharing Economy? appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
What Is a PEP? https://hellosoda.com/blog/what-is-a-pep/ Tue, 22 Dec 2020 15:26:21 +0000 https://hellosoda.com/?p=14126 Who constitutes a Politically Exposed Person? Here, we will explore just that; how the checks are carried out and what they aim to do.

The post What Is a PEP? appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
In order to remain compliant, companies worldwide need to perform verification checks on their customers.

One of these necessary checks involves making sure customers are not at risk of political exposure or under any sanctions. But, who constitutes a PEP? Here, we will explore just that; how these checks are carried out and what they aim to do.

What is a PEP?

According to the FATF, a politically exposed person (PEP) is an individual who is or has been entrusted with a prominent function. Many PEPs hold positions that can be abused for the purpose of laundering illicit funds or other predicate offences such as corruption or bribery. 

Because of the risks associated with PEPs, the FATF Recommendations require the application of additional AML/CFT measures to business relationships with PEPs. 

Most of the 37 FATF member countries treat domestic and foreign PEPs with heightened scrutiny. The FATF guidance implies that if a person is a foreign PEP, it de-facto makes them a domestic PEP in their own country. This makes sense for crime prevention, because to export proceeds of crime, the PEP must first use their own domestic financial system and thus, importance is placed on domestic and non-foreign PEPs.

The FATF categorises PEPs as:

  • Government Officials
  • Political Party Officials 
  • Senior Executives
  • Relatives and Close Associates

Government Officials

Government officials that could be politically exposed persons are current or former officials appointed to domestic government positions or positions in a foreign government. This may include heads of state or individuals working in executive, legislative, administrative, military or judicial branches, in elected and unelected roles.

Political Party Officials

Senior officials appointed to roles in major political parties at home or in foreign countries can also be categorised as PEPs.

Senior Executives

Senior executives that are individuals serving in senior executive roles, such as directors or board members, in government-owned commercial enterprises or international organisations may be considered a PEP.

Relatives & Close Associates

Relatives and Close Associates (RCA) could also be a PEP. These are immediate family members of a government or political official or senior executive – meaning spouses, parents, siblings, children and spouses’ parents and siblings.

Peps & Sanctions Tiers

There are four tiers which represent varying degrees of risk that a politically exposed person can bring, depending on his/her position:

PEP Tier 1

  • Heads of state and government, including Royal families.
  • Members of government at national and subnational levels in case of federal states and provinces.
  • Members of Parliament or similar legislative bodies.
  • Heads and top commanders of military and law enforcement and their deputies.
  • Heads/members of supreme courts, constitutional courts or other high-level judicial bodies whose decisions are not subject to further appeal.
  • Heads/members of courts, auditors and the board of central banks.
  • Top ranking officials of mainstream political parties, head/deputy heads of minor political parties (without representation in parliament).

PEP Tier 2

  • Members of legislative and executive bodies at regional, provincial, cantonal or equivalent.
  • Judges, justices, magistrates, prosecutors, attorneys in courts with jurisdiction at regional, provincial or equivalent level.
  • Senior officials of military, judiciary, law enforcement agencies, central banks & other state agencies, authorities and state bodies.
  • Heads/senior members of mainstream religious groups.
  • Ambassadors, general consuls, high commissioners, permanent representatives, head of missions and their deputies, chargé d’affaires.
  • Chairmen, secretary generals, directors, deputy directors and members of the board or equivalent function of international/regional organisations.
  • Mayors of capital cities.

PEP Tier 3

  • Presidents/Chairperson and board members of state owned businesses and organisations.
  • Advisers, heads of cabinet, senior officials of military, judiciary, law enforcement, central banks, other state agencies, authorities and state bodies.
  • Heads/board members, senior officials of Trade Unions. In case of the Chambers of Commerce and Charities, a risk based approach is followed.
  • Presidents, secretary generals, directors, deputy directors, members of board or equivalent function of international NGOs.
  • Senior civil servants at regional/provincial or equivalent levels.
  • Middle ranking diplomats.
  • Alternate/deputy members of parliament/senate.

PEP Tier 4

  • Mayors and members of local councils at municipal, town, village or equivalent levels.
  • Senior officials of administrative bodies at local levels.
  • Low ranking diplomats.
  • Lower ranking officials of major parties and officials of minor political parties not elsewhere captured; simple party members/unelected candidates excluded.

How we can help

Hello Soda’s PEPs & Sanctions API allows businesses to both search and monitor individuals that may be considered high-risk or pose a reputational risk to a business.

We offer global verification in seconds and all of our solutions are available via our single API, Sodium. Our real-time and accurate PEPs & Sanctions checks leverage thousands of data sources to identify and monitor high-risk individuals and prevent fraud around the world within seconds.

Book a demo today and see for yourself how powerful our suite of solutions are.

The post What Is a PEP? appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
Best Practices for Implementing AI in Banking https://hellosoda.com/blog/best-practices-for-implementing-ai-in-banking/ Thu, 17 Dec 2020 12:58:33 +0000 https://hellosoda.com/?p=14107 Understanding the considerations needed to implement AI within an organisation is challenging. Here, we explore how one would go about doing so in banking.

The post Best Practices for Implementing AI in Banking appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>
Artificial intelligence technologies are increasingly integral to the world we live in and many large financial institutions have already started using AI. 

The promises of AI are great, but understanding the considerations needed to build and implement AI within an organisation is challenging. Here, we explore how one would go about implementing AI in banking.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence means something slightly different to everyone, from IT buzzword to the next great leap in technology. Sometimes it can feel like little more than an urban myth, only applied in the largest of enterprises. But however you think of it, AI is set to make a huge impact on the global economy, with PwC predicting a $15.7 trillion contribution by 2030.

Although thousands of businesses already have AI projects underway, many industry leaders are still talking about AI in the highest-level terms, making it difficult to define it – and its applications – in a practical way. 

AI in banking

AI is augmenting human decision making and automating routine tasks. It presents the potential to help financial service organisations become more efficient, save time and money, and implement more personalised, omnichannel services for their customers and members.

By using machine learning to analyse big data sets, AI is helping companies:

  • Monitor for online fraudulent activities in real-time
  • Make faster and more informed lending decisions on customers
  • Shorten the time is takes to complete compliance and regulatory tasks

According to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and the World Economic Forum, risk management is the usage domain with the highest current AI implementation rate in financial institutions (56%), followed by the generation of new revenue potential through new AI-enabled products and processes, adopted by 52%. However, firms expect the latter to become the most important usage area within two years.

Best practices for implementing AI in banking
Find the right balance between in-house solutions and collaborating with third-party providers.

For some companies, forays into AI won’t go beyond basic automation, aimed at making processes faster and more efficient. Others, however, are investing heavily in deep learning, machine learning and advanced AI technologies that can support increasingly sophisticated applications.

Major organisations have major budgets – and that makes them the ideal candidates for major AI investments. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones that can realise its potential. For smaller businesses, investing in AI is a brave move – but not an irresponsible one if approached with the right plan and partner.

And although some large organisations are completely committing to AI technologies, AI doesn’t have to be the heart of everything. There’s often a sense of “all or nothing” that can be off-putting to smaller organisations that don’t have the requirements or budgets for a large-scale AI rollout. But small AI projects can be hugely effective as standalone parts of an IT infrastructure – it’s about identifying the right places to apply AI for the biggest returns.

Prepare the workforce for Artificial Intelligence.

In the not so distant future, human employees and AI will work together to solve problems. While it’s unlikely that introducing AI will ‘kill off’ job roles, it’s common for these new technologies to change key parts of individuals’ roles. When starting an AI project, it’s important to communicate the impact to employees clearly, so they don’t feel like they’re being replaced, in fact, more jobs are likely to be created for AI and employee collaboration. AI will complement everyday decision making, helping people move from routine tasks to project-based work. For this to be effective, workforces should be re-organised and re-skilled to work with AI.

According to Accenture, banking executives say only 1 in 4 employees are ready to work with intelligent technologies, but banking employees do seem to find value in AI; 67% of them expect intelligent technologies to create opportunities for their work. 

Stay connected with customers.

From predicting future issues to personalising recommendations, AI is helping customer service representatives improve their interactions with customers. In addition, AI is being used to resolve simple issues quickly and efficiently which frees up customer service representatives to help with more complicated questions or tasks.

However, while AI can ‘learn’ like humans, it still lacks emotional intelligence and empathy, which is an important part of customer service. Regular touchpoints and customer service surveys can help to ensure a continual feedback loop and maximize the customer-facing benefits of AI.

Take the long view on judging AI solutions’ success. 

Even if you do fully commit to AI within your organisation, it doesn’t have to be a big-bang project that integrates new technologies into every process all at once. In fact, it’s much more effective to take small steps, each with a clear goal and performance indicator attached to it. It’s the best way to adopt AI without overspending or putting too much pressure on your time and personnel resources.

Companies will go into an AI project with an idea of the outcomes and benefits they’re looking for. But it’s important to always have an open mind and look for extra opportunities to find value from your implementation. Banks should keep a close eye on the business impacts of solutions they implement from the start to see how they track as they mature.

AI will continue to play an increasingly important role within the banking industry as the rewards outweigh the risks. Building the right solution, leveraging the skills available and solving the highest-priority problems for the financial institutions is key to success.

How we can help

Successful implementation of AI technology depends on already having strong and secure digital processes in place. Here at Hello Soda, our automated solutions support financial institutions in creating a smoother, safer onboarding experience for their customers.

Onboard up to 68% more customers than with traditional identity verification methods, using our single universal API, Sodium. One simple integration; a flexible 360° solution which is scalable and secure.

Book a demo today and see for yourself how powerful our suite of solutions are.

The post Best Practices for Implementing AI in Banking appeared first on Hello Soda.

]]>