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Neustar’s Inbound Authentication Eliminates Member Friction

Callers are identified and cleared or cornered before ever getting to a live human agent.

This article is part of the CreditUnions.com FinTech Series, a new collection of original QAs that celebrate advancements in financial technology. Learn how your organization can participate today.

One of the primary sources of member friction with their credit unions is in the authentication process when calling for service.

Challenge questions and other balky procedures not only frustrate the caller, they cost more than automated solutions, and technology providers have been working hard to develop solutions that authenticate as seamlessly as possible.

Neustar Inbound Authentication provides instant action on every call, going beyond standard knowledge-based authentication (KBA) techniques and technology to proactively screen calls and give either a green light to the transaction or a red light to bring possible fraudsters to a halt for further examination.

Here, the Sterling, VA-based company describes the Neustar Inbound Authentication solution and the innovation it brings to the identity resolution space:

Please describe Neustar’s solution, and its level of innovation.

Neustar: Knowledge-based authentication (KBA) has been the standard for inbound caller authentication; however, not only does the approach provide a non-ideal member experience, it’s very insecure due to widespread social engineering and major data breaches.

With Neustar Inbound Authentication, credit unions are able to instantly identity and authenticate inbound callers before they hear hello from the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system or call center agent.

Neustar Inbound Authentication allows call centers to instantly authenticate the call and caller. Leveraging the power of the Neustar OneID system, Inbound Authentication matches the member to the credit union CRM, fills gaps in their profile, and authenticates the call using the market-leading authentication system TRUSTID all the while mitigating fraud by analyzing for common phone fraud tactics.

What opportunity or challenge does this Neustar solution address?

Neustar: Neustar’s Inbound Authentication service improves critical contact center KPIs. Fully automating caller authentication pre-answer improves IVR self-service rates, because the worst part of an inbound phone call from the member’s perspective is automated pre-answer and made 100% passive to the consumer.

From an ROI perspective, this means a typical four-minute banking phone call will cost $0.40 by self-servicing in the IRV, as opposed to $4 by quickly routing to a live agent, had the member either failed authentication or become frustrated and opted out of the IVR.

Another key KPI critical to call centers: Inbound Authentication helps reduce average handle time (AHT) to around 45 seconds per call, which averages to around $0.75 per call in cost saving measures.

With Neustar, it’s simple calls are either GREEN or RED, authenticated or unauthenticated. GREENs present certainty that phone calls are authentic and unlikely to be fraudulent.

Fraud is contained by the service’s RED results.

Fraud-fighting expenses are decreased with a 70% reduction in use of KBA and 25 times better authentication security. That’s because fraud-fighting resources are better targeted at the subset of phone calls that actually present risk: those RED results indicated by Neustar’s Inbound Authentication solution.

How does your solution help credit unions deal with disruption in their marketplace, including differentiating them from banks?

Neustar: Our credit union partners consistently say member experience is one of the critical value offerings differentiating them from banks. Inbound Authentication does not directly engage callers, but rather is a highly secure, out-of-band authentication.

Completely frictionless and behind-the scenes, Inbound Authentication is already installed deep within the phone network. Real-time processing delivers results to clients’ premises before phone calls are even answered by IVRs or agents.

Credit unions love Inbound Authentication because there is no other form of authentication that is faster or provides a better member experience. Because processing is 100% completed pre-answer, Inbound Authentication delivers before voice bio and other solutions even start to process.

How does this innovation increase member value?

Neustar: Neustar Inbound Authentication reduces the friction experienced by a member calling in to a call center, while also mitigating common phone fraud risks, including spoofing, call forwarding, and virtualized numbers.

Neustar manages more than 90% of U.S. caller IDs, and coupled with the OneID system, leverages hundreds of authoritative data sources and continuously corroborates member and device identity with an exceptionally high degree of trust.

Using Neustar Inbound Authentication, credit unions can match the member to their database even if the member calls from a number other than the one on file and authenticate the call to route the call for superior service. All of this happens in the background in less than five seconds.

The caller’s identity is verified and authenticated before the member interacts with a member service representative, protecting the credit union from fraud and providing members the friction-free experience they crave, without frustrating and time-consuming identity interrogation.

Also, with Neustar Inbound Authentication, there is no enrollment or opt-in of any kind. Members never interact with Neustar; the solution is truly frictionless. The no sign-up, no registration, and no opt-in approach immediately outstrips solutions that require enrollment.

Neustar also processes 100% of clients’ call volumes immediately on day one, when the service is put into production. In comparison, solutions that require enrollment take years to build significant participation levels. This also means that Neustar’s ROI is 100% on the first day of service. In comparison, enrollment-dependent solutions take years to reach full ROI.

What differentiates your innovation from competitors’?

Neustar: Neustar Inbound Authentication is the only solution on the market that authenticates calls by confirming that a caller is calling from their phone. All other solutions attempt to establish the trust of calls by examining the phone number, not the phone making the call.

Neustar Inbound Authentication uses the TRUSTID Authenticator service to inspect each call, from the phone to your call center, from within the phone network. This inspection, called telephone network forensics, ensures that no call is ever authenticated that has been spoofed, hacked, virtualized, or manipulated in any way. We ensure no fraudster is ever given a green result to ease their account takeover efforts.

This level of accuracy allows credit unions to create Trusted Caller Flows with lower costs, better member experiences, and improved account security. Realizing this value requires a match from the phone number making the call to a customer record. Other systems require the calling ANI to be on file to create a match. By leveraging the Neustar OneID system, Inbound Authentication can match ANIs (automated number identification) to CRM records even if the calling ANI is not yet in the CRM. This can increase the realized value from 20% to 100%.

Neustar’s superior forensic approach is performed on every call, not just those that are determined to be high-risk after a call progresses to a risky talk track. As a result, all risky phone calls are reported as RED, even fraudsters only interacting with the IVR to determine account balances or open-to-buy limits on credit cards, or those attempting to perform data mining.

Less-sophisticated solutions rely on velocity checks to detect robotic dialing. However, advanced robotic dialing schemes rotate ANIs, which are not detected by simple velocity checks. Detection of virtual and anonymous phone calls is unique to Neustar; Neustar reports 100% of robotic dialed calls as RED, independent of whether ANIs are rotated. Robotic dialed phone calls are always virtual, and Neustar is able to detect all types of virtual phone calls.

What kind of ROI can a credit union expect using this Neustar solution?

Neustar: Neustar has a very detailed ROI model that allows credit unions to quantify their ROI by comparing and contrasting current authentication practices with what they would be with Neustar Inbound Authentication.

Neustar clients typically see 4-5X ROIs based simply on removing 30 to 45 seconds of average handle time from the authentication process. Other ROI value drivers include higher call containment, reduced fraud fighting expense, lower fraud losses, happier member satisfaction, and these benefits:

  • 20% reduction in call center costs
  • 10% improvement in customer satisfaction
  • 10% improvement in IVR containment
  • 70% reduction in use of KBA
  • 25X better authentication security
  • Reduce average handle times by at least one minute per call
  • Realize millions of dollars in call center cost savings

How many credit unions are using this Neustar solution and how many financial institutions/customers overall?

Neustar: Neustar currently supports dozens of direct credit union clients, and through our work with leading processing companies, now indirectly support hundreds of credit union clients. We’ve enjoyed significant success in the financial services market overall, working with the top 10 U.S. banks, the top 10 largest credit card issuers, several brokerage firms, eight of the top 10 PC insurance companies, and numerous specialty finance companies.

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This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
July 8, 2019

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