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Managing fraud versus friction in the customer lifecycle

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the thought leader as an individual, and are not attributed to CeFPro or any particular organization.

Surash Patel, VP EMEA, TeleSign Corporation

Can you outline some of the customer onboarding challenges that have been created by an increased regulatory environment?


The increase in regulation aimed at stopping financial fraud has no doubt created friction with customer onboarding.

  • 83% of potential customers will abandon their shopping cart or registration page due to a complex login process.
  • 59% Of adults expect to spend less than five minutes setting up new accounts
  • 49% Of consumers are frustrated by long login and sign-up forms
What can firms do to overcome regulatory challenges?

There is a great need for regulation, we know that. Whilst global financial institutions were hit with enforcement actions totaling $5.4bn, a massive number, this is a lower number than expected because of  the decline to disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a lack of adequate technology to stop criminal activity.

The regulatory challenges for international firms are caused by a lack of regulatory consistency on a global basis requiring additional cost/ resources to manage this complexity. We advise firms to work with companies that can support them globally and additionally not lose focus on the customer experience.

What steps should be taken to prevent customer friction during the customer lifecycle?

As mentioned, the customer journey has to fulfil the need of the consumer and the brand. The brand should put protections in place that need to yield fast, accurate but low friction/invisible checks. The consumer requires a simple, fast, convenient onboarding process.

How can moments of vulnerability be better identified?

I believe that there are moments along the customer lifecycles journey that are problematic for consumer facing brands. Moments when consumers change their account details/ email address, phone numbers are a particular instance when brands need to be vigilant. We recommend verifying the consumer’s identity at these moments through checks; challenges will yield risk-free customer bases and reduce account takeovers.

What is the best practice for reducing onboarding fraud and maintain continuous trust?

In my experience helping brands onboard new customers on a global basis, I believe that a few simple fast, low friction tests identify fraudsters / potential fraudsters who the brand cannot onboard or offer a path of greater friction.

The customers that do not seem fraudulent could be given a more friendly customer journey typified by the features below.  Consumers typically want:

    • To Feel Safe and secure from a trusted brand concerned about online fraud
    • Convenience process – time poor
    • Intuitive and helpful processes that are simple, clear and easy
    • No signatures or paperwork required
    • Receipts/Confirmations for completing stages
    • Minimal data entry
    • Emotional engagement / connection / personalized experience – “AHA moment”
    • Speed to make a decision and often complete fulfilment is more important than terms
To read more insights and watch some of our past sessions, sign up to our members hub here.

Surash will be speaking at our upcoming Fraud and Financial Crime Summit, taking place on September 20-21 at One America Square

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