The oil and gas giant receives up to 1,000 fuel card applications a month from transport operators around Australia and New Zealand. Challenges with their existing digital ID system led the organisation to search for a better way to verify applicants and reduce the risk of fraud. Equifax Biometrics, using market leading technology by IDVerse, an OCR Labs Company,  gave them a fully integrated solution at the front end of their application process to help them identify and deal with fraud at an earlier stage in the application process. At the same time, they could provide applicants with a seamless digital experience, reducing turnaround time for some applicants from two weeks to one hour.

The Equifax Biometrics Identity Verification Solution has brought several benefits to the company:

  • Reduction in identity fraud
  • Faster application turnaround time
  • Better customer experience and fewer drop-offs
  • Lower operational overheads.

Problem

The oil and gas 'supermajor' organisation previously relied on traditional electronic document verification when credit-checking fuel card applicants. However, this still  left the company vulnerable to fraud attempts and having to revert to manual processes whenever there was doubt about a user's identity.

Asking their applicants to supply documents and signatures manually was impairing the customer experience and frustrating the sales team, who had to deal with the backwards and forwards of application errors and extended turnaround times. Ensuring the applicant had provided their consent and accepted the terms and conditions was an additional challenge that could cause further delays. For legitimate applicants, it was a frustrating and clunky experience that often resulted in drop-offs.

A significant issue was that a driver's licence number was the only ID the applicant had to submit. This left the team with no way of knowing if the person applying for credit was the same person named in the ID documents.

"After suffering write-offs through identity theft, we needed to get better at identifying counterparties. Our sales team was understandably keen to ensure that whatever solution we chose would allow customers to complete their application online without manual intervention."

Quote from the company's Credit Evaluations Lead and project sponsor

Solution

The multinational oil and gas giant's previous commercial credit application procedures were inconsistent across Australia and New Zealand, so they had to ensure their new solution could standardise the process. Equifax Biometrics achieves this by allowing the team to manage fuel card applications across both countries through a single portal and pinpoint exactly where the applicant is applying from.

Fuel card applicants are now guided through a seamless digital interaction that begins when they log onto the online fuel card application form. Here they are asked to supply some preliminary information about their business, including their ABN, email addresses, phone numbers and other details. Using the ABN, the system automatically validates the type of identity the commercial applicant uses. For example, it will confirm how many directors a company has and prompt the applicant to input the details for all directors.

Inputting the details of these counterparties generates a customised SMS to each applicant that takes them to a mobile workflow. From here, the applicant scans their ID document, takes a live video selfie and consents to share their data. Equifax Biometrics then takes a layered approach to analysing the verification including a document fraud analysis, liveness testing and biometric face matching to determine a risk level for the applicant.

The company's front-end dashboard displays whether the applicant has passed or failed. Applicants that pass receive a code on the same device they identified themselves on. They must enter this code into the organisation's online fuel card application form as evidence that the applicant completing the application is the same person that successfully completed the ID check.

Only on completion does the application pass into their automated decisioning platform (Equifax DecisionPoint 3). This occurs after the credit threshold is confirmed with an electronic signature and the privacy policy and terms and conditions are accepted.

"It's one of these rare occurrences within credit where it is a win-win between the credit and control side and the sales and onboarding side. It doesn't happen very often that you get a solution that keeps everybody happy and gives us the controls. It's a wonderful outcome for us."

Quote from the company's Credit Evaluations Lead and project sponsor

Results

The Equifax Biometrics Identity Verification Solution has provided one of the world's largest oil and gas leaders with certainty about an applicant's identity that was lacking from their previous solution.

The organisation's Credit Evaluations Lead, explains how they never really knew for sure if someone was fraudulently filling out an application form with a stolen identity or without the consent of a counterparty.

Equally, when someone denied they had filled out the application form in an effort to improve their credit score, they didn't have the evidence to refute this claim. "We get requests from credit repair agencies to remove inquiries and defaults because the person has told them they didn't make the credit inquiry. Under our old system, all we knew was that the person had entered their driver's licence number, which wasn't strong evidence," says the project sponsor. "Equifax Biometrics gives us this proof – we can go into the portal and get a detailed view of the document images and selfies to confirm that the person indeed applied for credit."

The organisation has strengthened its fraud defences with Equifax Biometrics to protect against bad actors using people's identities that have been stolen. When a fraudster pretends they're someone else through a deep fake or some other form of presentation attack, there are enough layers of security to recognise that the person is not who they say they are.

The company representative gives the example of a bad actor in another country pretending to be a transport operator in Australia. "Using the case management tool in the Equifax Biometrics portal, we can dig into detail about the applicant, including the geolocation IP data that shows their location is halfway across the other side of the world."

They also point to a dramatic turnaround time and conversion rate improvement since implementing Equifax Biometrics. "We went from having a turnaround time for some applicants that was more than two weeks to being able to successfully process a sole trader in one to two hours end-to-end," they say.

"Any reduction in manual intervention from a credit or sales perspective equates to enormous savings, and we've certainly lowered our cost to serve." They give the example of a smaller spend customer like a sole trader and how operational overheads have lowered now that there are fewer applications to review and correct.

"It's a straight-through automated process now, all the way through to getting their fuel cards delivered to them".

"With Equifax Biometrics, we know whether applicants are who they say they are. We've increased our credit thresholds, and our sales team and customers are much happier with the simpler process."

Quote from the company's Credit Evaluations Lead and project sponsor

Protect your business and customers from fraud and improve your operational overheads with the Equifax Biometrics Identity Verification Solution in partnership with IDVerse, an OCR Labs Company, an Australian-owned and hosted solution that remotely verifies a person's identity so companies can perform identity verification in a secure, convenient and user-friendly way.

To learn more about our Biometrics solution, visit this page. You can download a demo, read more, or get in touch with an expert. Or if you want to discover the forces shaping the future of online identity verification, download our eBook.

Related Posts

Identity Verification with Super and Payroll Data

Establishing real, demonstrable trust in a person’s identity is essential for Australia’s 26.7 million people to transact online safely and effortlessly, levelling the playing field for credit access and fuelling our digital economy.

Read more

With Equifax’s robust credit rating methodology and processes, and the qualifications and expertise of its analyst team, we are able to identify early warning signals of company failures and their potential impacts. 

Read more