Security & Fraud

Keeping Up With (The) Fraudsters

When you run a platform that lets 80K users buy stocks online for as little as $5 a pop, you better know who’s on each end of that trade. Authenticating those consumers is critical, StashInvest co-founder and president Brandon Krieg told PYMNTS, to staying in business. The June edition of the Digital Identity Tracker™ digs into how he does it, and how 84 digital identity providers rank in helping companies like his keep up with (or ahead of) the fraudsters.

Nowadays, companies aren’t just worried about keeping up with the Joneses. Instead, they also have to worry about keeping pace with fraudsters and other bad actors looking to take advantage of them and their customers.

Those fraudsters are getting smarter, and they’re striking more often. According to PYMNTS’ research, fraud attacks rose by 215 percent from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016. This means that companies need to constantly re-evaluate and update their security platforms.

The June Digital Identity Tracker™ features an interview with Brandon Krieg, co-founder and president of StashInvest, an app that lets users invest in ETFs or stocks for as little as $5, about the importance of security to Stash and why companies need to be ever-vigilant in fighting fraud.

Here’s a sneak peek:

“One of the things that I think is really important to this business from a security perspective is first knowing who our clients are, and trying to root out fraud before it happens to us,” Krieg said. He added, “I don’t think anyone will ever sit there and tell you that they’re 100 percent secure, because you can never stop.”

Krieg said that, while his company and most other digital companies are concerned with many different facets of security, knowing who each of the company’s roughly 80,000 clients are – and making sure that they’re not posing as someone else – is one of the most important aspects of fraud prevention. 

“We look at our users and we try to see, are you who you say you are, and are you going to commit fraud against us? Are you stealing someone’s information? Are you an identity thief? And we try to root them out,” Krieg explained. “Those things are really important for a business like this to be successful.”

In fact, Krieg said, the biggest friction in the space is ensuring that companies have “a high degree of confidence that a user that you don’t know, who is signing up to do banking transactions with you, is not there to commit fraud.”

Around the world of Digital Identity

If current trends are any indication, passwords may soon be a thing of the past. A recent survey from Gigya reported that 52 percent of customers said they would prefer biometrics or “modern authentication methods” to a password when logging in to an online account.

Those sentiments seem to be reflected by many Digital Identity players this month, as some of the industry’s biggest names looked toward new verification methods.

Google announced it would begin to test “Trust API,” a new alternative to passwords, in an effort to end the use of traditional login methods by the end of this year. The API uses factors such as voice patterns, typing and swiping behaviors, and face shape to determine a user’s identity. Citibank also ramped up its biometric offerings, announcing it would implement a voice-powered authentication solution in Asia over the coming months.

The biometrics market as a whole is expanding. According to the “Global Mobile Biometrics Market 2016-2020” report from Technavio, the market will expand at a CAGR of 103 percent over the next four years. The study predicts that the mobile biometric market will be valued at $12 billion by 2020.

The June edition of the Tracker features news from throughout the online authentication space, as well as an updated directory profiling 84 players. 

To download the June edition of the Digital Identity Tracker™, powered by Socure, click the button below.


About the Tracker: 

The Digital Identity Tracker™, powered by Socure, is a forum for framing and addressing key issues and trends facing the entities charged with efficiently and securely identifying and granting permission to individuals to access, purchase, transact or otherwise confirm their identity.



Banks, corporates and even regulators now recognize the imperative to modernize — not just digitize —the infrastructures and workflows that move money and data between businesses domestically and cross-border.

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