In 2017, startup Emailage locked down its presence in Europe by working to close accounts with large banks and institutions across the European and Middle Eastern regions.
Partnerships with brands like Equifax, Experian and LexisNexis helped power that growth, as Emailage leveraged these companies’ capabilities to provide a full risk assessment package to customers, starting with (but by no means ending with) an in-depth look at customers’ email addresses to verify identity.
In 2018, the startup is turning its expansion focus to the Asia-Pacific region, where Chief Revenue Officer Manoel Coelho said Emailage already has customers despite its lack of a direct presence. Coelho said the company plans to establish its regional base in Sydney, Australia, and also start operation in Singapore.
Coelho admits there’s no silver bullet in fraud prevention, but he says email is powerful for several reasons.
First, it’s the “only global variable in fraud protection.” Not every country uses a Social Security number for identity verification, but anywhere there’s eCommerce, there will be email addresses that customers use to access their online shopping accounts.
Second, because the world wide web is worldwide, there are no duplicate email addresses — every single one is unique. When customers use their email address to log in to eCommerce sites, they own any history tied to that address (or lack of history, if it’s a burner address created by fraudsters).
Coelho added that, the more Emailage grows, the more data it gains on email addresses around the world, thus beefing up its fraud detection capabilities.
Third, email addresses are persistent. People move, resulting in a billing or shipping address change, and phone numbers change about once every two years. On top of that, a legitimate consumer email address has around 130 accounts connected to it, said Coelho. Changing emails would mean changing all those connected account logins.
Emails were once seen as disposable, but today, Coelho said, people keep their accounts for longer, and that makes it easy to spot fakes because they lack the depth and history of a true account.
Sure, said Coelho, even non-fraudsters create burner email addresses to use in scenarios when they don’t want to receive a company’s marketing emails, but when it comes down to making an actual purchase, signing up for a bank account or any other sensitive activity, customers will use the real thing, because they want to receive communications from that company.
Therefore, the history tied to that email address will encompass all of that customer’s legitimate activities for, likely, a span of several years.