Bring email intelligence to the table

With more transactions happening online today than ever before, it’s not surprising that online fraud has also surged. As businesses increase their digital presence to support consumers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, they face a difficult challenge—how to balance fraud prevention with a positive online experience.

Organizations that introduce rigorous security measures risk losing sales and customers. They need to have the right solutions in place to prevent fraud while delivering seamless, low-friction experiences.

Email addresses make surprisingly good identifiers

Fraud prevention solutions that assess risk by using email address data can be extremely effective. And here’s why. Email address are:

  • A unique global identifier
  • Different than an individual’s Social Security Number or device
  • Used as a core online digital identifier in virtually 100% of all online transactions
  • Linked to all of a person’s online accounts
  • Rich with transaction history and behavior, which is the most critical element in evaluating the risk of an online transaction

Email addresses last longer than home addresses

Email addresses have become a new type of digital currency, functioning as virtual keys that unlock access to online services such as banking, booking flights and buying goods. They’re essential in the online world, an important credential of digital identities.

While people change their home address and phone number frequently, they tend to hold onto their email address for years because of the hassle involved in updating their many online accounts. Consider these statistics:

  • The number of email users worldwide is 4.03 billion, and by 2023, this figure is projected to reach 4.48 billion.1
  • Over 90% of people in the U.S. use email.2
  • The average person checks their email about 15 times a day.3
  • More than 90 percent of email addresses are at least 3 years old, and more than 50% are older than 10 years.4

With such widespread usage, email addresses present a unique opportunity to resolve identities and prevent fraud in new account onboarding, card-not-present transactions and account maintenance. In fact, no other single data point can lead as reliably to important risk indicators like device usage and history of transaction behavior.

Identify good customers

While using email addresses to identify suspicious customers and prevent fraud is an important objective, it shouldn’t be the only goal. Email addresses can also be used to identify good consumers.

Many businesses have more new customers coming through their virtual door these days than ever before, thanks to COVID-19. The pandemic has accelerated the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years.5

One e-commerce business saw its total volume increase from an average of 150,000 customers in February 2020 to 600,000 in April 2020. Typically, this retailer saw approximately 40% of its transactions coming from new customers. But in April, that volume increased to 60%, approximately 360,000 new customers. Of those, using email addresses and the right email solution, the business was able to identify 89% of them as trusted consumers. It was then able to provide a stellar experience to those first-time customers, setting the stage for repeat business and long-term loyalty.

Layering fraud solutions

The ability to use email addresses offers another piece of the puzzle in a multi-layered approach to ID verification and authentication. When combined with fraud analytics and industry-consortium shared identity intelligence, businesses can get a 360-degree view into their customers.

They can uncover misrepresentation before any transactions take place. They can instantly recognize legitimate customers and move them seamlessly through the process. And they can automatically detect—and block—fraudsters and bots. The result is unequaled fraud and identity management that significantly reduces risk, enables business growth and improves the user experience at every stage of the customer lifestyle.

To learn more about how you can leverage email intelligence to assess risk as part of your fraud and identity strategy, visit us here.

4. DMA Insight: Consumer Email Tracking Study (2015) – UK respondents