In the rapidly evolving landscape of employment, tenant, and volunteer background screening, Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) find themselves at a critical juncture. As the gatekeepers of trust and security, CRAs must navigate the challenges posed by the rise of remote work, the increasing complexity of compliance requirements, and the ever-present threat of sophisticated identity fraud. To meet these challenges head-on and seize the opportunities they present, CRAs must embrace innovative technologies and prioritize the cornerstone of effective screening: identity verification.

The Challenges of Remote Work and Identity Fraud

The shift towards remote work has fundamentally changed the way businesses operate, and background screening is no exception. With limited face-to-face interactions, the need for robust identity verification has never been more pressing. Traditional manual data entry forms, prone to errors and detrimental to the user experience, are no longer sufficient. Alarming statistics from the Federal Reserve underscore the severity of the issue: Social Security Numbers (SSNs) were exposed in a staggering 69% of data breaches, directly fueling the rise of synthetic identity fraud. Moreover, 60% of all discovered cases involved SSNs that did not match the associated personally identifiable information (PII). These figures paint a stark picture of the consequences of inadequate identity verification.

Failure to reliably verify an individual's identity can have far-reaching implications. Costly errors and increased risks for clients are just the tip of the iceberg. In high-risk sectors, compromised safety and security can have devastating consequences. The prevalence of SSN exposure and synthetic identity fraud serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of robust identity verification. CRAs must rise to the challenge and implement advanced solutions to safeguard their clients and the individuals they screen.

Biometric identity verification as a solution

The answer lies in advanced identity verification techniques, such as multi-factor biometrics. Innovative solutions like Cerebrum's vID app have proven their effectiveness in preventing fraud attempts. The results speak for themselves: in programs launched in 2022, document-based fraud rates stood at 5.9%, while selfie-based programs saw a significantly lower rate of 1.53%. Liveness-detection-based programs, utilizing cutting-edge technology, achieved an impressive fraud rate of just 0.17%. These figures demonstrate the power of tailored identity verification technologies in combating fraud and ensuring the integrity of the screening process.

Know Your Applicant (KYA): The Natural Evolution of Screening

The practice of running background checks using unverified data is not only nonsensical but also exposes CRAs and their clients to unnecessary risks. Just as regulated industries like banking have adopted Know Your Customer (KYC) practices to verify the identity of their clients, the background screening industry must embrace Know Your Applicant (KYA) as the natural evolution of the screening process. By implementing KYA, CRAs can ensure that the data they rely on for background checks is accurate and reliable, reducing the likelihood of errors and fraud.

KYA is not just a best practice; it is a necessity in today's digital age. By verifying an applicant's identity before conducting a background check, CRAs can streamline the screening process, reduce the risk of false positives or negatives, and provide their clients with the assurance that the information they receive is trustworthy. Moreover, KYA can help CRAs comply with increasingly stringent regulations and protect sensitive personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

Embracing the Future of Identity Verification

As the industry evolves, CRAs must embrace the future of identity verification. The shift towards digital methods is not merely a trend but a necessity. The growing demand for advanced solutions, particularly biometrics, reflects the urgent need for reliable and secure identity verification. Biometric identity verification stands as the only truly effective solution against the ever-present threat of fraud. By reducing data entry errors and streamlining the screening process, biometric solutions not only enhance security but also improve the user experience.

The benefits of robust identity verification extend far beyond fraud prevention. Improved compliance and enhanced safety across industries are the hallmarks of a successful screening program. By embracing advanced technologies, CRAs can streamline their processes, provide better user experiences, and stay ahead of evolving threats. In doing so, they secure the trust of their partners and ensure a secure future for all stakeholders.

Cerebrum's vID App, which seamlessly integrates into all major screening platforms, offers a cutting-edge biometric identity verification solution that reduces data entry errors and streamlines the screening process, enhancing security and improving the user experience. We encourage you to reach out to Cerebrum at to discuss how our biometric identity verification can revolutionize your screening process and provide unparalleled protection against fraud.

Share this post