A new study on omnichannel authentication methods, especially via agents in call centers, attributes much of a $6 billion increase in consumer fraud losses in 2021 vs. 2020 to fraudsters attacking the phone channel. The majority of call centers experienced increased fraud activity on a year-over-year basis in 2021, the report said.
The 2022 Omnichannel Authentication Survey from authentication company Neustar, which is owned by TransUnion, found that most merchants and brands with consumer-facing call centers understand that authenticating the caller early (ideally before they ever speak to the agent) makes for a safer interaction and provides more satisfaction for customers.
“A gap is opening between forward-thinking organizations that have honed their authentication protocols for the benefit of customers, and the organizations that have not,” said Shai Cohen, senior vice president of global fraud solutions at TransUnion.
Consumers expect organizations to recognize them across channels and fraudsters are using social engineering to attack the weak link call center agents represent. For both reasons, companies are trying to get away from knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions, asked by agents, to authenticate customers in the call center channel.
To accomplish this, more than half of those polled said their organization plans to implement multi-factor authentication to improve customer experience by speeding up services and by reducing false positive ad manual reviews. Sixty percent of financial institutions report they plan to supplement KBA with MFA, while more than one-third of non-financial organizations plan to replace KBA entirely.