Applicants' behavior can expose them as fraudsters in LexisNexis-Biocatch pact

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The difference between regular credit card applicants and fraudsters is experience — scammers know their way around an application form.

To spot these pro scammers, LexisNexis Risk Solutions is introducing consumer behavioral data from BioCatch to its risk-management platform. LexisNexis, a unit of RELX Group, will provide additional risk scores by measuring subtle aspects of the applicant’s behavior while filling out forms online, the company said.

Israel-based BioCatch's technology enables LexisNexis to flag when a credit card applicant seems to be a bit too familiar with the application website; how well the user knows various computer functions and the cadence of entering personal data, which are all clues to the user’s legitimacy, said Frances Zelazny, a vice president at BioCatch.

“Previously card issuers could only look at the numbers and data consumers provided and look for anomalies to give away fraudsters, but behavioral biometrics adds a whole new dimension that takes the security perimeter from physical to personal,” Zelazny said. “Our technology can tell with a high degree of accuracy if the person filling out the application really is that person or if it's someone else using stolen or fake credentials.”

LexisNexis sees behavioral biometrics as an effective way to stem rising losses from application fraud and a fast-growing subset of the crime called synthetic identity fraud, said Paul Bjerke, LexisNexis’s vice president of fraud and identity management.

“True name fraud is old-fashioned; it’s been around for years, but it’s only 1% to 2% of fraud these days, with more criminals using harder-to-beat synthetic fraud, using made-up identities that look real,” Bjerke said.

A third type, credit profile number or CPN fraud, is emerging that behavioral biometrics may help to block, he said.

With CPN fraud, criminals target consumers with low or no credit and sell them a new credit profile that shares some of the same features of their true identity but offers a new, falsely inflated FICO score associated with a different address and phone number, according to Bjerke.

“Card issuers are looking for ways to spot these various fraudulent accounts early on, in as frictionless a manner as possible, so they know if they're granting credit to a real person or a ghost,” Bjerke said.

When BioCatch detects abnormal behavior with applicant, LexisNexis can prompt an issuer to ask the consumer more questions, drawing on deeper data including the names of family members, siblings and details of recent utility payments, which goes a long way toward stopping most application fraud, according to Bjerke.

Dublin, Ireland-based Experian has also added BioCatch to its own credit-scoring models for credit applicants.

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