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According to a new report by identity verification solution provider IDology, 58 million Americans had a new account fraudulently opened in their names in the past 12 months — a 21% increase since the onset of the pandemic.

Given the heavy reliance on smartphones to conduct digital transactions, mobile device compromise surged, increasing 71% in the last 12 months. Additionally, 96 million Americans expect fraud to increase in the next 12 months, with nearly 2/3 reporting that they are “extremely” or “very” concerned about cybersecurity and ransomware. Consequently, 61% of consumers are also either very or extremely concerned about the potential for their personal information to be used by criminals to open a new account.

On top of the fraud and identity theft experienced and insecure mindset, Americans are also distrustful of companies collecting personal information and lack confidence in their ability to protect it. Seventy percent suspect that companies gather data without their permission, and 59% don’t think companies do enough to safeguard the personal identifiable information (PII) they possess. Data gathering without permission and the inability of companies to protect it have raised significant concerns for consumers, with 53% either very or extremely concerned with the practice. Along those lines, 90% of those surveyed, or 227 million Americans, said they would support a law similar to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in their state or at the federal level.

Infographic. Better identity verification drives trust. 82% think identity verification is extremely or very important for a company to effectively and smoothly verify their identity during a new account opening experience.

Given the reliance on data within the digital realm, businesses cannot overlook the growing importance of identity verification and backend capabilities in the customer experience and building trust. As digital transactions increasingly replace face-to-face interactions and consumers become more protective of their personal information, it will be critical to verify identities in a way that builds trust and results in a seamless experience while also safeguarding against fraud and identity theft.

Read the full report by IDology.

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