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Many online brokers still rely on high-touch, manual customer onboarding processes that require in-branch visits to strengthen relationships with prospective clients. In contrast, newer fintechs and robo advisors have led with digital-first interfaces that require some basic information and clicks, allowing consumers to instantly open an account, transfer funds and make investments. Rather than building a relationship, legacy online brokers instead may be alienating new customers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation more complex. In the new digital and work-from-home paradigm, legacy trading platforms have been overly reliant on their call centers to meet demand—where centralized operations were unprepared and overwhelmed. Call center agents were suddenly working independently from their living rooms where they became vulnerable to massive fraud exposure and compliance irregularities.

It’s time for investment services to adopt automated customer onboarding and to implement these identity verification and risk mitigation best practices:

  • Adapt – Replace legacy KYC/CIP processes that historically achieve only 60 to 70 percent auto acceptance with a machine learning approach that improves auto acceptance rates by 90 percent or better.
  • Reduce – Eliminate batch processes that are a result of manual onboarding, drive down call center operating costs and extinguish friction for legitimate customers.
  • Evolve – Develop long-term thinking about identity enrichment which harnesses the intelligence of consortium data from multiple providers to render auto acceptance immediately.

How does Socure deliver on these best practices? Legacy online brokerage platforms typically leverage KYC solutions based on binary matching, with little to no intelligence. Instead, Socure’s intelligent PII matching process is aimed at verifying that the applicant is a real person, and our unique machine learning approach provides assurance that he or she is who they say they are.

By employing diverse, dynamic data sources, Socure delivers a solid defense against synthetic identities. The result is an ability to accurately verify the digital identity greater than 90 percent of the time.

Socure achieves these capture rates from intelligent use of over 400 data sources, whereas credit bureaus rely only on the data within their environment. By leveraging crawling connections between people, it leads to more accurately and frequently achieving the correct answer. For example, Socure can discover phone data from family group calling plans and correlate this to IP and geolocation intelligence based on dozens of derived data points.

Socure also leverages more than 180 national and regional credit grantors, who are among the first to know if a consumer’s contact details have changed, unlike solutions that are predominately credit bureau data driven. We are able to gain insight into the risk and deliverability of an email address as well as infer whether it has been compromised and if it belongs to a real person.

Socure’s Sigma models rely on predictors that assess the velocity, frequency and/or number of occurrences for a particular identity. Has the data source identified any element of the PII previously, has the identity or parts of the identity been in circulation within the last 30 days or is it part of a fraud ring? Online brokers benefit from results that increase false positive capture rates and reduce fraud.

Digital investment platforms need a seamless and automated way to onboard new legitimate customers that reduces friction and delivers a satisfying user experience. For more information on how Socure can transform your account opening process, contact us at

Greg Manship
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Greg Manship

Greg Manship

Greg is the VP of Sales at Socure for the Northeast Region. His passion is working with customers by building long term relationships that allow organizations to enable technology to solve complex identity onboarding and verification.