A trip to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription during flu season, or worse—a pandemic—is generally something many of us would like to avoid. For a growing number of patients, online pharmacies are taking the pain out of getting prescriptions by accepting orders online and delivering them directly to your home or other convenient location. Whether you are sick and would rather stay on the couch, or simply want to avoid a monthly trip to the pharmacy for recurring medications, ordering online for home delivery of medications is a very attractive convenience. It is no surprise that the global market for online pharmacies is expected to top $191 billion by 2027.

The growth in online pharmacy adoption is driven in large part by the increase in smartphone use, cost effectiveness, and the convenience of 24x7 prescription delivery services. For online pharmacies, harnessing this growth means attracting and serving a massive influx of new users. 

Managing growth in the online pharmacy industry is no different to that of the larger ecommerce industry as a whole. The ‘online’ in online pharmacy means these companies operate first and foremost as ecommerce sites. The primary goal is to drive traffic to the site and convert new patients to purchasers as quickly as possible, with minimal friction. However, that is easier said than done when you are dealing with health products and must comply with associated regulations.

To meet healthcare industry data privacy guidelines and grow safely, three key requirements must be fully met:

  1. Know your customer (KYC) compliance: assess personal information to verify the identity of the patient and ensure the conversion of only qualified patients
  2. Quick, seamless conversions: collect as little information as possible to reduce friction and minimize the number of patients that click away
  3. Validate identities: ensure the patient is who they say they are and someone that should be converted to a customer


Accomplishing these three requirements may appear to introduce competing goals, but do not despair. Socure offers market-leading identity and document verification solutions that have proven to effectively fulfill each requirement, ensuring compliance and bolstering the bottom line.

The Socure Solution

As discussed, online pharmacies are built on an ecommerce business model that prizes customer conversions over identity verification and compliance. It is not uncommon to find these companies have built highly-efficient customer workflows that have not taken into account the need to verify identities. Socure has the solution to meet both marketing and compliance requirements.

Socure has built a highly flexible identity verification platform that can accurately validate identities using a minimum of patient data to verify the identity quickly, and collect that data for use in compliance efforts. 

Qualification and compliance for online pharmacies generally translates to having proof that the provider made an effort to ensure they know their customer and are allowed to do business with that person. Socure examines the personal information provided online by the patient to validate the identity and signal whether or not the patient should be allowed to continue in the conversion process. 

Our automated verification process happens in the background to accurately assess new customers in real-time, without any interruption to the patient experience. Socure’s KYC solution uses over 3 billion records comprising credit, telco, utility and Socure’s proprietary database of more than 250 million verified individuals in the U.S. to determine if the identity belongs to a real person. This may also include verifying that they meet age and location requirements.

Socure’s solution is highly flexible and built to meet customer requirements, requesting minimal personal information to make decisions. Because each institution may have specific requirements on how they would like to implement their compliance program, Socure provides the ability to adjust the decision criteria based on compliance requirements and risk tolerance. Detailed reason codes are returned with every assessment, providing clear insights into decisions.

In cases where further identity validation is required, a seamless and fully branded step-up to Document Verification, or DocV, will verify the patient’s identity by capturing an image of a government ID via mobile phone and matching it against our database of 3,500 document types. 

To learn how Socure can provide expert guidance to build your identity verification and compliance program, please contact us at sales@socure.com or request a demo.

Topics: KYC, healthcare

Anthony Winslow

Anthony Winslow

Anthony leads Product Marketing at Socure. Previously, he was at Raise, the world's largest marketplace for retail currency. Prior to that, Anthony was a co-founder at Slide, a gift card wallet app on iOS and Android, that was acquired by Raise in 2016. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Anthony worked in business and product development at American Express