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The impact of biometric verification on sales processes

By César Eduardo Santana Ortiz, Jorge Antonio Devia — December 18, 2019

An opportunity to improve our efficiency and the customer experience

Digital transformation acts on the core processes of companies in different productive segments, such as product and service sales. Before, these processes included delays in user assistance, paper-based contracts and possible fraud due to identity theft.

Nowadays, solutions such as biometric verification of customers through different channels (in-person, in-store; and remote, such as telephone assistance or via app) not only reduce the possibility of impersonation, but also bring direct benefits to the customer experience, such as reducing customer wait times and creating digital contracts.

These deployments come with some implicit challenges, such as legacy integration, changing the sales and delivery processes, and training in this new way of interacting with customers.

Based on our experience accompanying these transformation processes, we have identified a series of keys to ensure success, both in project conceptualization and in the deployment and delivery of the operation:

The importance of having a clear focus

Identifying the customer and digitalizing processes in the product and service sales flows are drivers of change within organizations. These factors, aside from improving the experience for customers, promote efficiency as they reduce process times, fraud risk and the use of physical resources.

Given the need for organizations to be more efficient and to quickly respond to the market and new digital trends, there are initiatives that—on paper—seem simple and easy enough to deploy. But, when starting to design the solution and to deploy it, a plethora of factors arise, requiring action plans so as not to lose focus on the goal and for the dynamics of the solution’s deployment to continue.

If these factors are not dealt with properly, it means losing important financial and time resources, not achieving goals or getting a half-baked solution that could become a problem in terms of its use and maintenance in the future.

Deployment considerations and advantages

The deployment of this type of process should be very much in line with the digital transformation processes that the company may be undertaking, as these can create a large part of the roadmap, or leverage changes that are minimal but which actually have a large impact on the deployment of the solution in the long run. Taking this as a premise, it is necessary to have a team with in-depth knowledge of the processes and the market to stay ahead of all these factors.

Once the processes to be impacted upon and their operation have been defined, integrating the identity verification solutions, it is possible for the organization to more accurately estimate the benefits that the deployment may have.

Thus, not only will there be a reduction in the risk of impersonation in in-person channels, but it will also bring a series of advantages:

  •     Reduction of service times

  •     Execution of fully digital processes from start to finish

  •     More satisfactory customer experience

  •     Storage of really important data and documents

  •     Stricter control over processes

  •     Reduction of human errors

What’s more, the data generated can be analyzed to provide value in the company’s decision-making processes, for example, when proposing changes such as the number of advisers at each point or the supply of inventory, among other aspects, depending on the company’s economic sector.

These processes are not only applicable to sales. We know that, at present, banks use fingerprint verification to check the identity of their customers before carrying out a transaction or engaging a service. But if this information is not integrated with other data—whether their own or those of their business group—, it can become a rather complex process for customers.

In contrast, identity verification could be technically well implemented, but sometimes, the customer is not informed of the process being carried out, what happens to their personal information, what this information may be useful and used for, etc.

The challenge with the team

At this point, it is very important to estimate the cultural change that this involves. This is where the business areas have a great responsibility, as they are the ones that must promote the adoption of the new technology and make it evolve and integrate it in the best way possible into the processes.

There will always be resistance to change, which is why it is of the utmost importance to make collaborators see that this will not reduce their income or the number of collaborators. On the contrary, it will make their work more efficient and provide them with assurances in avoiding fraud and errors when creating sales documents or recording sales in the company’s systems.

The first solution

A big step is the deployment of a fingerprint biometric solution. This takes care of in-person customer service (the operator’s and their distributors’ stores). Nevertheless, with the deployment of in-store control systems, fraud is migrating to remote channels. This is where facial and voice recognition solutions become relevant to the performance of controls to prevent impersonation and to create a good user experience in interactions (whether by phone or app).

The main challenge of these deployments is customer set-up and capturing the first voice and facial biometrics to be associated with the customer. With this process, it takes time to build a database that allows operators to differentiate between real customers and potential fraudsters.

Once deployment has been successfully completed, the benefits are evident and tangible:

  •     Introduction of a verification mechanism supported by an already established database.

  •     Greater control over the processes carried out by the distributors.

  •     Effective customer verification with a failure rate less than 2% due to dermatitis or amputation.

  •     Reduction of in-store customer service for product and service sales, from one hour to about 15 minutes.

  •     95% reduction in customer impersonation and false documentation.

  •     Deployment of paperless processes and reduction in stationery costs.

  •     Digital document management, reducing legalization processes and digitalization of paper-based contracts.

To ensure the best results in the deployment of this type of solutions, it is important to be at the forefront of technology to find the best solution, but also to be able to integrate them into the business and manage change with people. This is how we create the best experience that our customers demand.

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