In February 2021, Equifax closed its acquisition of Kount. The landmark pairing united the Kount Digital Identity Global Network, AI-driven solutions, and Equifax’s robust consumer identity information.
The goal: Combine the most advanced technology and data insights to empower our clients. As a result, businesses across industries can achieve best-of-breed pre- and post-authorization digital fraud prevention while enhancing customer engagement and brand loyalty to drive revenue potential.
“The combination of Kount and Equifax will help more businesses around the world to better protect their digital presence and their customers against emerging threats while offering a frictionless customer experience,” said Sid Singh, president of United States Information Solutions (USIS) at Equifax, in a 2021 press release.
Today, Kount and Equifax are on the verge of architecting what will become the world’s most advanced identity trust and consumer insights platform. The platform’s four essential solution families — Identify, Assess, Engage, and Grow — effectively shift the focus from a device- and transaction-level protection to holistic protection and understanding of the entire customer persona.
Identify: The foundation of a comprehensive customer persona
Once, businesses could only access digital and physical identifier data separately. Now they can access data for a comprehensive customer persona.
Kount’s digital identity data includes device IDs, email reputations, IP locations, phone numbers, payment methods, buying behaviors, account creations, and more. Equifax’s physical identifier data adds elements like addresses, tax IDs, payroll information, buying power, credit history, and more.
These digital and physical elements combined build complete customer personas. With a complete persona, businesses on the platform can understand more about their customers, how they’ve behaved in the past, and, most importantly, their future buying power.
“With the power of Kount and Equifax combined, our customers can go beyond using a simple account or score to know who they’re working with,” explained Brad Wiskirchen, Kount’s SVP and General Manager. “Our teams are making it possible for more businesses to move beyond protecting single transactions to access a more comprehensive, 360-degree view of the customer. We’re enabling them to identify current and future customers and compete David-and-Goliath-style with the e-commerce giants.”
Assess: Accurate digital fraud and risk mitigation
The Assess solution family takes a holistic approach to digital fraud and risk mitigation across the customer lifecycle, leaving transaction- or interaction-level fraud protection at the door. This solution family combines pre-authorization coupon, promo, and e-gift card protection with post-authorization dispute management and friendly fraud solutions.
Pre-authorization protection evaluates risks related to promo abuse, e-gift card fraud, and loyalty fraud. This solution family reduces manual reviews on these transactions and stops criminal fraud and suspicious behavior before it affects a business.
Meanwhile, post-authorization management mitigates risk on the other side of a transaction. That means protecting against customer disputes and friendly fraud as well as intercepting chargeback alerts. The right tools can help businesses communicate the status of a refund, prevent inventory loss, and reduce chargebacks almost immediately.
Engage: Persona insights that drive customer interactions
Wiskirchen himself dubbed 2021 as “the year of insights,” saying merchants and retailers were more prepared for the challenges they adapted to in 2020. But they also had more data than ever from new channel development, consumer engagement, and funnel optimization tools.
The digital insights gleaned from these avenues have paved the way for greater customer engagement and business optimization. Once a business knows who is on their website and has assessed the risks associated with that persona, they’ll be in the best position to engage.
As Kount and Equifax evolve together throughout 2022, they’ll continue to help businesses know and engage with their customers through:
- Hyper-personalized and targeted marketing, or the ability to individualize advertising and offers based on personal preferences and buying habits.
- Omnichannel consistency, or the ability to create consistent experiences across the customer journey.
- Dynamic friction, or the ability to adapt friction to an interaction’s unique risk profile.
Dynamic friction, in particular, comes in the form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) and Equifax’s Secure MFA. Users displaying risky or abnormal behavior can automatically receive dynamic hyperlinks to verify themselves.
These initiatives can reduce cart abandonment and increase brand loyalty and advocacy. Plus, a more targeted and engaging customer experience can help merchants and businesses win over repeat customers who refer and evangelize their products and services.
Grow: Expand revenue opportunities with customers’ known preferences
Kount and Equifax are joining forces to help their customers grow and expand revenue opportunities with customers they know, trust, and understand. The more a business knows about its customers, the better it can offer the right products and promotions to the right people at the right time.
“By combining our best-in-class resources and technologies, we can reduce our clients’ dependence on existing platforms that don’t provide the right data to adequately serve their target customers,” Wiskirchen said. “And we best equip them with deep and meaningful insights to know a customer’s behavior and propensity to spend, deliver time-sensitive promotions, grow advertising reach by building larger audiences, optimize SEO and SEM spend, and identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities.”
Growing your business means going beyond transactional interactions. Kount and Equifax are making it possible for merchants to accelerate revenue growth with factors like a customer’s total household income estimate and their ability to pay. Overall, an estimate of a household’s financial capacity based on spending capacity, total income from wages and assets, and demographics can dramatically grow a target customer base.
Accelerating revenue growth also means reducing cart abandonment and expanding into subscription and recurring revenue models. Kount and Equifax can help businesses make genuine data-driven product and service recommendations in each case. Hyper-personalized experiences based on known preferences can get customers closer to what they want when they want it, and how they want it.
Comply: Meet compliance regulations at every level of scrutiny
Finally, Kount and Equifax are coming together to help you stay informed and comply with even the most stringent business regulations.Regulatory factors can dramatically affect your brand reputation, financial wherewithal, and legal status.
So Kount and Equifax’s Comply solutions are here to help you minimize risk, avoid penalties, follow data privacy regulations, verify identities, and perform due diligence checks. As a result, you can lower the total cost of ownership with streamlined and frictionless anti-money laundering (AML), know your customer (KYC), and PSD2 compliance services.
Accessible consumer insights ‘level the playing field’
“Our clients, prospects, and partners are starved for — in some cases, completely unaware that they’re starved of — technology solutions that can make data actionable to help optimize and secure business operations, drive revenue, and bring them closer to their customers,” Wiskirchen said. “Today, only a handful of big companies around the globe can effectively collect, access, and leverage useful consumer data at scale. Kount and Equifax are using the most advanced digital enablement capabilities to democratize data and level the playing field.”
Kount and Equifax agree where there is e-commerce, there is also digital fraud. From digital payments fraud to identity theft and synthetic identity fraud, bad actors are finding more ways to keep businesses busy. But new advancements in digital enablement and consumer insights are helping them fight back while staying competitive.
“We’re going to enable businesses to evolve from shotgun tactics using aggregated data toward highly targeted or personalized strategies that focus on the individual consumer,” he concluded. “We can give our clients access to better data and decisions and enable them to give their customers more beneficial experiences.”
This release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. All statements that address our performance and events or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future, including statements relating to shareholder value, future operating results, and expected growth and performance, and similar statements about our outlook and our business plans are forward-looking statements. We believe these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made. However, forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our historical experience and our present expectations or projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described in our 2021 Form 10-K and subsequent SEC filings. As a result of such risks and uncertainties, we urge you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date when made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.