What’s in a name? Maybe something, maybe nothing.
But when you are running a business you need to deploy your funds as efficiently as possible, so you want to know if your ears are legitimate ones, Rob Eleveld said. Mr. Eleveld is the CEO of Whitepages Pro, an international identity data company with offices in Seattle, Budapest and New York. They provide companies with global identity verification solutions via enterprise-scale APIs and web tools which help companies identify legitimate customers, prevent fraudulent transactions and simplify customer creation. Their real-time data integrates into existing platforms, authentication workflows and data models to help companies accurately assess and verify consumer identities around the world.
Mr. Eleveld said data at a massive scale is the key. Whitepages Pro developed a proprietary, fully-integrated, high-availability Identity Graph housing more than five billion identity records. They have been organized and corroborated from hundreds of sources. Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Priceline and American Airlines are among its clients who together use Whitepages Pro more than 55 million times each month.
The Whitepages Pro database is the epitome of the living document as they update one million new links everyday as people move and change email addresses and phone numbers. That currency, and the ability to quickly access the information is even more important in this age of online lending and global payment systems.
“A customer goes to Best Buy and wants to finance a television,” Mr. Eleveld said as an example. “We provide a decision in under 10 seconds.”
Underwriting decisions for $15,000-$50,000 loans with OnDeck are delivered in less than four hours.
Time frames are radically different in this age, Mr. Eleveld said. People expect quick delivery for global remittances and near instantaneous ones for finite supply items such as airline tickets.
“The extreme time pressure is borderless, but it is driving innovation,” Mr. Eleveld said.
A common use case is to confirm identity during the account opening process, Mr. Eleveld explained. Is it a sleeper account? Is synthetic identification being used? Are other fraudulent behaviors being committed?
Whitepages Pro can conduct a global check and validate a phone number, address and email address while identifying the distance between a phone number, IP address and billing address, so if Jim Smith from Sheboygan, Wisconsin is applying for a loan from a computer in Minsk, the system will indicate something is likely amiss, especially if the address provided is revealed by Google Street View to be a warehouse or somewhere in the middle of the Volga. Other warning signs are a phone country code which differs from the physical address, addresses only valid at the country level, proxy IP addresses and an email account that sent its first message less than 90 days ago.
A large body of continuously updated information is key in this age of global commerce, Mr. Eleveld said, while adding verification processes are easier in the United States than in some of the other 170-plus countries where Whitepages Pro has access to data from.
“We have more than one billion international records too,” Mr. Eleveld said.