Identity is a relationship, not a transaction. This phrase influences many of our decisions at Persona, but what does it actually mean?
Today, many businesses treat identity verification as a static, one-off event they need to complete during onboarding.
But identity is always changing. Take a second to think about someone you’ve known for years. What characteristics come to mind — funny, loyal, selfless?
Now think back to when you first met them. What was your first impression of them? Do you think differently of them now?
People change. Identities change. And trust isn’t inherent — it’s earned by building relationships over time. This means if you want to truly build trust with your customers, you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to identity. Instead, you need to treat it like a dynamic, continuous relationship.
Every business needs to solve 3 main identity challenges
Unfortunately, treating identity as a relationship is easier said than done. Identity is complicated, and most companies just don’t have the time or resources to invest the effort necessary to treat identity as more than just a static transaction.
At Persona, we partner with some of the world’s largest companies, and over the years, we’ve noticed that most identity-related pain points companies struggle with fall into three main buckets:
Let’s break this down a bit.
First off, companies want to be able to assess risk and mitigate fraud. However, it’s harder than ever to understand whether a user is good or bad, and there’s no one prescriptive way to assess risk, as it depends on each company’s specific industry, use case, customers, and more. Plus, risk is always evolving — an individual who seems legitimate today may end up being harmful in the future.
This poses a problem for our next business pain point, conversion, as businesses obviously also want as many customers as possible. As such, they need to provide a good user experience to prevent drop-off. The issue: the easier they make it for users to become customers, the more fraud they’re likely to face. Conversely, the more they want to learn about their users to ensure they’re not turning away legitimate customers, the more friction (and dropoff) they accrue.
Finally, companies want to balance the first two challenges — risk and conversion — without putting a huge strain on their operations. Unfortunately, disjointed data and tools, manual review, and the sheer number of data points and people businesses need to make and follow up on decisions all make identity operations extremely inefficient and resource-intensive — it’s no wonder businesses end up treating identities as static, generic one-off transactions. It's just easier.
As you can see, all three of these business goals feel somewhat contradictory. There’s an inherent tradeoff between conversion and risk assurance, and businesses usually end up having to make compromises — or invest a ton of time, people, data, and other resources to find their ideal balance.
When we started building Persona, the one thing we knew was that one-size-fits-all platforms are not true to their name. These solutions will never be able to fit every situation because they assume all businesses are identical — that each business has the same goals, regulations they need to follow, types of customers, existing tech stacks, and more.
At Persona, we believe identity is contextual, continuous, and constantly changing — and that identity platforms need to be as dynamic as the identities they’re verifying. That’s why we went with the best of both platform and infrastructure solutions when building Persona: we developed a comprehensive suite of building blocks that can work individually for different use cases — from identity verification to manual review — or together to fully consolidate and orchestrate identity operations across your business.
Persona’s newest building blocks help businesses tackle identity challenges head-on
In addition to constantly improving and expanding our existing building blocks, such as our extensive library of verification options and reports, we’re excited to share some of the most recent solutions we’ve built to help businesses solve each of the three main identity challenges and manage the entire identity lifecycle from end to end.
1. Convert more good users by designing your ideal identity flow
Earlier this year, we launched Dynamic Flow to help businesses find the right balance between risk and conversion by allowing them to customize the way they collect and verify identity information — while also offering the best user experience possible.
With Dynamic Flow, you can
- Build and optimize flows without needing a single line of code
- Dynamically adjust friction based on real-time risk signals to maximize conversion and minimize fraud
- Get conversion-oriented collection experiences out of the box
We also launched our KYB solution, which essentially uses all of our tools to automatically orchestrate the KYB-KYC process from end to end and help you onboard businesses — and the individuals behind them — faster.
2. Fight fraud by using our new investigation tool to consolidate risk signals & catch hard-to-spot fraud
Standard identity verification methods are a good start to fighting fraud, but they’re not perfect, especially as fraud techniques grow more sophisticated. Plus, it’s hard to spot fraud patterns or rings of bad actors when you’re focused on individual identities.
Our new product Graph uncovers fraud — from duplicate accounts to sophisticated fraud rings — by helping you zoom out and see the big picture. Our link analysis capabilities enable your team to catch more bad actors without having to resort to painful data engineering or digging into spreadsheets.
For example, Remote uses Graph to detect duplicate accounts and proactively investigate potential fraud by finding and visualizing groups of accounts connected by common properties. “With Graph, we can dive in to see the connections and get ahead of the curve. Now, we can look at the bigger picture and identify potential threats that would be virtually impossible to detect if we only looked at individual verifications,” shared Alex Lazarevic, Remote’s Senior Manager of Customer Success.
With Graph, your fraud and compliance teams can:
- Bring together data sources from both inside and outside of Persona to get a full view of your customer network
- Spot hard-to-catch fraud by reviewing the suspicious clusters we surface or manually scrutinizing your customer network via Graph Explorer and specific queries
- Take or automate any sort of follow-up — e.g. blocking bad actors, running additional screenings, or updating your detection rules with new insights
- Supplement their manual KYC and KYB fraud investigations by visualizing the networks customers or businesses operate
3. Streamline operations by conducting all your identity processes within Persona
While our Workflows solution helps automate your identity processes and Cases gives you a single place to control, customize, and optimize your entire manual review process, we’re excited to share a new solution that helps unsilo disjointed identity data and business operations: the Persona Marketplace.
Most companies have the right data and tools but have to manually bring them together, which makes the process more complex — and riskier. With the launch of Persona Marketplace, you can bring all your data and tools into one place via our flexible out-of-the-box integrations, allowing you to fully integrate identity into your business operations and consumer experience without the need for heavy engineering investment.
The two major categories of integrations are:
- Data sources: Integrate with top identity, risk, and business data vendors, such as SentiLink, Clearbit, and Chainalysis, so you can make better decisions with all your risk signals in one place.
- Business platforms: Persona is the only identity platform that allows you to integrate with the most used business SaaS platforms such as Slack, SFDC, Zendesk, and Hubspot. This helps streamline operations, as you can automate post-decision actions such as updating your business systems of record and communicating with your customers or internal teams — all within our platform.
One of our customers, Branch, already uses our data and platform integrations to streamline its risk operations. “The ability to tap seamlessly into data from different sources and then kick off actions in our internal tools allows us to quickly identify fraud and respond to customer inquiries while minimizing manual work,” said Amanda Hodgetts-Martin, Director of Risk at Branch. “The integrations are easy to configure and equip our team with real-time alerts to any high-priority cases."
Power all your identity operations in one place with Persona
In today’s constantly changing identity landscape, it’s tough to stay on top of everything — countering fraudsters’ new techniques, ensuring that you’re complying with new regulations, and more.
Instead of a fixed solution that dictates how you approach identity, Persona gives you the fluidity to build the ideal identity process for your specific business, customers, use cases, and touchpoints across the identity lifecycle — and quickly adapt to whatever comes your way.
That said, while we believe that having all of your identity data and tools on one unified platform will allow you to finally treat identity as a dynamic, contextual relationship and personalize each user’s experience, we know not everyone’s looking for a unified platform right now. One of the best aspects of our building-blocks approach is that you can choose from preconfigured blueprints that solve common use cases such as KYC and KYB, or you can also pick and choose the tools to build the solution you need.
For example, if you’re looking to quickly build out IDV flows that allow more good users in, you can use our Dynamic Flow and Verifications products. On the other hand, if you only need help streamlining your manual review process, you can just use Cases with Persona Marketplace to consolidate all your data within a fully customizable hub. Whether you have a specific IDV need or want a solution that’ll help you manage your identity operations from end to end, all our building blocks are configurable — and work together seamlessly.
This flexible building blocks approach extends into our final announcement in this blog (phew!) — our brand refresh, which better visualizes our flexible, modular infrastructure.
Over the last few months, Persona's Design and Marketing teams have worked closely to create a visual system that can flex at every scale. Pulling inspiration from the periodic table and wayfinding, our new look serves as a guiding hand in the identity landscape.
Today, the business tech stack is larger than ever in the name of becoming more efficient. But somewhere along the way, customers got reduced to strings of data and interactions — in essence, losing their identity.
We’re excited to make identity personal again and help more businesses build relationships — and subsequently trust — with their customers. By offering the only identity infrastructure that offers the building blocks to power identity operations from end to end in one place, Persona ultimately helps convert customers, fight fraud, and manage the entire identity lifecycle efficiently.