Today I’m writing to you from the Merchant Acquirers Committee (MAC) conference in none other than Las Vegas. Early this morning, I presented on a panel called “Real-Time Underwriting: A Risk-Based Approach” with leaders from Shopify, Idology and Recombo related to underwriting processes for merchants. MAC exists to help acquirers, or payment processors, better understand the issues around onboarding new merchant accounts; these issues are typically of a business process or regulatory nature. In the age of micro-merchants with “dongles” attached to their tablets and smart phones, just about anyone (including your local Girl Scout cookie salesgirl) can become a merchant. What struck me during the discussion is the blurring of lines between the risk management techniques that merchants use with consumers for online and mobile transactions, and the processes that acquirers use to decide if they will collect payments for a merchant.
Key among these risk management similarities is the use of mobile phone numbers as a unique identifier. For sole proprietors and small businesses as well as consumers, the mobile phone is becoming as valuable an identifier as more traditional identifiers that are much more static and potentially corrupted by sophisticated identity thieves. With the huge numbers of data breaches that have occurred in recent months, depending on social security number and mother’s maiden name are recipes for disaster for an acquirer.
Whitepages Pro is proud to provide acquirers quick and cost-effective ways to validate the identities of micro-merchants before they approve these new merchant accounts. Central to our ability to do so is our superior coverage of mobile phone data in North America. By searching a mobile phone number, we help acquirers decipher if the rest of the data like name, address and email connects back to the mobile phone. Check out our phone intelligence data sheet to learn more.