Lee W

‘Privacy is no longer a thing’

Your social security number is likely on a database in China, says Jack Henry's Lee Wetherington.

May 23, 2018

Believe it or not, Lee Wetherington had some good news for credit unions on the fraud front during his general session discussion at the CUNA CFO Council Conference in Austin, Texas.

As Wells Fargo, Facebook, Equifax, and others continue their “national apology tours” on the heels of fraud breaches or data mishaps, credit unions continue to operate from a position of trust with consumers.

“That trust is a differentiator that you hold,” says Wetherington, director of strategic insight at Jack Henry & Associates. “And you need to find a way to leverage that with consumers.”

Data, and more specifically, concerns over privacy has changed the landscape, not only in financial services, but in the digital world. As Wetherington puts it, “Privacy is no longer a thing.”

More than half of U.S. Social Security numbers were compromised in the 2017 Equifax breach, he says.

“All social security numbers have been breached multiple times in the last four or five years,” Wetherington says. “They're all sitting somewhere in databases in China right now.”

Fraud security has become closely merged with the user experience. Biometrics, such as touch ID and face ID, are not only easy to use, they offer more protection for consumers.

“With today’s technology there no longer has to be a trade-off between high security and really great member experience,” Wetherington says. “You give members persistent vigilance over their own accounts.”

Given that financial institutions must assume there is no privacy, they must replace outdated password authentication with real-time analytics and behavioral biometrics, especially as the world moves closer to a real-time payments environment, Wetherington says.

Financial institutions will have to go beyond the social security number to confirm new accounts, using voter registration information, property records, and social media footprints, he says.

“Increasingly we’re going to be looking for behavioral patterns and shared data, especially as we move closer to a real-time payments environment,” Wetherington says.

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