Leveraging digital identity intelligence with email addresses

4 June 2019

Ermal has been working in the igaming industry for over 5 years. During the last 5 years in igaming Ermal has worked for companies such as Paypoint Online and Jumio and has extensive knowledge and experience in helping operators with payment processing, KYC, AML and regulators changes.

Historically, the sole method for identification in the igaming space has been dependent on the submission of physical documents - passports, driving licenses, birth certificates. However, these do not tell operators much about the player and their behaviours online, and what risks this user may present.

When we spoke to Ermal Thaci, director of enterprise sales at Emailage iGaming, he said leveraging digital identities in this process can help to both reduce fraud and reduce friction in the experience of genuine players.

Online identity

While properly identifying players will continue to be a necessary and an important part of the igaming process, there are additional ways by which operators can negate the risk of fraud.

Thaci says one way to reduce risk is by utilising something everyone needs online, whether it be for online shopping, banking, or opening accounts: email addresses. The email address is one of the first and most important data elements to be captured, but the last to be utilised for fraud prevention and customer verification

The Emailage iGaming white paper found that 91% of email users keep the same email address for at least three years, and 51% keep the same email address for over 10 years, and Thaci says “E-mail address is the only truly global unique identifier. You cannot amend that email address, and once you use that online it leaves a digital footprint, providing a lot of data that we can use. Not many people are leveraging this information.”

He continues: “As a genuine customer, it’s very rare you’ll update an e-mail address because it’s tied to so many accounts. You’d have to update every account you have online. As a fraudster, you’re most likely going to try to create a new email address when you try to commit fraud, or you’ll use one you’ve previously used to commit fraud.”

Risky business

Significant opportunities for fraudsters have arisen from the development and spread of internet connectivity. A recent white paper from Emailage states that the igaming industry has experienced increasing levels of card-not-present (CNP) fraud and account takeover attacks.

Thaci also highlights that now, for as little as $13, fraudsters can purchase the identification and payment details of innocent consumers on the dark web. If this isn’t detected earlier in the journey, it becomes increasingly difficult and costly to detect.

So, when everything seems in order with documents from an operator perspective, how can they identify risk using email addresses?

Beyond communications

By optimising know your customer checks, Thaci says operators can avoid wasted spend: “A lot of operators are still relying on manual reviews, and have to use really expensive full verifications for all customers. By qualifying the risk, we’re able to identify fraud as early as registration.”

Emailage’s service runs algorithms & machine learning techniques to assess over 200+ data variables connected to users email addresses, and then calculates a risk score rating on a scale of 0-1000. The operator can then automatically block any funds or registrations they identify as potential fraud.

By leveraging emails for more than just communications, Thaci says operators can reduce friction, too: “We don’t interact with the user at all, as our system runs in the background, but we can reduce friction. Once we’ve identified and can confidently tell you who is a genuine player, they can reduce the number of checks they have to do before that player gets to the deposit stage.

“It allows operators to automate low-risk transactions with less friction, improving customer experience and reducing the cost associated with manual reviews.”

Furthermore, utilising the solution can identify other fraudulent activities, such as account takeover, with Thaci saying: “Let’s say someone is changing their account details for some reason. If an operator is using our solution and they do a check on those new details, we can actually potentially find out if that is a genuine amendment or if it’s an account takeover.”

Preventing fraud and ensuring profit margins are as secure as possible will continue to be a necessity to the igaming industry, and by leveraging available technologies that can extract data on user activities, operators may create a more efficient and successful player fraud assessment strategy.

Please contribute your insight to our iGaming Business and Emailage survey here. This survey aims to assess the readiness and sentiment towards fraud prevention tools in the igaming industry while still trying to balance the customer experience. The findings will be shared to empower operators to benchmark their organisations against their peers.

In an upcoming iGaming Business webinar, Emailage will discuss these findings and more.