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Equifax Addresses Increased Rental Demand With Fraud Protection

Staff Writer
Sep 02, 2021

In 2020, 47% of Americans experienced some form of financial identity theft.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • There are more than 44 million households renting in the U.S., and industry experts believe rental demand will climb even further in the next five years.
  • In 2020, 47% of Americans experienced some form of financial identity theft.
  • Digital Identity Suite to help renters and homeowners mitigate fraud risk and reduce application friction.
  • Digital Identity Suite uses income and employment verifications from The Work Number database, so property managers can make informed decisions.

The pandemic fueled many changes in the housing market, including consumer migration patterns and preferences. Equifax, a global data and technology company, has decided to address the rapidly evolving demands of consumers by creating a new, cloud-based Digital Identity Suite to help renters and homeowners mitigate fraud risk and reduce application friction.

Currently, there are more than 44 million households renting in the U.S., and property managers need easy solutions to verify the identity of rental applicants. Over the next five years, industry experts believe rental demand will climb even further, making it harder for property managers and consumers to prevent identity theft. 

In 2020, 47% of Americans experienced some form of financial identity theft, according to the Aite-Novarica Group. Fraudulent renters who apply for apartment units under someone else’s name and social security number can become a big issue for property management firms, rental agencies and leasing agents, causing them high financial losses.

However, Digital Identity Suite uses income and employment verifications from The Work Number database, so property managers can make informed decisions and move rental applicants into homes much faster. 

"Improving consumer experience, protecting against identity fraud, lowering application friction and streamlining the screening process can help property managers attract new tenants and maintain higher rental occupancy rates," said Tom Ciulla, senior vice president, enterprise alliances for mortgage and housing at Equifax. "Our entire line-up of multi-family solutions offers a comprehensive and customizable way for property managers to help build trust with applicants – starting at the very first touchpoint, which is identity verification."

Digital Identity Suite offers a multi-layered approach for addressing identity fraud. First, it includes Digital Identity Trust, combining data match(es) and assessments to verify the applicant's identity in real-time. The program also provides Identity Authentication with InstaTouch ID, leveraging patented mobile technology to authenticate an applicant's identity. The Secure Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) authenticates the mobile device and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card. Lastly, the solution provides FraudIQ Synthetic ID Alerts composed of holistic profiles that can unmask synthetic identities before a business is compromised.

Automated verifications of income and employment have the potential to help property managers immensely. After verifying the identity of the renter applicant through the Work Number Database, property managers can tap into near-real-time data to keep an application moving forward (according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act). The database can also provide the same timely benefits to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and apartment owners offering reduced rent to low-income renters. 

"Getting the consumer's identity right the first time improves the overall application experience for both parties," added Ciulla. "We are confident that the new Digital Identity Suite will be a trusted solution for property managers looking to strengthen their interactions with consumers at the outset."

For more information on Equifax services for the rental and multi-family industry, please visit Equifax.com.

About the author
Staff Writer
Katie Jensen is a staff writer at NMP.
Published
Sep 02, 2021
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