Bringing Science to Risk

Posted August 9, 2018

In this episode Frank is joined by Thomas C. Brown, SVP of U.S. Commercial Markets and Global Market Development at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions. They explore the benefits of bringing physical identity information and digital persona intelligence together.


Frank:   Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another edition of Digital Identity 360. I’m honored to have Tom Brown from LexisNexis Risk Solutions with us, our new parent company. And we’re coming to you from the Paris Summit Digital Identity Summit 2018 in Paris. So Tom, good to have you.

Thomas:   Frank, it’s a pleasure.

Frank:   Awesome. Tom, one of the interesting things that came out of the slides today, you and I were talking about Alasdair a little bit earlier, was, the vision that we’re casting of putting together digital identity with the attribution databases that you have at Lexis. And specifically, applying science to risk. And I was fascinated by the idea of the underbanked, human trafficking, and how these two assets can help facilitate that. Speak a little bit, if you wouldn’t mind, about your vision on how together we can be a force multiplier in those areas.

Thomas:   Yeah. To me, it’s such an important concept. I mean, at one level, it’s something that matters. Financial inclusion, transparency really improves society, and it’s an important mandate. To bring physical identity information and digital persona intelligence together-

Frank:   That’s right-

Thomas:   Allows you to attack that problem much more precisely, much more efficiently, and more importantly, to do it with less friction for our customers’ customer. And to do it across the range of risk use cases. So to me, we couldn’t be at a better spot. The LexisNexis® Risk Solutions is so enthusiastic about having ThreatMetrix join the organization, and to me, it puts us into the driver’s seat, in terms of defining risk and how we mitigate risk into the future.

Frank:   Yeah. I mean, interesting, one of the slides that went up was the 78 billion identities just amalgamated in your network, and the petabytes of data, 6 or 7 petabytes of data. And the fact that, as you think of continual risk-based authentication, there’s always been a point in digital where people go, “Eh, risk is too high, transaction is too big. I’m going to have to really put some real step- ups, or not be able to do it,” based on just digital ID alone. But the idea of being able to bring in a physical attribute to that, and having one contiguous system of authentication, I think Mark Kelsey said this morning, from digital risk-based, all the way through to physical attribution is so powerful. And think of it as a, being a system of record. Now our customers, our mutual customers, no longer have to kind of step outside our ecosystem to import other data, right? So it’s a fascinating concept. How do you see this affecting places like Brazil and some of the LATAM markets, where the underbanked are a big deal?

Thomas:   Yeah. Well, and the underbanked really are a big deal everywhere. It’s just exacerbated in some of the-

Frank:   More prevalent-

Thomas:   Developing countries-

Frank:   That’s right-

Thomas:   As I often say, there’s more underbanked in China that there are people in the United States-

Frank:   That’s interesting, isn’t it-

Thomas:   And see, the thing about the potential for growth. But what’s interesting is that, you brought up bringing science to risk. And while we have these compelling databases that do exactly as you highlighted, I think what’s even … That the first chapter. To me, what goes beyond that is, taking that technology, that science, both on the ThreatMetrix side, the underlying technology on the legacy LNRS, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions side, and creating new consortiums. And that could be like what we’re doing in Brazil, where we’re building out the most advanced credit bureau in the world. And so, I think that it’s the capability to me that becomes more exciting than the actual-

Frank:   Absolutely-

Thomas:   Underlying data. So I think it’s just going to be a lot of fun, and as we work our way around the world to try to pursue our mandate, of driving that inclusion, driving transparency, expanding the use cases. And what we talked a lot about today during the Summit is about bringing the industry together. And so, here you guys do that from, bring the staff in. You bring the customers together in a forum. Well, at your network, the ThreatMetrix Network is bringing the industry together. And really, that’s what we’re all about. We just need to continue to do that.

Frank:   It’s so interesting, the word inclusion is interesting. Because most of the buyers that we have today are focused on preventing bad things from happening. And you start thinking about inclusion as an enormous amount of potential revenue in business that’s just waiting for someone to tap. So I think that the inclusion argument’s super interesting, especially when you consider the vast majority of these people are good, trustworthy customers that just haven’t got access to these platforms. So I think you’re right. The data asset itself will evolve, but the application of these two technologies to these real-world problems are absolutely fascinating. I think together, I agree with you, we’re going to see a really interesting kind of force-multiplying effect as we do that. Two biggest takeaways from the Summit?

Thomas:   Well, I think certainly, bringing industry together to solve these problems. Yeah, there was just complete alignment across the customer base. It aligns well with our technology. So that clearly is the case. And I think certainly, just the growth of mobile, and the whole digital influence that affects everything we do, it just, it never ceases to amaze me how much it’s growth, how much the significance.

Frank:   Yeah, that there are in fact customers out there that are mobile-only customers, have never had the other platforms. Yeah, it’s a fascinating view of, I think our future together and where we’re headed. Tom, delighted to be part of the team, and thank you for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts. Everybody, this is Tom Brown, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, our new parent. And thanks for tuning in, appreciate it.

Thomas:   Thank you.

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