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How to combine security and user experience in online sportsbooks?

Alan Faleiro

Security and user experience need to go hand-in-hand for online bookmakers. No one disagrees with this statement, but can these two factors be combined keeping in view the need to validate the identity of bettors?

The absence of any of these aspects – security and user experience – may impair the user's view of a website and can negatively impact business results. To avoid this, the solution is to find a balance between them. 

In this post, you will learn how to combine security and user experience as well as about a series of technologies that are already available on the market to help your business in this task. Check out. 

Opt for automated methods

Adopting automated methods of fraud prevention not only help fight fraud but also optimize time spent in registering and re-authenticating users.

The automation of fraud prevention methods helps make everything more agile and practical for both the betting operator and the users who use the platform to place sports bets. An agile and friendly interface can reduce friction for users and speed up the process of onboarding and verification.

In addition to solving the problems of analyzing large volumes of data and high costs of manual operations, automation brings more technicality to identity checks, since manual processes can be subjective and prone to errors.

In parallel, the automation of fraud prevention methods contributes to the development of a more agile and user-friendly interface, which reduces friction with the user and ensures greater agility in the process of registering and re-authenticating users. 

Technologies that can help

Illustrative image to represent the proof-of-life process on a cell phone

Technology has revolutionized the fraud prevention sector and can be a great ally to help online bookmakers achieve more efficient processes, resulting in a better user experience.

The solutions are available that span the entire customer cycle – from user registration to re-authentication. We bring you some of the main technologies that can help you balance security with user experience.

Passive Life Proof

Requesting a selfie during registration or re-authentication of a user is important as a proof of life instrument and biometric analysis for identity confirmation. However, it can generate friction and annoy the bettor. The best way to reduce friction without compromising security is to opt for the passive life test method. 

Unlike the active proof of life – in which the system requests and identifies punctual movements of the face, such as a smile or a blink of an eye – the passive proof of life only requires the bettor to face the camera at the time of verification. The capture is done automatically as the system identifies the presence of the user's face. This prevents many users from feeling uncomfortable or failing to reproduce the actions required via proof of active life, which may result in abandoning the process or being disapproved.

The capture via proof of passive life undergoes a series of automated checks to verify the individual's identity. These include the use of facial biometrics to compare the captured face with pre-existing faces in public and private banks.

Specializing in identification and facial recognition, Caf is the only company in the country to have a safety certificate for its own proof-of-life technology, granted by iBeta Quality Assurance.

Semi-digital documentcopy

Another important step to confirm a user's identity and prevent fraud is requesting for an identity document. The authenticity of these identity documents can be confirmed using technology, which makes the process faster by reducing the response time to the user as compared to the manual analysis procedures.

The semi-digital documentoscopy - used at Caf - makes it possible for approximately 90% of the RGs to be evaluated by an artificial intelligence system and the remaining approximately 10%, wich represent specific cases, pass through the human eye of an expert.

At Caf, we have transformed the various rules that allow validating the authenticity of a document, into programming code. For example: one of the signs that an RG may be fraudulent is its alignment. Our system is trained to read this information automatically through the image of the document.

The system can also identify, through the photo of the ID that arrives at onboarding, whether the document has been digitally tampered with. For example, if the person uses Photoshop and edits the ID, the semi-digital documentscopy can easily detect this, something that a person, with the naked eye, might not be able to.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Requesting information to identify your users can be facilitated through the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.

OCR can extract data directly from the documents and provide the data in a structured format. This not only ensures that the user does not lose much time providing data, but also frees up the security team from manual work of typing or checking data.

The core function of OCR technology is to process a digital image by locating and recognizing characters.

To give you an idea, with the use of OCR, registrations that could take days to be validated manually, today take around 3 minutes to be completed and verified by the anti-fraud system.

From this, when registering, the user sends the photo of his or her identity document, be it ID or CNH, and the system automatically extracts the data. 

In case of invalid or illegible documents, the system itself can warn the user about the need to send a new image.

Multi-factor authentication

Another method to ensure your user's security - often invisible to the eye - is to make use of multi-factor authentication.

Briefly and simply, MFA requests additional information to prove that an already registered user is who he claims to be and, thus, prevent theft and/or hacking of accounts. 

MFA may be deployed before certain actions within a platform or application, such as accessing the account itself and/or a specific action such as a monetary transfer.

It is applied prior to performing a certain action within a platform or application, such as accessing the account itself and/or a specific action such as performing a money transfer. 

It can be enabled so that it is not even noticed by the user, through the combination of three passive methods, which work in the background and do not require any action from the user.  

They are:

  • Devices 

Capture device data namely: model, model brand, operating system and date/time.

  • Location 

We use our own geolocation service to identify where the user first authenticated from. Thus, we can stipulate a radius from where it is possible for the user to authenticate their identity.

  • Networks 

We collect the IP, the provider and the date/time of any authentication made by the user.

Background check automation

The regulation of the sports betting market will demand special attention from bookmakers due to the so-called restrictive lists with the registration of banned users. 

The good news is that there is also a way to automate this process through a tool known as background check. This tool allows you to search public and private systems to identify information, such as presence on restrictive lists, validate the registration, and quickly approve the user, without introducing unnecessary friction for the user.

An example Background Check is in the financial system where banking institutions check Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and restrictive lists, as a legal requirement to prevent crimes of money laundering or concealment, rights and values. 

The tool can certainly be a value-add for online bookmakers who want to know their users better. They can check for users’ presence on restrictive lists or criminal background, professional and financial data and much more. 

Our performance in the segment

Are you looking for a partner who can help you set up a fraud-free sports betting platform in Brazil, without neglecting the user experience? Caf is a trusted partner in Brazil where our experts focus special attention on the betting market. 

We are already helping a number of companies ensure safer user onboarding, perform background checks, and validate active users. 

Just click this link to access special content about our work in the sports betting market and how we can help your business.

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