Each day, the amount of personal information available on the internet continues to grow through social media. One can hit the delete key but most of what we do online is never really deleted. The CEO of WePay, an online payment processor, posted on VentureBeat that his company is using people’s social media profiles to both verify customers and thwart potential fraudulent claims by criminals. The name for their technology is the Veda risk engine.
Bill Clerico’s post lists several reasons why his company uses social media profiles over the more commonplace credit score report and the rationale makes sense. Long standing profiles on Facebook and twitter take years to build and every time one posts something it is time stamped for the world to see. For businesses in particular, the social interactions on their sites or pages (customer reviews or friends comments) help shed light on the true nature of the company. There is no more honest review than an anonymous review online. For WePay, this method has cut down on the expense of running credit checks/social security numbers for new customers and it provides them with a detailed profile of the people and the companies they do business with. Additionally, WePay claims they been able to stop more than $30 million in attempted fraud.
In a related article on Pando Daily, the author took this same idea of using a social media footprint for business background checks a step further. He is fictionalizing a future where companies like banks and telephone providers use a person’s social media history to gauge the future creditworthiness of that customer. For me, this idea is a bit too futuristic. Taking a few inappropriate pictures in college is not a good indicator of one’s potential to default on a home loan.
1) Do you think companies will eventually use social media behavior to determine one’s financial stability?
2) Are we dooming ourselves by sharing so much information?
3) Why wouldn’t other companies want to use social media to verify information?