Key Criteria when Evaluating Business Verification Solutions

By Steve Craig on March, 18 2024
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Key Criteria when Evaluating Business Verification Solutions
Steve Craig
Steve Craig

In my first two guest posts, I highlighted the business risk of ineffective business verification and uncovered the common fraud and scams found in marketplaces. In this final post of the series, I share key criteria when evaluating business verification solutions.

Assessing your Needs

Before diving into discovery calls with business verification solution providers, it's important to assess the unique needs of your marketplace. Gartner notes that 77% of buyers of B2B solutions indicate the process is complex or difficult. You can ease the process by better evaluating your business needs.

 

Firmographics and Volumes: Your verification process will depend heavily on your marketplace's target audience and participants. Do you need to verify individuals or individuals and businesses? What jurisdictions do you serve? What types of businesses do you need to verify? Are there unique licenses or certifications that must be verified? How many verifications are you conducting each month? 

 

Data: Based on your firmographics and ecosystem it is equally important to understand your data input and processing needs. What data capture is required? What kind of coverage are you looking for? How critical is freshness and accuracy? What match rates are you targeting for compliance purposes? Are there any unique data privacy or security requirements?

 

Business Requirements: It is important to align with your internal business stakeholders on overall requirements. How are you currently managing compliance, risk, and trust? Are you leveraging manual review? How is remediation handled? How are changes in risk or business signals monitored and tracked?

 

Fraud & Risk: In my last blog post, I covered common fraud and scams. Is your marketplace experiencing any of those attacks? Do you understand your fraud loss numbers, the number of incidents, and how long it takes to discover the attacks? If your marketplace is new or is deploying a new category, it is important to forecast ways your systems may be abused by bad actors.

 

Workflow & Integration: Ultimately, business verification is the entry point to your marketplace but it is not the final destination. It is important to evaluate your processes end-to-end to ensure the data collected in the onboarding journey can seamlessly integrate into your other back-office systems and processes. What system-to-system connections or integrations do you need? How do you want to work with a solution provider? Do you need an API or fully hosted no-code integration? If you’re using a hosted user interface, what customizations or branding do you expect?

 

Key Criteria

After you’ve assessed your needs, you’re ready to start evaluating business verification solutions. Each of the following criteria plays a role in the discovery, evaluation, and selection process to ensure you achieve optimal effectiveness, reliability, and user satisfaction in your business verification process.

 

Customer Experience

Today’s users expect quick and hassle-free onboarding processes. Business verification is no exception. A solution that is too cumbersome can result in too much friction and drop-off. When evaluating solution providers, ask about their verification success rates, drop-off, conversion, and other statistics that represent ease of use.

 

ProTip: Ask for case studies with comparable results from marketplaces similar to yours. Better yet, ask for statistics or feedback from the businesses being verified themselves.

 

Comprehensive Coverage

An effective business verification solution should have extensive connections to authoritative data sources. The solution provider should be capable of verifying a wide range of business entities, legal status, licenses, insurance, and potential business risks. Not all sources are available programmatically so also understand how batch or manual sources are consumed. 

 

ProTip: Compare your business verification and compliance needs to the types of authoritative data sources that the solution provider offers. Some solution providers don’t provide a list of all data sources so in turn ask for the categories and jurisdictions covered.

 

One-time & Ongoing Monitoring

The core job to be done of a business verification solution is to accurately verify the legitimacy of businesses and identify potential risks at onboarding. Yet, business legitimacy and risk change over time. Make sure you evaluate the solution provider’s ability to maintain verifications over time including ongoing monitoring and alerting.

 

ProTip: Prioritize verifying legitimacy, operational status, and compliance with regulations but also evaluate the freshness of the data sources and the frequency of ongoing checks.

 

Support Tooling

Your solution provider should offer robust automated workflows and real-time verification. However, there may be risk scenarios that require manual review or human intervention. If your organization plans to handle these situations in-house, ask about back office or administrative tools. Some solution providers will also provide end-user verification support which can help maximize your success rates as your volumes scale.

 

ProTip: Strive for a fully automated verification experience but realize the business verification lifecycle is complex and may require manual intervention. Try to evaluate manual review rates and determine if you’ll handle in-house or leverage the solution provider’s services.

 

Integration Options

Finally, evaluate the solution's Total Cost of Ownership by understanding integration options. When starting, perhaps a no-code, hosted solution is best for your organization. Over time, your organization may decide it needs more control of your user experience and an integrated, API-driven solution is better.

 

ProTip: Understand your ideal integration approach and evaluate options for the future. Migration from one solution to another is a painful process with business impacts. Selecting a solution provider with multiple integration options helps future-proof your selection.

 

Wrap-up

Choosing the right business verification solution for your marketplace involves understanding the make vs. buy tradeoffs, a careful assessment of your needs, and considering key criteria that ensure reliability, compliance, and a great user experience. 

 

By focusing on these aspects, you can establish a trusted and secure marketplace environment that instills confidence and promotes positive commercial relationships.

 


This guest post was written by Steve Craig,  Founder & Chief Enablement Officer at PEAK IDV.  Steve is on a mission to enable 10,000 people to become experts in digital identity.SPEAK TO MESH

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