IDNow has shared some statistics that reflect the behavioral changes people have made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, the Verification-as-a-Service provider notes that there has been a dramatic increase in the total number of verification requests, which has gone up 26.8 percent since Europe started adopting social distancing measures at the end of February.
According to IDNow, those numbers are not particularly surprising given the circumstances. Since people can no longer drop into their local bank, they are now forced to conduct more business online. That, in turn, has increased the overall demand for authentication services.
People are also choosing to handle their financial affairs at different times. Before the onset of COVID-19, the peak time for identity verification requests was from 5-6pm, which roughly corresponds to the time that most people get off from work. However, people are no longer bound to that schedule in a work-from-home environment. Peak hours are now between 2 and 3pm, though authentication requests are more evenly distributed throughout the workday. By the same token, there has been a general shift from weekend to weekday activity.
The changes are especially pronounced in a few select industries. The number of cryptocurrency-related transactions has skyrocketed in the past few weeks, going up 73.8 percent (in comparison to the 26.8 percent overall figure). Digital loan applications have similarly gone up 40 percent, which speaks to the impact that the coronavirus has had on people’s income and financial prospects.
While the increased volume is expected, it does emphasize the need for strong identity verification services. Organizations like Yubico and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have warned consumers about the growing threat of social engineering attacks, while BioCatch has noted that fraud can be more difficult to spot when there is more remote activity and everyone’s normal habits have been disrupted.
April 14, 2020 – by Eric Weiss