As a father-son founding team, Brett and Alex Shockley set their sights out on creating a product that makes it easier for contact center agents to prove the identity of who they interact with behind the phone without trading security and user experience: Journey.

The company recently announced a new way to verify customer identity and secure digital customer interactions using a “Zero Knowledge” network-based approach. Zero Knowledge proofs have been trending since 2018, popularized by the rise of blockchain technology, though not all solutions rely on blockchain implementations.

Journey’s platform aims to address privacy, security and customer experience, helping to unlock improvements in customer satisfaction, fraud prevention and major operational and cost efficiencies for business.

Few mainstream large scale applications have adopted Zero Knowledge proofs, Journey aims to change this.

“I came to the realization that if we could use verified identity as the Root of Trust in the relationship between the consumer and the business, then we could make it simple to build trusted digital relationships between consumers and businesses,” says Journey CEO Brett Shockley.

Utilizing Zero Knowledge for Verification

Zero Knowledge is a cryptographic concept that allows an individual to prove something to be true without revealing the details. Journey brings this technique to agent-caller interactions leveraging the customer’s smartphone and existing enterprise mobile app to make it possible to request, verify and share sensitive details, from a Social Security Number to a credit card payment, with the agent seeing only a pass/fail on their screen.

Using the Zero Knowledge approach, no sensitive personal information is directly share with, or is seen by, an agent or the contact center infrastructure. The agent only sees that attestations of personal information has been confirmed. This is helpful for at-home agents to ensure compliance with all regulations such as privacy, security and payments. In addition, enterprises can save money on fraud prevention, regulatory compliance and time previously used on establishing old identity and security methods.

“Verified identity is at the core of a Trusted Digital Relationship between a business and their customers, yet it has been, for the most part, a broken process. Companies waste a customer’s time with a lot of silly questions that provide little security, broadly expose their data to contact center agents, copy their data into databases that are honeypots for hackers, and spend millions of dollars on a patchwork quilt of technology and process Band-Aids,” says Shockley. “We took a step back and fundamentally rethought the approach, inventing a Zero Knowledge network solution that cares for a customer’s information while making it simple to use it to deliver a highly personalized and streamlined customer experience throughout the customer journey lifecycle.”

The Increasing Demand for Zero Knowledge

With over 1 million contact center agents now working from home in the U.S. due to COVID-19, the need for identity verification has increased with agents receiving credit card and health data while sitting at their kitchen tables. Journey’s solution aims to eliminate that risk, and streamline operations by cutting at least one minute out of the average call, depending on the type of interaction.

For example, a new account creation at a financial institution can take days or weeks with significant back and forth. By contrast, Journey’s solution enables that same account to be opened in less than 5 minutes because the platform and Zero Knowledge network enable identity verification, document verification, digital signatures, and payment processing all in the same interaction.

“When you call into a call center, they start asking you silly questions pertaining to knowledge-based authentication,” says Shockley. “They’ll verify things that make you squirm, like a social security number or other pieces of information, like your credit card number, that you really aren’t sure you want to give, given especially that it’s an overseas call center that’s outsourced.”

Businesses who have invested in identity point solutions are able to integrate them onto Journey’s platform which can be deployed with or without an enterprise mobile app, solving business needs such as trusted identity during agent-customer interactions and transactions.

Journey’s identity solution is currently being sold by contact center platforms, integrators and reseller and technology partners to customers in financial services, business process outsourcing, retail and more.

The Future of Digital Identity for Journey

By verifying digital identity, businesses can trust that their customer is exactly who they say they are. They have a new tool to establish trust in transactions of value in the online world, making it a potential cornerstone of a business’s digital transformation and mobile-first initiatives.

“We’ve found that there are many use cases where Journey’s solution could make sense. Essentially, any interaction when it’s essential to know exactly who is present: highly secure video meetings, secure telehealth appointments, legal consultations,” says Mark Bakies, Vice President of Product Management at Journey. “Hopefully things like the census or voting could use this technology to change the world.”

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