Data security and accuracy are of the utmost importance anytime sensitive information is handled, especially in the employment and income verification field. Beyond being secure and accurate, data must also be accessible to those who need it. In the case of employment and income verification, employees, employers, and lenders all need access to information.
While the first article of this two-part series explored data security, accuracy, and comprehensiveness, this second part will look at data accessibility as it pertains to employment and income verification.
Online Access to Data
The most common and convenient way to retrieve your required data as a verifier is through an online portal. While this portal has been historically available to verifiers specifically, it progressively expands access to employers and their employees.
Data security is, of course, a paramount concern anytime sensitive details are accessed online. Verification service providers must have the means to block malicious attacks, and they also need to provide employees, employers, and lenders with safe ways to access relevant records. Data security isn’t a perk or luxury — it’s a necessity that every verification service provider must address (see the first part of this series).
Security should not have to compromise accessibility. Employees, employers, and lenders need convenient and safe ways to log into portals. This is especially an issue when multiple pins are required for a login.
Employees, Employers, and Lenders’ Need for Online Access
Eliminating the use of unnecessary pins is in the interest of employees, employers, and lenders for these reasons:
- Employees don’t need to spend time contacting their employer’s HR department, which might require being on hold when calling or waiting a day for an email response.
- Employers don’t have to spend personnel time providing a simple item, and they can reduce the number of calls/emails that HR receives.
- Lenders typically have less of an issue using pins themselves because they regularly request data and are more likely to have the required login information readily available. When a vendor uses “salary codes,” it requires the employee to know and release this code/pin to the verifier. This requires employee training and interaction, creating frustration by the employee, questions to HR, payroll, and vendor staff, and a slowdown of the process. Many firms sidestep these issues by assigning employees pins that are the last four numbers of their SSN or their DOB. These “default” codes are known by the industry and do not truly prove employee authorization, as lenders know to try these values, bypassing the employee. Lenders don’t want to wait for employers to provide the pins that employees need, however. These delays can be avoided by not using excessive pins — sometimes, it can take an entire business day until pins are used.
With today’s technology, secure logins can be set up without the use of extraneous pin numbers.
Phone Access to Data
With a quality employment and income verification service, 99 percent of inquiries will be immediately accessible upon portal login. The employment history, full income (including vacation pay, stock income, etc.), and other pertinent details will all be available and accurate thanks to continual scrubbing and quality checks.
The need for further details or to correct an uncommon error can’t be ruled out, though, and that’s when phone access is needed. When a mistake is noticed, the easiest and fastest way to correct it is by talking with a representative at the verification service.
Most verification services have phone numbers that employees, employers, and lenders are all able to call, but some services don’t make it easy. Many services’ call centers are only available during business hours, which makes correcting errors difficult for employees with 9-to-5 jobs who can’t call while working. Hold times can also be long, sometimes taking hours, and no employee, employer, or lender has extra time to waste while listening to bad music.
At Experian, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of phone support service. Our hold times tend to be less than a minute — many calls are answered by a person 30 seconds after the phone’s first ring. Our Customer Support team looks to alleviate the overflow calls that have historically fallen on internal Human Resource Departments to answer.
We’re similarly proud of our ability to resolve inaccuracies quickly. Whereas other service providers can take hours or days to fix errors, we have a typical turnaround time of less than 30 minutes. In the less than 0.01 percent of cases where we do have an inaccuracy, it’s normally corrected just a few minutes from initially reporting the issue.
Giving Access to Employees, Employers, and Lenders
The employment and income verification industry has historically catered to lenders and, to a lesser extent, employers. Now is the time to change that. We’re pursuing greater accessibility at Experian. We offer easy and fast access to records both online and over the phone, which is extended to lenders, employers, and employees. It’s time to give everyone the access they need.