CARY – In an effort to cut down on identify fraud, SAS is teaming up with ThreatMetrix, a LexisNexis firm, to offer financial institutions a technology solution the partners say will help improve identification of people making online credit applications.

The effort targets fraud, identify theft, and what they call “synthetic identities.”

“Banks are struggling with authentication measures and strategies across enterprises, knowing they must somehow strike that critical balance between security and customer convenience,” said James Ruotolo, director of Product Management and Product Marketing for Fraud and Security Intelligence at SAS, in the partnership announcement.

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“Who is really applying for credit on the other side of that phone, tablet or computer? That’s a billion-dollar question for the industry, which knows the foundation of fraud prevention is understanding true identity.”

ThreatMetrix has created a Digital Identity Network which already monitors 110 million transactions a day from more than 6,000 customers. SAS has its own fraud detection capabilities. Artificial intelligence will give the combined solution “context” in determining identities, the companies explained.

“According to our network data, one in nine new online account applications is fraudulent,” said Leah Evanski, vice president of Alliances at ThreatMetrix. “The ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network’s cross-industry, global shared intelligence, combined with SAS’ industry-leading fraud detection solutions, will give customers a tremendous advantage in identifying fraudulent applicants and enabling a better experience for everyone else.”