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Differentiating Your Business as a SECURE Auto Rental Company

Allie Hix

To stay competitive in the Auto Rental Industry it is essential that the renting process is fast, smooth, and seamless for your customers. With over 15,000 car rental businesses in the USA alone, the market is more flooded than ever before. The task for auto rental companies is a precarious juggle of keeping things as convenient as possible for the consumer while avoiding leaving themselves susceptible to devastating fraud and car theft. On top of protecting themselves from fraud, how can car rental companies help alleviate frustrations and damages to consumers who have been a victims of identity theft?

Let’s first start by examining the process of renting a car.

 

What is required to rent a vehicle?

While it varies by each individual rental company, there are a few standard requirements to rent a car that many include on their websites. Such as:

  • To be 25 years of age or older (or pay additional fees if you are under 25)
  • A valid driver's license with a photo
  • A Credit or Debit Card

Some rental companies do include additional requirements on their websites, such as:

  • Providing evidence of full auto coverage/insurance or purchase insurance from the rental company.
  • Acceptable driving record
  • Some do not take Debit Cards or if they do, they ask for further documentation such as:
    • A round-trip airline ticket, e-ticket, or travel itinerary to or from the airport of rental, disclosing a return date and showing the renter's name
    • A valid U.S. passport or current U.S. military identification card
    • A current vehicle insurance card
    • A current copy (within the last 60 days) of the customer's cellular phone bill, home telephone bill, bank statement or utility bill

Yet, even with these requirements, vehicles can still be stolen by fraudster posing as a genuine car renter. The FBI reported that $7.4 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft in 2020, a 11.8% increase from the previous year. While the financial loss of a stolen car is devastating for many, for an Auto Rental Company the real loss is one of opportunity. Each car missing from your fleet is one less rental deal made. In 2021, online searches for rentals cars were up 243% compared with 2020. In juxtaposition, the supply chain shortages have left rental companies understocked and unable to keep up with the demands of the consumers. Even one missing car can result in devastating business losses.

 

Fraud and Rental Car Companies

Several news reports tell of fraudsters thwarting the systems in place. In September of 2021, a Las Vegas woman was arrested on identity theft charges in a scheme to steal a rental car. In October of that same year, a man in San Antonio was accused of using fake IDs to steal multiple cars from dealerships and auto rental companies alike. It is unknown how many vehicles had been stolen before he was finally caught. Some state governments have taken action in recent years to speed up the process of bringing these criminals to justice. For example, in 2019 the Governor of California signed in a law allowing car rental companies to more quickly report a vehicle stolen or obtained illicitly due to fraud.

But catching a fraudster AFTER they’ve stolen your vehicle means you’ve still lost out on valuable transactions. What steps can your business take BEFORE the crime has had the chance to be committed?

 

Know-Your-Customer: Identity Authentication

By authenticating the identity of the person renting the vehicle, you can prevent crucial losses and avoid bad press that could be generated by negative customer experiences due to fraud. With UVeritech’s PALIDIN solution, identity authentication is easy, fitting seamlessly into your current operations. By providing this hassle-free method, customers get the same quick experience, and your business can rest easy knowing your customer is who they say they are.

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For a stationary setup, simple insert the ID into one of our sophisticated ID readers. From there, the ID reader will send the data to the PALIDIN software on your laptop or desktop and several tests will be run against the ID. A result from these tests will quickly be shown on the screen letting you know if the ID is in fact real and valid.

Accept ID documents from potential renters online? No problem! Our WebID platform allows you to send a prompt to your customers phone. They will then be walked through a process to photograph their ID as well as take a “live” selfie of themselves. Tests will be run against the ID and a comparison between the photo on the ID and the person in the selfie is completed as well. A pass or fail result will be sent directly to your business. In the case of a fail result, you’ll be glad to know you’ve successfully avoided a fraudulent transaction.

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In many cases, fraudsters will back out of a transaction BEFORE completion when they see the security measures your business has in place. Additionally, customers will feel safer knowing you have the processes in place to prevent identity thieves from taking advantage of stolen IDs.

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