There’s nothing quite like the pain of renting a car, even under normal circumstances. COVID-19 has only added new headaches.
But Silvercar is different. They’ve been making the car rental experience as painless (and touchless) as possible since their launch back in 2012.
As a “first-of-its-kind” tech-enabled rental fleet, Forbes touted Silvercar as the “Car rental service of the future” and complemented their operators on the seamless rental process, “Booking and checking in with Silvercar [...] takes only a bit more effort than calling an Uber.” A true differentiator in an otherwise painful customer rental journey.
Even with an already smooth customer journey, Silvercar knew there was room for improvement, both in terms of the customer experience and their internal operations.
Before working with Berbix, Silvercar concierges would manually inspect every renter’s drivers license. Concierges would check that the renter was of-age, and the information on the ID matched both the credit card and profile information the renter provided. If everything looked good, Silvercar would charge the renter’s card and hand them the keys to a silver Audi.
Renting Audis, however, isn’t exactly a no-risk business. Silvercar ran into difficulties with cars being rented under stolen credit cards, cars being rented for a day and returned three weeks later, and cars being outright stolen. Worse yet, there wasn’t a clear way to deter these bad actors.
“We saw people coming in with very legit looking cards, and not always from in-state. We didn’t know what to look for on all these licenses.”
This lack of expertise put Silvercar’s concierges in a difficult position. They didn’t always have time to thoroughly inspect people’s credentials, so they missed obvious fraud signals. Secondly, they lacked the competency to determine when someone was providing falsified information, so it was often unreasonable to turn renters away even if something did seem suspect.
Silvercar tried putting in place an early warning system based on patterns they’d seen result in theft or fraud. If a renter matched a certain pattern of behavior, they would request a utility bill in the renter’s name to further verify their identity. The problem here was twofold. First, for well-intentioned renters who coincidentally fit a suspicious pattern of behavior, this request was aggravating and went against the grain of Silvercar’s otherwise exceptionally smooth service. Second, it didn’t actually do much to stem fraud. Fraudsters were still renting cars in their own names, and had no problems providing utility bills when asked.
To thwart these persistent scammers once and for all, to reduce the troublesome guesswork for their concierges, and to simultaneously improve the check-in experience for their customers, Silvercar turned to Berbix.
They implemented our fully automated ID checks to remove the error-prone guesswork, and they added our selfie and liveness verifications to act as the ultimate deterrent to anyone intent on pulling a fast one on Silvercar.
“It’s working perfectly”
“One of our hypotheses going in was: we’re going to send these verifications to fraudsters, and they are just going to drop out of the funnel entirely. They’re not going to want to take a photo of their face, and they’re not going to show up to rent the car. So we’re not going to have to deal with them at all.”
This hypothesis has proven to be true. Silvercar has had fewer attempts at fraud since implementing Berbix, and when someone has tried to defraud them, fewer of those incidents have resulted in stolen cars.
“There was an incident in New York where someone went through the process, and Berbix prevented him from moving forward because the ID and the selfie didn’t match. He then tried to rent in other markets with different IDs. The General Manager in New York was able to share the signaling transaction with other offices to give them a heads up, and we prevented this guy from renting.”
For Silvercar’s operations team, defensive wins like this mean less stress for their concierges, less time filing police reports, and fewer stolen cars.
Touchless Peace of Mind
Silvercar started working with Berbix prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, but has since expanded its roll-out to provide a contactless experience for its customers and staff. Aside from promoting public health, Silvercar has seen significant benefits to how Berbix fits in with the experience they want to provide customers.
“It’s a great customer experience. We have a cool app that enables you to seamlessly unlock the car, and Berbix is more in line with that experience of our brand than handing over your ID.”