The last post included a poll asking how utilities handle allowing  customers to apply for service online.

Completing the process in the office

Based on the poll results, most utilities still require the application process to be completed in their office. This is in spite of the fact that a majority of those utilities have an application form which can be downloaded or completed online.

Applying online

The only poll choice with no votes was “Applicants can complete the application process online, but must come to our office to show ID.”

Three of the responding utilities allow the entire application process to be completed online without requiring the customer to show ID.

Red Flags Rule policy compliance

As we explored in a previous post, guarding against fraud in the application process is one of the key components of a Red Flags Rule policy. In order to verify the customer’s identity, most utilities require applicants to show photo ID and proof of residency (lease agreement or closing documents) for the address at which they are applying for service.

Which leads to the question – if the applicant isn’t required to show photo ID, how do these utilities confirm their identity?