The Benefits of Real-Time Data Pulls vs. Flat File Feeds
Does your income and employment verification partner have access to real-time data pulls? Or is your HR department still partnering with a vendor that uses the “send and store” or flat file model of employee data sharing, which only refreshes data once a week (or even less)? The flat file model is still incredibly common, but it’s seriously outdated – by more than 20 years. Today’s modern solution to employee data sharing is an API integration with your human resource information system (HRIS), which minimizes data storage outside of your control. The benefits of an API integration include:
- Limited data exposure. With an API, your employment and income verifications vendor pulls a single employee record at a time to fulfill an authorized request. The flat file model requires an employer to send a flat file to the VOI/VOE vendor periodically. Those files, each of which includes a full data set, can be sent as often as every week, two weeks, or month, exposing your employee data over and over again. The API model also prevents your vendor from repackaging and reselling employee data beyond what your employees originally consented to, a common and tempting practice when vendors have broader access to your data.
- Real-time employment and income details. Every employee record is accurate up to the minute when pulled by an API; not so with flat files, which are outdated as soon as they’re sent. This is particularly helpful for new employees who need to move for their job and must buy a home or car right away, or for mortgage lenders who need updated income or employment details on the day of closing.
- Better compliance with new regulations. When you send a flat file to your income and employment verification vendor, you’re no longer in control of it – and you can’t be certain that that data remains confidential. An API ensures that only individual data records are ever shared. That means you can be confident that your organization is in compliance with state laws that prohibit the use or sharing of employee data without their consent.
- Total control and supervision of data usage. Vault Verify’s API integration is designed to give you complete ownership over the data-sharing process. You can see how each real-time data record is used and who it’s shared with, and can authorize and restrict access as needed.
- Time savings. HR departments no longer need to package up and send flat files to their vendor every week. They also stop receiving calls from verifiers who pulled outdated information; verifiers are guaranteed to get the right information every time with an API model.
When you’re evaluating income and employment verification partners, it’s crucial to understand which method they use to collect and store your employee data so you can reap all the benefits of real-time data pulls. Ask your vendor these five questions to make sure they’re using the most secure and up-to-date API technology:
- Will I need to send you a full data file periodically? You’ll never have to do this with an API integration.
- Does your contract clearly outline the permissible uses of our employee data? If the agreement allows for “other vendor platforms” to access the data, be wary and ask more questions. What platforms? What services do they provide? Your partner should be able to specify the actual use of your data and their answer should be 100% appropriate for your needs – not theirs.
- What are your data retention policies? All vendors should delete individual data records as soon as they’ve completed the verification, and all data should be destroyed upon termination of your contract.
- What other business lines are part of your organization? Be wary if your vendor engages in other businesses that could benefit financially from your employee data, or if there are any financial incentives for your vendor to use your data for anything other than VOIs and VOEs.
- Who owns our employee data? When you transfer data to your vendor, do you still own it? Your company and its employees are best protected when they maintain full ownership and control over their data, but not all vendors will agree to these terms. Seek a partner that will agree to simply provide a service utilizing your data, without taking ownership of it.
To find out more about how Vault Verify’s state-of-the-art API integration can benefit your organization, schedule a 30-minute demo.