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Expert opinion

Fraud mitigation – sharing makes us stronger

Thursday 5 April 2018 | 08:41 AM CET

Catherine Tong explains how Accertify expanded their community data to drive better fraud decisions in the context of more frequent and sophisticated fraud attacks 

This editorial was first published in our Web Fraud Prevention and Online Authentication Market Guide 2017/2018. The Guide is a complete overview of the fraud management, digital identity verification and authentication ecosystem provided by thought leaders in the industry from leading solution providers (both established and new players) to associations and experts.

You are not alone

Ten years is a long time in the online fraud space. Although the internet has been a way for consumers to transact for much longer than this, it took time for fraud to really make a dent in company profits. As the problem has grown and fraudsters’ sophistication has increased, companies have had to balance keeping losses at bay while not impeding growth and future profitability.

It is often the case that the person responsible for fraud is a lone ranger in their company. Internal resources are often tight and training budgets are limited. It can feel incredibly daunting and lonely, especially when facing more frequent and sophisticated fraud attacks. The job can involve a lot of trial and error, but a sound foundation helps to target the focus in the right direction. This can often be sought from peers across the ecommerce world – and yes, sometimes even from competitors.

Learning and understanding what others have experienced can be incredibly powerful, whether on an ad hoc or systematic basis.

We are here for you

At Accertify, we signed our first enterprise customer ten years ago and, since then, we have focused on three core principles: Community, People and Technology. The sense of Community was initially built on the strong relationships we had with our customers, a function of our second principle: hiring respected industry experts to join our team. Starting in ticketing and quickly growing into travel, retail and financial services, we were able to connect industry peers to enable them to analyse the trends they were seeing and learn ways to mitigate them. This is a powerful forum which we continue to facilitate today on a global basis, organising industry events and discussions, which continue to add value and support industry experts who may otherwise feel they are fighting the battle alone and in the dark.

Our Managed Services team also delivers against this second principle: they are experienced professionals who have expertise across many clients and industries. This means that as they support our clients in the review of transactions, they bring with their assessments a deep understanding of emerging trends across the world and the ecommerce industry. This insight enables them to quickly spot new trends versus a fraud team operating in isolation.

As we have continued to evolve, the community concept has progressed to our third principle: Technology.

Community and technology combine to enable success

We have evolved and expanded our community data to drive better fraud decisions. Our first community data service, Accertify® Risk ID, enables companies to understand more about their customers in real-time, and to benefit from the experience of the Accertify community, even if a customer has never previously shopped with a specific company.

We continued our development with Accertify® Index which uses our machine learning capabilities to assess a combination of data elements across our participating client base in order to provide a positive or negative index of whether the customer is good or bad. Whilst community data services should not be treated as a sole indicator of fraud, both Accertify® Risk ID and Accertify® Index can be powerful tools in a fraud manager’s toolbox.

This year, we are taking our machine learning a step further by introducing industry specific community decisioning models, boosting fraud prevention performance. These models can be used in addition to risk rules and will adjust in real-time as they learn from the new transactions fed into them. The power of these shared data points means that companies can benefit from the wisdom of the crowd, understand the community’s experience with a customer and help make an informed fraud decision. This community insight provides additional confidence when assessing the risk of a new customer by incorporating millions of data points from the participating Accertify community coupled with the company’s proprietary fraud knowledge. Remember - the fraudsters are working together so businesses need to do the same. If we are not pooling resources on our side, then it is inevitable that the bad guys will be able to continue their activities undetected for longer, which increases costs and risk for any business.

About Catherine Tong

Catherine Tong is General Manager for Accertify in EMEA, leading a team of fraud specialists. With over fifteen years’ experience in fraud prevention, before joining Accertify, Catherine held various senior risk roles at retailer Tesco and PwC.


About Accertify

Accertify Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express, is a leading provider of fraud prevention, chargeback management, and payment gateway solutions to merchants’ customers spanning diverse industries worldwide. Accertify’s suite of products and services, including machine learning, help ecommerce companies grow their business by driving down the total cost of fraud and protecting their brand.