Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Financial Services Fraud: $6,383 Average Loss Per Person

Ken Elefant over at VentureBeat makes some interesting points about credit fraud. Yes, it costs $49.3bn and $6,383 average cost per customer. But most of the "solutions" are based on data analytics and data aggregation.
The solutions they offer are typically client-server based, requiring months or even years of installation and training
. And what are banks doing according to Ken?
The reality is that banks have a hard time telling if the individual in question was a fraudster or simply someone who wouldn’t or couldn’t pay their bills. It takes work to figure it out, with the effort traditionally performed by fraud analysts working the phones to try to solve it. It’s a costly approach that hasn’t scaled well as identity fraud losses have risen in recent years.
As is the way with Blog conversations, one of the comments to that VentureBeat post is very interesting. A guy called Tom Fragala of quotes a Javelin study on customer attitudes to Fraud, and guess what, the customer sees it as their problem! In my books this means that if companies give the customer the option of adopting a fraud prevention option, they will usually buy into it. With nearly 100% of consumers carrying mobile phones, surely their is a process that can be deployed that could call a customer to ask them to validate a transaction? I don't think I would be giving the game away if I said that VoiceSage were talking to a number of financial sevice organisations about this very issue.

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Tom Fragala said...


I think that out of band authentication (i.e. phone) is an essential way to prevent online finanicial fraud. And the FFIEC (which has statutory responsibility) has mandated at least two factor authentication for financial institutions offering online banking (passwords + something else).

Many in-band options are inconvenient or easily circumvented. It seems to play into what you folks do at VoiceSage (or could do). If you can provide an API-based approach to delivering phone-based authentication, it could be huge. It won't be easy, of course. It means selling into FI's and/or building partnerships with the FI tech providers, like Digital Insight and FiServ. It's a HUGE market though.

Good luck. I like what you guys are doing. If there is anything I can do to help, don't hesitate to contact me. My contact information is on our website (Press page).

Truston (

ps. Give our myTruston ID theft protection and recovery service a try sometime. The full product launch is coming at the end of February.

Paul Sweeney said...

Hi Tom. Thanks for the comment, you're obviously smack bang in the middle of dealing with this issue. We've just had our solution tested by a major UK based bank, and it surpassed any competing solution, on all measures of evaluation. So we are very hopeful of making inroads into this space. I will indeed check out Issues of trust, identity, and presence have been to the fore of our thinking for a while now.

Tom Fragala said...

Apologize for the US centric nature of my response. Clearly going after the UK-Ireland market makes sense for you. And MyTruston is designed for the US at this stage, although there is nothing in the architecture that prevents us from supporting the UK/Ireland too.

Get your twitter mosaic here.