Traditional fraud prevention technology has some glaring blind spots, and fraudsters know full well how to exploit them.
In this Q&A, hear from Erin Englund, threat analyst at BioCatch, about how the latest fraud prevention solutions are using behavioral data to stop new account fraud. Having worked in the industry for more than 15 years, Englund knows just how important it is to balance strong fraud detection with frictionless digital experiences.
Tell us a little about your professional background and your role at BioCatch.
Erin Englund: I am a Threat Analyst for BioCatch; my current role is working directly with BioCatch customers to help them understand how to incorporate our risk scores into their workflows and how to use some of our other tools to identify fraud patterns and reduce friction to false positives.
Previously, I was in a similar role with CyberSource, working with eCommerce merchants to mitigate CNP fraud, and prior to that I worked for eBay in account creation fraud and ATO prevention. I have been a fraud prevention professional for the last 15 years with past experience working with eCommerce companies to mitigate CNP fraud, and account opening fraud and ATO prevention.
How is the world of threat analytics at BioCatch different than other companies?
Englund: Since we’re working with technology that is fairly new to the industry, there is a lot of discovery as we go. In previous roles, I always found huge blind spots in the fraud prevention technology we used. It would be virtually impossible to stop fraudsters, since they were dialed into traditional fraud prevention solutions.
Adding new resources to the fraud stack was often cost-prohibitive or risked adding an unacceptable level of false positives or friction to genuine customers. Having the ability to share this whole new world of information with our customers is really exciting, especially when we’re able to share an emerging fraud trend they’re missing and can help them validate genuine customers without adding unnecessary friction.
From your perspective, what are the main cybersecurity challenges our customers are facing?
Englund: In the US and other markets, identity theft and synthetic identity are really driving account opening fraud. BioCatch has proven effective in identifying users who are entering personal information that is unfamiliar to them. Often times, it becomes obvious a fraudster is working directly from a list of presumably stolen identity information to enter it into online applications.
Can you tell us about an interesting fraud case from one of your clients and how BioCatch was able to help?
Englund: BioCatch was able to detect a new account creation fraud ring for one our clients with 97.5% accuracy, which contributed to a significant portion of their overall fraud. This was accomplished by our ability to identify the following risky behaviors: low familiarity with personal information – identified by behaviors that indicate short term vs. long term memory use to enter data; high familiarity with the client’s site and application form, which was not typical behavior for their general populace; and behaviors tied to known criminal activity. This fraud trend made up 1.67% of their total new account application traffic and accounted for 24.51% of their total confirmed fraud.
Tell us a little about how behavioral biometric analyses resonate with prospective customers. How is this different from other technologies?
Englund: The technology provides so much more information about customer activity, especially when compared with more traditional fraud detection methods. More information is always valuable when companies are faced with the decision to determine the validity of a customer.
Other fraud prevention solutions I’ve worked with have had to accept that a portion of their fraud will result in loss and their genuine customers will be subject to some level of friction. Depending on the industry, the friction may be expected by the customer or enough of an inconvenience to drive them to a competitor. For example, customers are willing to accept some friction to securely log into their bank accounts, but customers shopping online are expecting an increasingly seamless checkout experience.
What makes BioCatch's solution superior in today's marketplace?
Englund: We collect a lot of behavioral data – information that many fraud solutions are not even considering. Behavioral biometrics has proven to beat many of the other, more prevalent solutions available in the industry today.
There are major blind spots in other technologies, and I believe BioCatch’s solution effectively fills those gaps. Additionally, our ability to separate genuine customer behavior is a huge cost-saving benefit for customers. Providing the ability to validate customer behavior without added friction, is what I believe is our biggest advantage.
Where do you think behavioral biometrics is going in the next five years?