Online Fraud Prevention: Scaling for Singles Day — and Beyond

Posted November 8, 2017

Online Fraud Prevention: Scaling for Singles Day — and Beyond

We scaled for “Singles Day,” so you don’t have to.

The fourth-quarter selling season is about to get underway – beginning with China’s Singles Day on November 11. However, the excitement over this upcoming sales boon comes amid expectations for record-breaking cybercrime attacks that threaten to push many retailers’ online fraud prevention capabilities to the breaking point.

Whether it’s Singles Day or one of the other major shopping holidays to come, the winners in this all-important retail bonanza will be those that can handle what could be jaw-dropping transaction volumes without compromising security. The good news for businesses looking for help this season and beyond: We’ve got you covered.

The New Realities of Retail

For those keeping track heading into Saturday’s “Singles Day” extravaganza, the numbers can be dizzying.

Ask yourself this: Could your eCommerce and anti-fraud systems handle $17.8 billion in transactions, with as much as 82 percent of them coming from mobile, between now and January 3? That’s what Alibaba did in just 24 hours during last year’s “11-11” event — $1 billion of it in just the first five minutes.

What’s behind Alibaba’s vision? As founder and CEO Jack Ma tells Forbes, “Ecommerce is rapidly evolving into the ‘New Retail’.” Those who compete will possess the core commerce, cloud, logistics and other capabilities to grow profitably and securely online.

But it’s that last part—security—that threatens to hobble many ambitions, global and otherwise. After all, online retailers are in the business of selling goods, not developing world-class cybersecurity, right? Either way, they’re still going to need it.

Global Threat Warning

Today, cybercriminals leverage a constant stream of stolen identity credentials to hijack customer accounts and pilfer saved-on-file credit cards. By some estimates, 10 million personal identity files per day were compromised during the first half of 2017.

In a post-breach world, businesses without advanced mechanisms to verify identities don’t have any way of knowing who they’re doing business with on their sites and mobile apps.

Factor in credentials-testing bots that can make up to 90 percent of traffic during peaks in seasonal attacks, and it could mean falling victim to the kind of cybercrime that has already led to $3.4 trillion in losses worldwide.

The fact is, traditional forms of user identity assessment and authentication have no way of distinguishing between a legitimate customer and a fraudster if they’re both using valid credentials. For many retailers caught in the onslaught, financial losses increase due to stolen assets. Chargebacks surge. Manual fraud reviews slow operations to a crawl. And revenue opportunities for entire geographic regions are just shut off for fear of sky-high fraud risk.

But a breakthrough technology from ThreatMetrix is designed to change all that.

Scaling for Your Success

ThreatMetrix ID is a cloud-based, SaaS solution that enables businesses of all kinds to rapidly scale fraud-proof authentication to suit their specific ambitions.

For the first time ever, online retailers can leverage unique, anonymized customer identifiers that enable them to make thousands of trust and identity decisions instantly and accurately at the point of each transaction. With ThreatMetrix ID, authentication isn’t based solely on login credentials. Rather, it’s based on more than 750 dynamic data elements that cannot be lost or stolen.

The culmination of nine years of investment and leading-edge work, ThreatMetrix ID pinpoints individuals and all the related, known attributes connected to them, including online and offline data on their devices, email addresses, IP addresses, payment card info, accounts, ship-to addresses and more.

All of this data is amassed through the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network, which processes more than 75 million daily transactions — up to 5,000 per second — across 40,000 websites and mobile apps in 249 countries around the world.

Our ongoing data science and machine learning investments in the Digital Identity Graph connect all these disparate attributes and expresses them as a unique identifier for each of the 1.4 billion consumers within the network.

In doing so, we ensure 100-percent anonymity for the identifier and the underlying data through data tokenization to protect consumer privacy.

All of this happens through a global data center network that harnesses massive computing power to ensure real-time identity assessment and authentication with unprecedented fault tolerance and scale.

What Does It Mean for Businesses?

In a world where competitors joust for every dollar, ThreatMetrix is uniquely able to help retailers capture a disproportionate share of business without needing to staff up fraud departments, much less build out global identity assessment and authentication systems on the scale of what only ThreatMetrix has achieved.

Businesses are able to provide a consistent experience across customer touchpoints, spanning new account openings, logins, payments and beyond. Legitimate customers are instantly recognized, even if it’s their first time using the retailer’s site or mobile app. Fraudsters are blocked at the front door, even if they’re using valid credentials. Plus, it all happens instantly, without causing user friction.

Demand spikes can be accommodated during the normal course of business without disrupting return customers. An elegantly fast and convenient experience will inspire return visits even while attracting new customers. And legitimate orders can freely flow in from any region, even from those considered high risk.

Which means retailers can achieve profitable growth without compromising security—at any scale they require. In fact, with that kind of unfair advantage, they may one day even give Alibaba a run for its money.

 To learn more about ThreatMetrix ID and how it can help your business achieve seamless digital business globally, check out this exclusive white paper on ThreatMetrix ID, here.

Andreas Baumhof

Andreas Baumhof

Chief Technology Officer, ThreatMetrix

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