Fraud & Security Mobile Payments: CakePay Is Eating the World

Cheesecake photo

As a payments professional with a sweet tooth, the name is as good as it gets: CakePay, the mobile payment app rolled out by The Cheesecake Factory a few months ago. CakePay is more yummy-sounding than the virtuous ApplePay, but not quite as good as CookiePay, which I’m sure is in development somewhere. Ignoring the risks of myocardial infarction from a slice of Toasted Marshmallow S’mores Galore cheesecake, I decided to take CakePay for a spin. And it was great. CakePay is easy to use, fun, and it made my restaurant checkout experience far more enjoyable. Here’s a quick summary of how it works (a more in-depth description can be found here): Install CakePay on your iPhone or Android phone and add your preferred payment card to it. At the restaurant, press the “Check In” and the app generates a four-digit code, which you show to your server. Your server... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance How Stanford Is Using Analytics to Detect Fraud and Abuse

Stanford logo

A new article in eCampus News reveals how Stanford University is solving a Big Data problem using FICO analytics. “How do you identify fraud, waste, and abuse when your procurement office handles more than a million transactions a year and $2.2 billion in disbursements?” the article asks. “Manually, if you’re Stanford University, just like most institutions of higher education do. But, faced with a changing audit landscape, the California school is now looking to analytics to help detect transaction irregularities.” Stanford is using FICO Falcon Assurance Navigator to analyse each transaction that requires a payment from Stanford. The university is now in phase two of the project, which will apply FICO’s machine learning technology. “What’s really exciting is that it’s going to look at receipts, images, and very unstructured data, and begin to make sense of them,” Ben Moreno, chief procurement officer for Stanford, told the eCampus News. “It will start... [Read More]

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Customer Engagement Getting Checking Fee Management Right

Getting Checking Fee Management Right - featured image blog

Fees are an important and often misunderstood part of checking accounts. Management of checking account fees is often scrutinized by regulatory agencies and the public. A review of the CFPB’s Complaint Database and the CFPB’s 2015 Consumer Response Annual Report shows the impact of poorly managed fee programs on consumers and the banking industry. How do you know if you are effectively managing fees? Ask yourself these questions: Are your policies easy to understand and consistently implemented by your front-line personnel? Is your fee waiver approach based on relationship and risk, or do you have a one-size-fits all approach to fee waivers and fee reversals? Are your policies easy to understand and consistently implemented? Let’s discuss the “easy to understand” part of this question first. The fee policies in place must be easy to understand for your customers as well as your staff. Your front-line employees should understand the fees that... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance Meet the New Financial Crime Sheriff: Analytics

Sheriff badge and spurs

The sheer scope of financial crime—money laundering, evasion of sanctions, financing of terror and other transgressions—is shocking. The past couple of years have been punctuated with blockbuster events like corruption at FIFA, the governing body of international soccer; the Panama Papers; and the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. All of these crimes were years in the making, which makes me think there are many more still out there, still gestating. Recently the business press has done some excellent reporting on the challenges faced by banks in their de facto position as front-line financial crime fighters. For example, one global bank spent almost $3 billion on financial crime compliance in 2015, with a department staffed with 9,000 personnel. As a comparative data point, the bank’s 2015 revenues were nearly $60 billion. In another example, a Wall Street Journal article on terrorism financing said: “[Suspicious activity report] filings on customers—arriving at the... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization Spotlight Your Success in the FICO Decisions Awards

FICO Decisions Awards logo

Is your company seeing great success using analytics and decision management? We’re looking for success stories for the 2016 FICO Decisions Awards. These awards honor our clients’ strategic wins, use of best practices and innovative deployments of technology. Awards will be presented in six categories: Analytic Excellence, Customer Onboarding and Management, Debt Management, Decision Management Innovation, Fraud Control and Regulatory Compliance. To judge the awards, we’ve lined up a stellar panel of independent judges: Dan Ariely, expert on human behavior, author of Predictably Irrational, and Duke University Professor of Behavioral Economics Jim Bander, national manager, Decision Science, Toyota Financial Services (2015 winner) Ken Elliott, global director of Analytics, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Bill Fearnley, Jr., research director, Compliance, Fraud and Risk Analytics, IDC – Financial Insights Petr Kapoun, retail risk director, Česká Spořitelna (2015 winner) Dr. Dalvinder Singh, editor, Financial Regulation International Nicole Sturgill, principal, Executive Advisor, CEB TowerGroup Nominations are... [Read More]

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Customer Engagement Streamlining Small Business Loans: Q&A with Harborstone

Harborstone small business cover image

Harborstone Credit Union has managed to increase its small business loan volume by 250%—with no delinquencies—since deployment two years ago. I recently had the chance to talk with Jeff Ivey, Harborstone’s Senior Vice President and Chief Sales and Service Officer, about how the credit union has used the FICO® Small Business Scoring Service℠ (or SBSS℠) solution to streamline its small business loan process, making things better and easier for both Harborstone and its members. Based in Tacoma, Washington, Harborstone Credit Union serves more than 75,000 consumer and small business accounts through its 16 branches. Q: What makes Harborstone different from other credit unions and commercial banks? Jeff: Our customer focus is our prime differentiator. We’re smaller than some competitors, we’re fully member owned, and we make sure that every member gets personal attention and feels like a part of Harborstone, not just an account number on a statement. We also... [Read More]

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Analytics & Optimization Intelligence of Things: Can Your Air Conditioner Fight Crime?

Crime Scene Tape

There’s no doubt about it––the Internet of Things (IoT) is shaping up to be the mother of all technology trends in 2016. There are endless statistics on how many devices are or will be coming online; just within the home, everything from doorbells, to refrigerators, to light bulbs has become internet-enabled. As IoT devices infiltrate many product ecosystems, they’re becoming more a part of our lives. But while these devices gather lots of data, they’re not very intelligent or self-aware in their own right. That can be a problem. We need the right intelligence and security onboard, in the devices, in order for them to become aware when they might be manipulated or failing. I call it the “Intelligence of Things,” and that’s when things will get really interesting for IoT. The power of self-learning analytics Self-learning streaming models based on continuous inputs are a mainstay of the financial world––in... [Read More]

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Customer Engagement Look Out for Customer Experience Strategy Sinkholes!

Customer Experience Sinkhole - featured image sized

If your company’s customer experience (CX) strategy is either lacking or not up to par, much of your efforts to improve customer experience fall into a sinkhole that sucks out the time, resources and effectiveness of the entire customer experience program. Because of this, the efforts of many companies to improve customer experience are wasted and unsuccessful. A recent survey of customer experience professionals by Forrester Research identified “the lack of a clear strategy as the biggest obstacle to customer experience success.” These days, too many companies either don’t have a CX strategy, or they have one that’s not very good. According to the May 2016 eMarketer report “The Customer Experience Mandate,” although 6 in 10 marketing executives state that they have a customer experience strategy in place, only 1 in 10 describe the strategy as strong enough to inform their decision making. The diagram below illustrates how a well-built... [Read More]

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Risk & Compliance New Compliance Asks: Is Your Risk Data Management Sound?


Have you got a handle on IFRS 9, CECL and BCBS 239? If not, and it all just sounds like regulatory alphabet soup, it’s time to familiarize yourself with these critical acronyms. All three requirements highlight the need for financial institutions to ensure the quality of their risk data. Aggregation and effective use of this data are becoming key to meeting new compliance challenges, not to mention an opportunity to derive additional business value. So what specifically are all these acronyms? Here’s a quick overview: IFRS 9 – IFRS 9 is a new international accounting standard that was adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the IASB believed that the accounting standards in use (specifically IAS 39) failed to highlight the losses that firms would face because they were based on past events. With the adoption of IFRS 9 beginning in 2018,... [Read More]

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Customer Engagement Are We Asking the Right Questions of Our Customer Data?

Customer data

You have customer data coming out your ears Chances are excellent that you have amassed a great deal of quantitative and qualitative data about your customers: demographic, transactional, social, behavioral, perhaps even emotional. Some of it is structured; some of it isn’t. Becoming more adept at slicing and dicing that data in ways that help you make better operational and business decisions is critical. Where most organizations fail, however, is in not analyzing their data from their customers’ points of view. We’re so focused on products, processes and profits that we forget to look at what’s important to customers. And that’s no less critical. Ask the right questions Take, for example, these two questions a business may consider in determining what call center improvements they should make: “How can we reduce costs in the call center?” “What frustrates customers when they contact the call center?” Both are valid—even vital—questions. The... [Read More]

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