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How to Make Fraud Protection a Better Customer Experience

Fraud is a sexy subject. No, really, it is! Fraud is one of the few business topics that can get most people excited.

Fraud makes news and incites angry phone calls, whether it is politicians inflating their expense claims, retailers stocking fake goods, customers finding their (especially on-line) credentials compromised, bankers trying to manipulate investments, welfare claimants misstating their eligibility, or cardholders getting declined for unusual transactions. Con artists and deception even make for great films — witness the recent success of the fact-based American Hustle.

Yes, we all love a bit of fraud…just so long as it is not happening to us! And we all want to be protected by card issuers – but we don’t necessarily want to have to do anything ourselves. This can be a problem for anyone trying to manage fraud exposure risk on behalf of their customers.

Many organisations are including fraud in their customer charters, advising customers of what they should expect in terms of protection, and what to do if they find themselves compromised or inconvenienced. Open communication can helps customers feel more empowered and in control, and less likely to fear a fraud attack or to become adversely influenced by a fraud management intervention. In fact, they should see an intervention — say, a call asking if purchases were genuine — as a sign that the organisation’s protection is sound.

I say “can” because it’s not enough to adopt a communication policy, you need to have a communication strategy.

The customer whose card is declined when they’re trying to make a purchase is not going to thank you for your diligent protection. They’re more likely to tell the shopkeeper, "What do you mean I have just been declined? That's ridiculous. Try it again!" It may be a good fraud protection strategy, but it’s a terrible communications strategy.

How different would your customer feel if they are told in advance that your bank is checking activity to identify anything anomalous and suspicious, and then, in instances where that suspicion is triggered, the customer instantly gets a call, an email or SMS? Now your customer might think, "Oh, no need to worry, that's just my bank doing a fraud check and looking after my money and my interests. I will be contacted in a few seconds to confirm." Sounds rather better, doesn't it?

That’s what the leading banks are doing today using communication services such as FICO Fraud Resolution Manager. For businesses that want to differentiate themselves on customer service, it’s the missing link between fraud protection and a positive customer experience.

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