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Keep Your Phone Close — And the Fraudsters Further

If some reports are to believed, there are now more cell phones in use than there are people on the planet! And yes, there are many of us - I am certainly one - who keep and carry more than one mobile device.

Most of us are so addicted to our devices that we scramble to squeeze the last few seconds of “connected” time out of them before the flight stewards tell us to turn them off on a plane — or our significant other tells us to put it down and start paying attention!

We at FICO have teamed with ValidSoft to turn this mobile love affair into a weapon against fraud. We can compare a registered device’s location, based upon telephone network data, to the known location of a physical card payment terminal (point of sale or ATM). Correlating the two locations — is your phone where your card is? — helps us validate whether otherwise unusual payments by card are more or less likely to be fraudulent.

Proximity correlation is the future of fraud protection. By allowing the device location to be an integral part of the card payment authentication strategy, we can put another significant obstacle in the way of any thief, whilst also markedly reducing the risk of inappropriately blocked card transactions made by a genuine customers (in UK field tests, a 70% reduction!).

So the next time you see the ritual scramble for mobile devices before the cabin doors close, remember that being "always on" is helping FICO keep your cards always protected.

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