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More Than Losses – Fraud Is a Brand Issue

Anant Nambiar, FICO Anant Nambiar, FICO

I recently joined FICO as the General Manager for Global Fraud and Security Solutions, based in New York. I am joining FICO after almost 20 years in the payment card industry, and thought I knew what fraud was – namely unauthorized or fraudulent credit card transactions.

In my brief time here, through very productive conversations with our clients in the financial industry and outside, I am realizing that I had significantly underestimated the breadth and challenges of what is fraud today.

Not only are financial institutions challenged by traditional payment card fraud, there is growing pressures from retail banking fraud, e-banking, first-party fraud including fraudulent applications for new accounts such as mortgages, employee fraud, and of course the emergence of digital and mobile transactions which are still being defined. In addition, fraud in healthcare insurance and property & casualty (P&C) insurance continues to grow. These fraud challenges are global in nature, but have different maturity & severity levels across the different regions due to market dynamics.

I don’t think I’m alone in underestimating the scope and impact of fraud. I believe many in the industry continue to see fraud as a loss mitigation issue first, and perhaps a customer experience issue second. Some more progressive firms have flipped that order.

But fraud today represents something much bigger. Fraud is a brand wrecker. Any well-established firm can absorb the financial losses from a data breach or fraud attack. But how do you recover if a breach or attack alters the fundamental way the market – customers, partners, investors – view your brand and company?

From this perspective, even the name of this space – fraud – may be limiting. Should we be calling it enterprise fraud management? Enterprise fraud and security? Financial crimes? Cybersecurity?

Whatever we choose to call it, the truth is that all of us who fight fraud are in the brand protection business.

That’s what energizes me about FICO. The global adoption of our FICO® Falcon® Fraud Manager solution speaks not just to the power of the solution, continually bolstered and honed over the past 20+ years, but to the trust card issuers and banks place in FICO. We’re proud that independent industry analysts such as Gartner, Chartis and Forrester put us at the top for enterprise fraud management, but nothing speaks louder than the trust of our clients, who are protecting the trust their customers in turn place in their brand.

As we meet with CIOs, CISOs and other leaders at our clients to help them plan and build their fraud roadmaps, we keep this notion of brand protection at the top of the agenda. That’s a tough remit, but it’s what drives our innovation, our consulting practice and our products as the industry evolves.

I look forward to meeting many of you, and would love to hear your thoughts on how your fraud challenges are changing, and how we can help you protect not just your profitability, not just your customers, but your brand itself.

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