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Outsmarting fraudsters while protecting cardholders

Payments processor Nets improves fraud-detection rate by 50 percent, reduces card fraud by 50 to 70 percent with optional prevention program and cuts false positives in half with SAS® Fraud Management

Skimming. Phishing. Fake websites that lure people in to deceptively obtain their credit card information. These are the downsides to the global e-commerce world. It’s so easy to make purchases from computers or mobile devices, in addition to card-reading terminals at retail locations around the globe. In just a few clicks, swipes, taps or dips, customers can quickly pay for products or services and be on their way.

But increased convenience could lead to increased vulnerability. As technology gets smarter and more efficient, so do criminals who prey on unsuspecting consumers. That’s why Nets, the second-largest payment processor in Europe, developed a real-time fraud-detection system to stay a step ahead of criminals and protect its clients.

“We serve as the infrastructure for payments for more than 250 banks, 350,000 merchants and 19 million cardholders in the Nordics and Baltics,” says Kaspar Kock Kristensen, Senior Vice President of Fraud and Dispute Services at Nets. “It’s our responsibility to connect banks, businesses and consumers, and facilitate their digital payments. So it’s imperative that we maintain stable, secure operations and protect our clients from fraud.”

Detecting payment card fraud in a hyper-connected world

Historically, an internal fraud expert would investigate a transaction flagged as suspicious. But this transaction would already be complete – along with any similar transactions. This means a cardholder could incur significant losses before their card was frozen. Nets wanted to catch these instances of theft earlier.

The company knew it needed to go beyond its reactive approach. “In today’s hyper-connected world, people can obtain information very quickly, and they can misuse that information very quickly,” Kristensen says. “That’s what drives us to understand what fraudsters are doing and how we can stop them before damage is done.”

Criminals who conduct credit card fraud are becoming more active and organized, using advanced technology to access and exploit cardholder information. “In addition to skimming attacks and phishing scams, we’re now seeing things like criminals using robotic software to empty a card within 15 seconds of acquiring it,” explains Kristensen. “We’re also seeing criminals mix fraudulent spending with a consumer’s genuine spending so it’s more difficult to detect.”

Since our analysis team began using SAS Fraud Management, we’ve increased our fraud-detection rate by 50 percent and reduced card fraud by 50 to 70 percent for cards under the optional prevention program – all while cutting false positives in half.

Kaspar Kristensen Nets executive photo

Kaspar Kock Kristensen
Senior Vice President of Fraud and Dispute Services

A better approach leads to remarkable results

SAS Fraud Management helps Nets prevent fraud by stopping suspicious transactions before they are processed. And the solution helps the payments processor detect true fraud without frustrating customers whose accounts are frozen due to false positives.

“Since our analysis team began using SAS Fraud Management, we’ve increased our fraud-detection rate by 50 percent and reduced card fraud by 50 to 70 percent for cards under the optional prevention program – all while cutting false positives in half,” Kristensen says. “This means that we’re not only detecting and preventing more fraud, but we’re inconveniencing fewer cardholders in the process.

How does Nets do it? “First, machine learning – the SAS Fraud Management system creates a customer behavior profile on each of our cardholders, which includes information pertaining to their spending habits and normal activity,” Kristensen explains. “Second, we score all transactions in real time at the point of sale. By combining behavior profiling rules and scoring models to accurately assess fraud risk, we’re stopping more criminal activity.”

Customer satisfaction, loyalty increases

Nets doesn’t just deter fraud – the company works with law enforcement agencies around the world, providing information to help capture people who commit card theft. “This is something we’re quite proud of – we’re not only looking out for our clients, we’re helping put criminals behind bars,” Kristensen says.

And those actions don’t go unnoticed. Cardholders have contacted the company to thank it for stopping criminal activity.

“We have a very positive customer satisfaction rate, and it’s gratifying to know that the work we do truly impacts people,” Kristensen says. “We’re not just a payments processor – we’re a ‘payments protector’ that works around the clock to guard our clients from fraud. And as the payment landscape and technologies continue to evolve, we know that Nets will be able to stay relevant and dependable for our customers.”

Nets logo

Challenge

  • Prevent fraud by stopping suspicious transactions before they are processed.
  • Distinguish between true fraud and genuine cardholder spending.
  • Avoid freezing customers’ accounts due to false positives.

Solution

Benefits

  • Improved fraud-detection rate by 50 percent.
  • Reduced card fraud by 50 to 70 percent for cards under the optional prevention program.
  • False positives have been cut in half.
  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty have increased due to enhanced fraud-detection measures.
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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