Security & Fraud

Fraud Decisioning Orchestrates A Response

Fraud decisioning, security, fraud, cybercrime, cybersecurity, Wawa, Simility, news

Some people think the best thing about the Pennsylvania-based convenience store and fuel chain Wawa is their absurdly delicious jalapeño-stuffed pretzels, oozing with molten cheese. So very tasty. Bad people love Wawa, too – mostly for its large database of consumer information. In they went, stealing details of 30 million cards before the malware was discovered in December of 2019.

It had apparently been running undetected for 10 months. Stolen Wawa data then appeared for sale on the hacker site known as Joker’s Stash for as little as $17 per U.S. card number.

The Wawa data heist is one of several in a year marked by aggressive cybercrime and equally vigorous countermeasures by corporations and law enforcement. Amazon is at the center of two recent incidents, one that exposed the personal info of almost 1,600 Ring door camera users, and another where phishing emails bearing a very convincing Amazon logo resulted in theft.

Yet another despicable scheme involves cyber villains using dating sites and apps to trick vulnerable people into opening bogus accounts and filing illegal corporate paperwork.

What’s clear is that fraud decisioning solutions have never been more necessary, as cybercrime enters a new phase of sophistication, diabolical creativity and global scale. The February 2020 Fraud Decisioning Playbook a PYMNTS and Simility collaboration, investigates these trends while evaluating the effectiveness of “fraud orchestration” in lowering cybercrime.

The Omnichannel Defense

Fraudsters can seem like unstoppable ghosts in the machine, outsmarting or overwhelming intervention attempts. Game-changing identity/security edicts like the European Union’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and its strong consumer authentication (SCA) requirement has hit implementation snags, further complicating matters. Bottom line: Fraud losses are expected to hit $48 billion annually by 2023 – more than double the 2018 losses.

Numbers are going in the wrong direction at the moment, but help is on the way. Fraud decisioning platforms have been perfecting technologies including adaptive ingestion, automated data governance, hybrid data management and pre-defined ontologies. Payment orchestration platforms (POPs) tackle the issue from a different angle, but the logic holds.

Muscular platforms like these with advanced capabilities are being layered onto other analytics tools and fraud detection systems for an “orchestrated” approach to fraud decisioning. In the omnichannel environment, fraud orchestration can prevent personal information from being siloed in ways that hackers find easy to access.

Reinforcing retail touchpoints with self-monitoring systems as part of a layered security network evens the odds for companies that must scan thousands of transactions in search of fraudulent patterns, backdoor malware and mass bot attacks.

Sealing It

The February Fraud Decisioning Playbook looks behind the trends in the travel industry, for instance, where one in five bookings are known to be fraudulent. Famous brands, including Greyhound Lines, weigh in on reducing friction and fraud in booking and payments (no easy feat), while we learn about the capture of Cardplanet scammer Aleksei Burkov.

The mobile app economy has unleashed economic power and creativity to rival (and eclipse) the Industrial Revolution, but it’s an equal-opportunity boom for hard workers and criminals alike. Advances in fraud decisioning are helping to keep things honest until the holes are sealed.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.