Startup Check-In

Fraud Is Everywhere, So Emailage Must Be, Too

fraud prevention data

Startup Emailage stopped almost twice as much potential fraud in 2017 as it did in the previous year.

Content marketing manager Chad Koskie broke it down by the numbers: Against the backdrop of $180 billion in transactions running through the system, $1.8 billion in potential fraud was prevented, compared to last year’s $1 billion. That’s according to Emailage’s email risk assessment results from 2017, which bring together data from across customers’ transactions from the startup’s entire network.

Koskie said the bulk of activity took place in North America, which saw $120 billion in transaction volume and $1.2 billion in prevented fraud. Latin America and Europe, Africa and the Middle East saw much less activity overall, but similar proportions of attempted fraud, Koskie said.

It was no surprise to Emailage that North America would include “the lion’s share” of those numbers, said Koskie, but the trends are similar the world over; no single region is getting hit more than another. However, he said that some regions are more vulnerable than others – creating ample opportunity for a startup like Emailage.

In Mexico, for instance, consumers want the online experience that U.S. consumers take for granted, but there’s a lot of lag in terms of security and fraud prevention.

Despite factors putting certain countries at a disadvantage, Koskie said every region is struggling in the wake of EMV going online. As security becomes more sophisticated, he said, so too do fraudsters. They are working in networks with the support of a vast syndicate backing their every move.

Brazil is another example of a country whose security protocols lag behind the technology that’s available to citizens. Brazil was one of the first to embrace online banking, Koskie said, but without the proper security protocols, it has found itself vulnerable to fraudsters.

Koskie said the country as a whole is now focusing on legitimizing online account openings for financial institutions (FIs). Synthetic identities are the biggest threat, he said: Fraudsters hit the FIs first to fill out a credit profile and legitimize their fake identities before heading over to rip off merchants and eCommerce companies. Better security at the FI would nip these schemes in the bud, Koskie noted.

Ultimately, he said each region needs its own “boots on the ground” to address its unique issues and challenges. That’s why Emailage is expanding this year into Australia, Singapore and potentially Toronto – on the heels of 2017’s expansion into the U.K. via London, and 2016’s into Latin America.

With new regions and new clients on the roster, Koskie said he expects the fraud prevention numbers to grow even more in 2018.

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