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Here’s What We Heard at Fusion 2017

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In October, I had the pleasure of joining many industry leaders and fraud risk professionals from around the world at Experian’s Fusion Summit 2017 held in Scottsdale, Arizona. Our annual Fusion Fraud Summit is a great opportunity to hear from industry leaders on what trends and emerging technology they are currently focusing on. This collaboration with other thought leaders is critical to staying ahead of fraudsters and keeping consumers safe, while providing the best experience possible.

In addition to enjoying the sunny Arizona venue, I had the opportunity to network and have candid conversations with attendees and speakers about their fraud challenges and how these challenges affect their businesses. One thing I found striking is that in nearly every conversation, the topics centered on one or more of the following four themes.

Security
As consumers, we want to feel safe and we want to feel that businesses are doing everything they can to protect us: our payment information, our identity, our credit. Similarly, businesses want to help their customers feel safe, but they also want consumers to know that the data entrusted to them will not fall into nefarious hands. As such, the fraud leaders I spoke with at Fusion are more concerned with security than ever before. But they also know that there is no silver bullet to solve the ever-growing fraud problem. Instead, it’s a multi-layered approach that includes a combination of products and strategies that will recognize identities and assess risk of fraud. Those layers will help to provide the right level of confidence for every transaction.

Recognition
Being recognized by the people we do business with goes a long way. Whether it’s your coffee shop barista or the front desk clerk at your favorite hotel, being recognized makes us feel appreciated and special. The same applies in today’s digital environment. With the lack of face-to-face interaction online, being recognized when transacting and engaging online is even more important. Customers expect to be recognized and welcomed wherever and whenever they do business. The fraud leaders I spoke with said the same; they want to be as certain as they can about who their customers are. The benefits to this are huge – customers are recognized and welcomed, and it is easier for the business to recognize the fraud.

Convenience
We all lead busy lives, so it’s handy when we can easily pay bills or make purchases online. But it is not convenient when we’re forced to enter in passwords we may not remember, or get a code from our phone just to prove who we are. Worse yet, purchases could be declined unnecessarily. Now that’s inconvenient. Businesses struggle, especially this time of year, to provide a hassle-free experience for their customers while keeping a handle on increased levels of fraud during the holiday buying season. Most of the executives I spoke with at Fusion would like advanced authentication and security measures that don’t impact customers negatively but provide a better way to establish trust.

Trust
And in the end, it really comes down to trust. As consumers, why do we prefer to do repeat business with people we know? It is because we trust them. You know them, they know you: recognition helps to stimulate trust. As businesses get to know and recognize their customers, even online customers, they become more confident in evolving the level of conversation and engagement. Trust is at the center of every strong, lasting relationship. And trust is what makes all of us feel safe and protected.

While at Fusion, I gave attendees a sneak peek into some of the findings of our upcoming annual Global Fraud Report. Over the last several months, we interviewed 5,500 consumers and more than 550 businesses in 11 markets around the world to hear what concerns and priorities they had. We look forward to sharing lots of great information in the next few weeks and throughout 2018, but for now I can tell you 30 percent of businesses are experiencing more fraud losses over the past 12 months. While these same businesses are eager to introduce new and innovative ways for consumers to open accounts or conduct transactions online, they also are keenly aware that new channels present new challenges. In order to make a difference, we need to work together as an industry to find smarter and more efficient ways to protect both the businesses and the customers they serve.

Throughout the coming months, we’ll be sharing the 2018 Global Fraud Report and the findings. I’m sure you’ll find – just as we did – some eye-opening research into how consumers view recognition and trust and what businesses need to do to provide that secure and positive customer experience.

For more information about how Experian can help you recognize your customers and better detect fraud, visit: http://www.experian.com/decision-analytics/global/fraud/global-identity-fraud.html