Archive for October, 2011

Preventing Fraud with Mobile

October 26, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

With all the talk about mobile wallets these days, there’s also a lot of concern about security. If you lose your phone, and your wallet’s in your phone, isn’t that like losing your wallet too? No, it isn’t. Not in all cases. The Sybase way, with the mobile wallet in the cloud, mobility actually provides a whole new level of fraud protection.

For example, when I set up my mobile banking profile, I specified that I want to receive an SMS alert whenever there are transactions that originate from foreign countries, or are greater than $500. I now receive those alerts on my mobile phone. These kinds of alerts are simple service that could become a dramatic fraud prevention mechanism.

Here’s a real story to illustrate. A friend of mine took a cab home from the airport one night. On the way, she and the driver got talking: where she’d been on her trip, what she did for a living, that kind of thing, nothing out of the ordinary. In front of her house, she paid for the ride with her credit card. The cabbie took a carbon copy impression of the card with a slider machine, and got the CVV number from the back. The woman went inside, and the driver left.

The next day, the taxi driver ordered a laptop using the woman’s card details. He had it sent to her home address, because he knew from their conversation that she wouldn’t be home during the day, because she usually left for work in the morning, information that he had gleaned from their conversation. He tracked the package online, and when it arrived, he drove to her house and picked it up. And then he did it again. The woman only learned what was going on because she happened to get home early on the day the third computer was delivered.

If the woman had a mobile alert in place, it probably wouldn’t have taken three computers to discover the crime.

When consumers can activate alerts for their mobile wallets, credit and debit cards and other financial accounts, then the instant a thief’s first big transaction goes through, they receive an alert. Cardholders can call their credit card company or bank and have them freeze the account, and then call the merchant to let them know it’s been compromised.

It would—and does—cost the bank to send SMS alerts. But isn’t the cost worth it? Banks are already spending money on preventing fraud, and footing the bill when it does happen. Without alerts, a number of big charges can go through before anyone finds out. In fact, thieves today rely on that period of time, working quickly to get as much as they can before they’re discovered. With alerts, if someone is using your accounts to make purchases, you know immediately, and can text or call back to prevent the crime.

Sybase 365 provides this capability to banks and mobile operators today, so they can reach their customers with alerts no matter where they are, at home or roaming. Additionally, with two-way interactive SMS conversation, a purchase request confirmation can be secured from a customer, thus reducing chances of fraudulent use. Right now, subscribers of the mpass system in Germany (powered by the Sybase 365 mobile platform) receive an SMS requesting purchase confirmation when they make an online purchase from participating merchants. Once a customer answers YES, payment is released. Customers get the peace of mind that comes from authorizing each and every transaction that is performed online with mpass. This goes above and beyond the security offered by other payment mechanisms today while preventing fraudulent use.