By: Tim Prugar
This morning, tens of millions of Americans woke up and experienced the same, sinking feeling:
Was my information exposed in the Equifax Breach? Am I at risk for being a victim of fraud?
As a business, your customers are frightened right now. They're worried about their accounts, and their identities, and the lives that they have worked hard to build for themselves and their families. What they want more than anything is the peace of mind that if something goes wrong, it can and will be taken care of in a timely fashion.
I know that feeling well - last month I was the victim of credit card fraud. The feelings above were real, and they were intense. However, my bank was able to transform a very scary experience into a positive one by making it easy to have my problem addressed and fixed. The fundamental tension in fraud prevention is between Customer Experience and Security. However, as you'll see here, those two can very easily work hand-in-hand to protect the customer while ensuring loyalty.
My story, originally posted over at CustomerThink, is as follows:
I had just become the victim of credit card fraud.
While sitting at my desk, I received an email alert from my bank — one of the largest in the United States — that my credit card had just been used in Iowa. Of course, I wasn’t in Iowa. And I hadn’t used my credit card in nearly three weeks.
Upon looking, to me, it was an amount that clearly showed someone was testing the card to see if it would go through — often the first step in a fraudster’s bag of tricks.
My bank prompted me to confirm the purchase — “Was this your purchase, or is something wrong?” it read. They had started on the right foot, and with 15% of banking customers who experience fraud closing all accounts with that provider, the bank knew the next steps were just as critical to keeping my business.
I clicked “something is wrong” and my card was immediately frozen. I called the support number listed in the email, was quickly authenticated by the bank, and in less than five minutes, my card was closed, the fraudulent transactions reversed, and a new card was on its way.
Chances are, you or someone you know has or will be a victim of credit card fraud. According to the consumer financial protection bureau, more than 10% of the US will fall victim at some point in their lifetime; indeed, the United States accounts for 47% of the world’s credit card fraud cases.
To combat this, companies are always improving their security. For example, the advent of EMV, the smart chip on your card, has led to a decline in total losses in recent years, as it has become more difficult for some fraud acquisition techniques like card skimming.
So where do high-tech fraudsters turn when they’re thwarted? The weakest link, of course. And today that is the call center. The place where customers are earned and lost.
In 2016, call-center fraud rose more than 110%. Financial institutions authenticating primarily through ANI — automatic number identification — were startlingly vulnerable to attacks carried out by phone spoofing, which remains a heavily relied upon technique for fraudsters.
Shoring up this vulnerability is a fine line for financial institutions to walk.
Too little security and perpetrators of fraud can easily game the system. Too much security, and you’re putting an already aggravated customer through the ringer.
The worst thing a bank can do is handle this poorly: bouncing someone between multiple agents, poorly thought out knowledge based authentication question that either the person may not know the answer to, or a fraudster may be able to figure out through social media, long hold times, etc.
You need a system that does this, and does it quickly, so a customer can get on with their day as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Ironically, having my credit card stolen ended up being a pleasant experience, because now I’ve got a great story to tell — a firsthand account of how a powerful authentication system can transform the customer experience in fraud cases.
How a company handles fraud and makes the customer feel is important; a company has the same responsibility as when they’re trying to convince a customer to buy. If someone has a terrible experience dealing with the counter-fraud measures of their banking institution — that can derail the entire relationship.
Speed is a factor in situations like this, and with a solid authentication system in place, my bank and I can operate with trust and peace of mind that I am who I say and solve the problem at the speed I desire as the victim. I want to get a person on the phone as quickly as possible.
When a company can authenticate a caller quickly, they chop off the clunky knowledge based process at the beginning of the call and it allows them to green light calls like mine.
The primary benefits are twofold: identifying fraudulent calls and beginning the procedures on dealing with such calls, or authenticating the call quickly before any further damage is done by a perpetrator of fraud.
Who knows what the damage of an additional 5, 10 or even 30 minutes means in terms of fraud — but we can stop the damage before it gets that far.
When companies use efficient technology to put the customer experience first while simultaneously demonstrating a commitment to strong security measures, everyone comes out ahead.
Even though my account was compromised, even though there was fraud — I walked away with a positive feeling about the company, because of the efficiency of how my case was handled.
With brand loyalty harder than ever to win, and fraudsters continuing to evolve the way they commit attacks, smart organizations will do well to bake fraud prevention into their CX.
Tim Prugar is the VP of Operations at Next Caller. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.