Fraud is costing the UK finance industry at least £750 million a year. Globally, online fraud has topped $16 billion, and is growing 25% faster than e-commerce volumes, as measures such as chip-and-pin have made it much harder to commit fraud with physical cards.
A key weapon against fraud in this new online and connected world is a location strategy. These days, this can take us much further than broad-brush techniques such as flagging up a card is being used at a shop in a different country to the customer's billing address.
As part of a location strategy to combat fraud, you can:
- Carry out initial verification of information provided by customers. For example, we're working with insurance companies who are using Google Streetview to learn more about customers' properties when writing insurance or reviewing claims. In one instance, an insurer was able to detect a likely fraudulent claim for storm damage to a fence by quickly pulling up Google StreetView images that showed the property didn't actually have a fence.
- Use "heat maps" to make better decisions. Ravelin, which provides real-time payment card fraud prevention for customers across a wide range of sectors, generates heat maps of the probability of fraud by location, using public crime statistics and their clients' own historic data. Those heat maps are used as one of the inputs for the machine learning models Ravelin uses to flag up suspect transactions. Similarly, visualising insurance claims on a map – by type or value, for example – can help identify up hotspots where there may be organised efforts to make false or inflated claims.
- Use geolocation to get a more precise fix on your customers' current position. If you've created a link with a customer's smartphone, you can request the phone's current location using geolocation: triangulating from the WiFi and cell tower signals detected by the phone. If the locations of the phone and the transaction line up, there's no cause for concern. But if the customer's card is being used at a merchant or IP address registered a hundred miles away, that's a red flag to run further checks. Geolocation can also be used to help confirm the identity of merchants and the addresses where cards are being used.
- Help loss adjustors and other field staff work more productively and safely. When you're sending employees out to customers, mapping solutions like Google Maps can help direct them to their next job by the fastest route and show them the current traffic conditions. You can also use mapping at head office, to minimise travel times and costs when allocating jobs, and to track exactly where staff are, to help monitor and protect their personal safety. Click here for more information about how Google Maps APIs can help.
If you want to find out more about how a location strategy can help your business combat fraud, come and talk to our Google Maps team.