However, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for the travel industry. Proof that airlines can protect themselves – and customers – from fraud and maximize revenue despite the COVID challenge.
Aegean Airlines: A case study in adapting fraud strategy during the pandemic
Aegean Airlines is the largest airline in Greece. With 120 international destinations in 44 countries, as well as flights to 31 domestic airports, the Star Alliance member continues to attract a growing number of international passengers.
But increased international travel brings increased fraudulent transaction attempts. As with all airlines, Aegean has seen a decline in sales due to the pandemic. And fraudsters were quick to test the company’s defenses during this time of uncertainty and disruption. However, Aegean was able to rapidly adapt its fraud strategy and quickly close down opportunities for fraud.
As a result of its collaborative approach to fighting fraud with ACI, Aegean has been able to combat the growing threat of online fraud and drive profitability. Since the go-live of the ACI solution, on average 97 percent of all confirmed fraud has been captured; in 2019 alone, this translated to €1.4 million in savings. This is capital that every airline desperately needs to keep hold of right now. Thanks to its approach, Aegean Airlines has been able to stay in flight throughout 2020 and ensure genuine customers were handled fairly and with sensitivity.
Creating a holistic view of transactions is crucial when combating fraud
The complex, multi-channel, international nature of travel makes it a prime target for fraudsters. And this is compounding the detrimental impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions on the airline industry. However, leveraging a multi-layered fraud strategy helps mitigate this threat and leaves airlines free to focus on increasing revenue streams and serving their customers.
One of the biggest barriers airlines face when combating fraud is an inability to create a holistic view of transaction and fraud trends across their systems. The main reason for this being that they rely heavily on manual processes for fraud screening.
By leveraging ACI’s multi-layered fraud solution, airlines can view key transaction trends quickly and easily, while obtaining other valuable information that can help them implement timely and effective rule changes across their fraud systems where needed. To be most effective, this should focus on critical issues, such as consistently prioritizing short notice bookings in the fraud screening process.
Harnessing automation also means that airlines will be able to create a comprehensive view of customer behavior profiles, as well as consistently monitoring and updating existing fraud prevention approaches.
While 2020 has been the most challenging year for the airline industry on record, rising to the challenges of a crisis is nothing new for the broader aviation sector. As the industry has overcome historic health epidemics, economic recessions and ever-rising levels of fraudulent transactions, it will also overcome COVID-19. With a strong, robust fraud strategy, airlines will put themselves in the best position to protect themselves and their customers from fraud, while growing revenue and moving forward with confidence.