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The Telco Transformation Tight Rope: Balancing Risk and Reward

Today, every dollar of fraud actually costs merchants $3.40. Mobile channels are inherently high risk, representing over 50% of online fraud costs. This means it is vital for telcos to take the time to understand the specific fraud prevention challenges around mobile payments – before they walk the line towards transformation.


Assessing the trip hazards and navigating the pitfalls

As with any other market, geography or channel, genuine customer behavior (as well as fraudsters’ tactics) are distinctively different in the mobile payments channel and – to make sure they don’t undermine the customer experience – it is important for telcos to understand how the typical traits of customers and fraudsters might affect their payment and fraud prevention strategies.

For instance, mobile payment transactions are often lower in value than other online or in-person payments, and ‘on the go’ transactions may also mean that location data might not match up with customer records. There are also implications for authenticating customers – with the smaller size of keypads making data entry more prone to error and, of course, the chance of devices being lost or stolen heightening the risk of exposed personal data or fraudulent use.

The trick for telcos is to make sure that genuine customers are recognized and supported while fraudsters are effectively blocked. Achieving this ideal balance requires a comprehensive view of behaviors, along with flexible, tailored fraud strategies that take into account the nuances of mobile payments.


Delivering perfect fraud prevention performance

As telcos look to introduce innovation and work towards transformation, there are a few best practices that can help ensure they continuously balance excellent customer experience with strong fraud prevention performance. These include:

  • Profiling customers to understand and record typical behaviors and preferences
  • Testing and tailoring rules on a continuous basis to accommodate emerging trends
  • Rescreening transactions against freshly confirmed fraud information to minimize future losses and shut down fraudsters

The speed of change in fraud means telcos need the ongoing ability to adapt strategies – and this is one of the areas where a supporting payments partner can help take off some of the weight. An expert partner can provide all the right tools, technology, knowledge and data to help telcos safely achieve their goals. The right partner can in fact be more than just a safety net, they can be a lifeline, giving telcos the confidence to forge ahead and deliver the innovation that is needed to increase their share of mobile payments and strengthen customer relationships.


Finishing with a flourish

The final chapter in our insight series, written in collaboration with telco industry experts Red Dawn, focuses on the specific fraud issues that telcos face in expanding their digital services and mobile payments presence. It explores the different types of risk and fraud that telcos must watch out for, the challenges created by offering mobile payments, and how telcos can mitigate these factors to take full advantage of the mobile payments opportunity.

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Head of Telco Sales Europe, ACI Worldwide

Chris Curd leads the global Telco business at ACI Worldwide. Chris has been in the Telco industry for nearly 20 years, working for companies like Telefonica, Vodafone, BT and T-Mobile. For the past 5 years, he’s also served the eCommerce payments and fraud space.