Combating Online Fraud with Kount

03-Dec-2012

At this years Magento Live, we met a whole host of interesting companies working to develop systems to enable online merchants to maximise revenues from trading online. Among them were the good people from Kount, the sister company to ClickBank, who have developed an all-in-one fraud and risk management solution for companies that have card-not-present environments. We spoke to Don Bush, Marketing Director at Kount to find out a bit more.

Who are Kount?

Kount is a fraud detection and reduction company specifically designed for companies doing business online. Our SaaS model makes it easy for ecommerce retailers to limit fraud risk and increase sales because it reduces the risk of doing business online and across international borders.

How did it all start and what problems did you set out to solve?

Kount was born out of necessity. Fraud hurts businesses, consumers, and the entire ecosystem of online payments. In 1998, our sister company ClickBank, one of the world’s largest online digital goods marketplaces, experienced a great deal of fraud and there really weren’t any good systems on the market designed to reduce online fraud. So, we developed our own, patented many of the tools and processes and after nearly 10 years of development, took the Kount solution to the market in 2007. It has been received very well by online retailers world-wide.

What challenges have you seen relating to online fraud from the rise of mobile and mobile payment methods?

Fraudsters, those that look to steal from online businesses, are very smart, they are well networked and extremely sophisticated in their methods. The mobile channel has given this group of cyber criminals a new revenue stream. Retailers are often trying to play catch up and stay one step ahead of fraud, especially as new channel for payment are introduced to the market, like mobile and other alternative payment methods.

What’s the biggest online fraud you have encountered as a company?

Kount has uncovered fraud rings that have literally tens of thousands of devices working to find weaknesses and exploit them. One fraud group out of the Philippines was hitting one of our customers hundreds of times a day trying to buy products using stolen payment credentials. They came in through the shopping cart, through affiliate programs, and so on. We could watch them trying to break through. In this one example, we were able to stop millions of dollars of fraudulent orders. In a similar instance we calculated that we stopped nearly 50 million dollars of fraudulent orders for another customer in a single year.

What do the Kount team get up to when they are not combating online fraud!?

Our developers like to have online game parties after work. In fact, we have one scheduled next week. The entire team goes online and participates in a different game each time. It’s a lot of fun and helps everyone unwind after a new version of Kount is released. Of course, living in Boise, Idaho, we fish, ski, mountain bike, and take to the wilderness for a little backpacking once in awhile too.

Are there any new products in the pipeline from you and your team?

We just released our latest SDK for mobile devices. Now every feature found in the Kount Complete platform is available to detect and prevent fraud from mobile devices.

What new developments are planned for future releases of your products?

We continually update and increase the effectiveness of our statistical models, artificial intelligence, algorithms, etc. to help our customer stay ahead of fraudsters.

With advancing technical developments in online payments, do you ever see a time when online fraud will be a thing of the past?

I don’t. Like I said fraudsters are very intelligent. They seem to always find companies that are not protected or those using inferior products. They will continue to evolve and finds new ways to steal from online companies. A solid fraud detection and mitigation system should be a part of every ecommerce businesses strategic plan.

For more information about Kount, go to, www.kount.com

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