PAY.ON - Partner Perspective: Kount on fraud detection and prevention


Kount – a leading provider of innovative fraud and chargeback prevention solutions for e-commerce and credit card purchases – entered into a strategic partnership with PAY.ON in 2014. The integration of Kount’s fraud detection and prevention platform with PAY.ON’s global payment gateway gives ISOs, acquirers, and PSPs greater flexibility when determining the ideal fraud prevention setup in each market. As an external risk connector, Kount further builds upon the 120 internal risk checks (bundled together as OneClickSafe) that are built directly into the PAY.ON platform. We talked to Don Bush, VP of Marketing at Kount, to dig deeper into the benefits of this technical integration. We talked to Don Bush, VP of Marketing at Kount, to dig a little deeper into the benefits of this partnership.

First of all, for those who are unfamiliar with Kount’s fraud and chargeback prevention offerings, can you give us the ‘elevator pitch’?

Certainly, Kount reduces fraud and fraud losses by combining several patented technologies into a layered wall of protection for merchants. But it’s not enough to stop fraud, as merchants want the ability to increase revenue as well. Kount’s unique mixture of fraud-fighting capabilities allows merchants to boost sales, while at the same time beating fraudsters.

Kount has now been around for over ten years, and in this time e-commerce has changed dramatically. How has Kount changed along with the e-commerce marketplace in order to continue delivering relevant online fraud prevention tools?

We constantly review what is happening in the fraudsters’ world. We develop solutions that make it difficult for cyber criminals to detect or get around. Take mobile for instance. Just a few years ago mobile transactions were only a small fraction of the overall transaction volume of most merchants. Today they are accounting for 30-40% of most merchants’ transaction volume, and for some merchants much more. Kount first developed Mobile Software Developers kits five years ago, when we saw the trend toward consumer mobile use rising dramatically. We’ve been a leader in mobile fraud protection ever since. As we see new trends, we respond to ensure that merchants are protected.

Of course, as e-commerce evolves, and increasingly blends with m-commerce and other channels (omni-channel commerce), fraud and cybercrime evolves too. This is a huge challenge for payment providers and their merchants – what do you think the best way is for the payments industry to address this ever-present challenge?

First of all, recognizing that what organizations did last year to protect against fraud is just not good enough for this year. And, what we are doing today might be outdated in a few months. Change is the only constant when it comes to fraud mitigation and companies need to understand their own strengths and abilities when it comes to detecting and protecting against fraud. Developing fraud systems is a specialized area of expertise in our industry. Most organizations do not have that expertise on staff, and benefit from partnering with companies like Kount to help them stay ahead of cybercriminals, whether it’s online, mobile or in-store. Fraudsters change tactics and add new tools all the time and merchants need to stay up-to-date to avoid unnecessary losses.

We are witnessing a trend in payment providers who want to expand internationally – often following their merchants who are eager to break into growth markets. But this requires knowledge of the local fraud landscape, on a country-by-country basis. How does Kount support cross-border expansion and those companies operating in an increasingly global e-commerce market?

Kount sees transactions from more than 180 countries every day. We are experienced in fraud tactics from San Diego to Sao Paulo, Birmingham to Barcelona. And yes, it does take specific and in-depth knowledge of different countries’ fraud patterns, payment types, cultural acceptance, and an understanding of how payments work in each region. Germany uses fewer credit cards, but Japan is similar to the US when it comes to credit card usage. How consumers want to pay and how that payment threads through the system is important in discovering and preventing fraud. Working with PAY.ON is a very smart idea in general, but working with them when it comes to international expansion is critical, I think. Take their experience and our background and merchants can avoid a lot of missteps when crossing international borders to grow their business.

Reducing fraud and chargebacks and at the same time increasing conversions. Easier said than done, but this is a cornerstone of the Kount platform. Do you have a recent success story of a client who has implemented a solution, and seen a significant impact on their fraud levels as well as a positive effect on conversions?

We have a lot of them! Recently, Spotify reduced their chargeback rate by 98% and enabled the sale of millions of dollars worth of e-gift cards because of what Kount does. They expanded to over 40 new countries in just over seven months because fraud was no longer an issue. One omni-channel jewelry company saw chargebacks reduced by more then 74% in the first couple of months, and increased sales by over 24% in the first year. They were trying to manage fraud on their own and didn’t realize how much it was costing them until their fraud problem got out of hand. They say Kount was responsible for adding nearly $500,000 to their bottom line in the first year after implementation. I could go on, but our website has more case studies, use cases, and videos if you want to see more.

How can PAY.ON’s existing integration with Kount benefit those payment providers who are wanting to enable Kount’s tailored fraud prevention offering? How is the process simplified?

Because Kount is already integrated with PAY.ON, it streamlines the process for any of PAY.ON’s existing clients who wish to benefit from the extended fraud detection and prevention capabilities. The technical connectivity means that instead of development work, which takes time and resources, the connection can be “switched on” in the backend, and various rules can easily be set. For any payment provider that is shopping for a payment gateway, the integration simply means having more options available for determining the right fraud setup.

Finally, Kount has evidently been very busy in merchant education in 2015 with the Fraud360 World Tour. What have you learned from these seminars, and do you think there is an appetite for more education of this sort?

The Fraud 360 World Tour has been a terrific program. We have seen nearly 1,000 merchants in the past nine months. We’ll be in Singapore and Vancouver, BC in September. Merchants are starved for this type of information. They don’t get to go out to conferences nearly as often as they would like, so they were very responsive when we released the tour schedule. We have learned that merchants want to do good business, treat their customers fairly, and gain a favorable reputation in the markets they serve. And that sentiment is that same in Melbourne, Australia as it is in Melbourne, Florida.

Fraud knows no borders or boundaries. Everyone suffers from it and it can harm a merchant before they know they have a problem. Everyone wants to reduce risk and increase revenues; that is one common thread. Most merchants will confess that they are not fraud experts and that dealing with fraud distracts them from their real business. At Kount we want to help merchants get back to growing and maintaining a healthy business, let us put our expertise to work for merchants and watch their business really take off.

About the Author:
Christopher Taine is the Social Media & PR Manager spreading the word about PAY.ON's products and services.