Accertify Index: Hindsight is 2017


By Matt Marcus, Senior Fraud Data Analyst - Accertify, Inc.

eCommerce fraud prevention, like every tech industry, is continually focused on the future.  What’s next?  What new technical innovation is being dreamt up to better enable sales while knocking down fraud attempts?  What piece of the customer interaction can we dig into now?  The industry has moved to incorporate many available pieces of an interaction: device attributes, session analytics, behavioral elements – in addition to the foundational transaction data that is generated within each order.  All of these pieces add useful context to a given transaction, but the focus on the mechanics of what’s being obtained (Screen resolution!  Pages visited! Clickstream variance!) can distract from what it all is at its essence:  Data.  Inputs to drive more predictive decisioning.

When it comes to data, its exoticness (Device angle!) isn’t always a reflection of its value.  By focusing so much on the hyper-specifics of each new interaction, we risk ignoring the oceans of data that exist in the one place we always forget to look:  the past.
Our industry is young, but it’s not that young.  Many merchants have customers who have shopped with them for a decade or more; almost all have customers who have come back multiple times over the past 3+ years.  Yet we rarely look backwards for our insights.  We want to know everything we can about this current transaction, but isn’t there just as much, or more, to learn from how the current interaction fits your customer’s past relationship with your site?  Or, from their relationship with a broad collection of major eCommerce sites?

Accertify would argue that there is, in fact, deep and largely untapped value in this historical context, and we’d like you to help us prove it.  Our July release will feature, for the first time, the ability for participating clients to reference and decision on metadata from our extensive Accertify® Index database – years of cross-merchant customer interactions based on four primary transaction attributes: Email Address, IP Address, Payment, and Phone Number.
If you’ve ever wanted to know whether Accertify’s participating clients have seen your customer’s email address before, when it was first seen, and whether any transactions from it were identified as fraudulent, this release may be relevant to your interests.  If you think the risk of fraud is low when a customer consistently transacts from one IP Address, using the same Email and Payment, for months across multiple eCommerce industries, now is your chance to confirm that suspicion.

We’re thrilled at the opportunity to expose this cross-industry data to our clients and are excited to see the ways in which they use it to improve their performance in the two measurements that matter most: reducing friction and capturing fraud.  There’s unquestionably value in continuing to mine the future for new insights and data points, and we’ll keep innovating to do so, but we’re just as enthusiastic about making so much of the past, and the context that can be gained from it, available to our clients.