26 November 2015

Matt Scott

Matt Scott - NCR Corporation

12Posts 45,846Views 119Comments

The Cost of False Positives

01 March 2010  |  3791 views  |  0

Today, for the fifth time in as many months, my Debit Card was Blocked by my UK Bank for suspect activity.  I know exactly what the activity is, its the same activity that happened the first time and every time subsequently.

Every time it occurs I make a point of talking to their Fraud team - pointing out exactly what their "Fraud Monitoring Application" has decided looked a bit dodgy.

The transactions in question are Pre-Paid Debit Card top ups.  Now I could understand if these were top ups on Cards outside the United Kingdom, or even those made in the UK but from another Issuer - but when you are topping up Cards Issued by the same Bank it is a crazy move.

It would appear that [UK Bank] do not join up Customer Accounts from their Retail Core Banking and their Prepaid Issuing division - otherwise they would very quickly identify that I am one and the same person, living at the same address, using the same accounts.

Bearing in mind the full 3DSecure Verification passed ok along with the CVC2 it seems crazy that despite multiple notification from their customer they are unwilling to modify rules in their "Fraud Monitoring Application".

So what is the cost to [UK Bank] - well, I've said in no uncertain terms that if my Card is blocked again from the same chain of events I will be cancelling all accounts with the institution and migrating them to an alternative supplier (obviously I'll need to do some homework to find who has the most reliable systems). 

My advice to any UK Bank is: listen carefully to your customers.  Don't be dismissive, some of them actually do know what they are talking about.  Use the information they provide to adapt your Fraud Rules accordingly to reduce the number of False Positives and Increase Customer Satisfaction.


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job title Enterprise Software Architect
location London
member since 2009
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Working on new and innovative software solutions for Financial Services organisations.

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