First Data Europe has embarked on a UK roll out of Phone Watch, its early warning fraud detection system based on the monitoring of phone authorisation systems for payment cards.
Designed by the Bankcard Investigative Group (BIG), a subsidiary of First Data Corporation, Phone Watch aims to combat the abuse by card fraudsters of toll free telephone numbers used by merchants as a back-up system for authorisations where a card or terminal fails.
Such calls often share similar identifying characteristics including the verification of a large number of low value transactions in a short period of time from the same telephone number.
Phone Watch is a rules-based investigative system that identifies and stores 'bad' originating telephone numbers, enabling the participating issuer to better anticipate fraud activity on specific accounts and react to the threat. The system can also identify skimmed, lost and stolen credit cards.
Brian Perryman, senior product manager, risk & fraud of First Data Europe, says: "The additional benefit of Phone Watch is in its simplicity as there is no need for the issuer to install any extra software. The suspected transactions are simply sent to the issuers via secure email each day."
Phone Watch is currently used by eight of the top 10 issuers in the US and has been estimated to be saving issuers in excess of $100,000 per month.