Retail Decisions targets India with Bird Consult partnership

Source: Retail Decisions

Leading payment card issuer Retail Decisions (ReD), the world expert in card fraud prevention and payment processing, has now extended its global reach into India.

The company has signed a partnership agreement with Bird Consult, the consultancy wing of one of the country's largest and most diversified travel conglomerates, Bird Group. A market leader in India for almost four decades, the group has a turnover of over 100 million dollars a year, a workforce of nearly 3500 employees, 40 offices across the Indian subcontinent and an expanding network of services to over 500 top corporates, all of which can now have access to ReD's expertise in preventing and detecting e-payment fraud.

The partnership reflects the rise of internet retail activity in Asia, with forecasters predicting that e-commerce there will grow by over 23% a year, to reach $168 billion by 2011. India is seeing the greatest growth - with the biggest rise in online usage in the world, increasing by 33% to 21 million users between 2006-7.

Development faces a challenge - there is no nationwide credit card system or efficient network delivery system, and only 2% of the population has credit cards. However this still amounts to a commercially significant 26.5 million payment cards, with consumers using them to spend an average of 4000 rupees (£50.50) a month - up 166% in three years.

With airline tickets among the top three items bought online, internet travel agencies are a key target for fraudsters. The International Association of Airline Internal Auditors has reported that airline fraud cost the industry $100 million in 2006.

While serving the Indian subcontinent's travel and tourism industry, The Bird Group will now benefit from ReD's two decades of expertise in cutting-edge, fraud-beating techniques.

Carl Clump, CEO of Retail Decisions said: "With India now witnessing a tremendous boom in the tourism market - with inbound travel of 4.43 million in 2006 and a double digit annual growth forecast until 2020 - online bookings are set to escalate, so the partnership between ReD and Bird Group is well-timed. Not only does it help reassure India's onlinne shoppers that e-buying is safe and secure, but it also brings dramatic financial benefits to online retailers."

ReD estimates that its state-of-the-art systems, which currently touch around 14 billion card transactions annually, allows its global clients to save around $1.2 billion in fraudulent purchases a year. One travel industry partner reported an impressive 20 times return on their investment in the first six months.

Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group said he was very optimistic about the potential of the partnership. "Technology has been the forefront of Bird Group and continues to be our forte. Through our various companies we continue to assist several large, medium and small businesses with their internet capabilities across different levels. Internet security is a big concern for many of our clients and this partnership will help increase our value offering while allowing ReD to benefit from our extensive network and our market experience and expertise."

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