New Technology - Can we just 'plug it in' or is there more work to be done?
According to Bill Trueman CEO of wwwUKFRAUD.co.uk.... “There are too many suppliers with a ‘fantastic solution’ that works beautifully on paper, in practice and in the real-live environment; and will stop fraud perfectly ....or at least as perfectly as it can in an imperfect world. However, time and time again, I go into an organisation at the behest of the CEO, and the conversation goes like this. "Fraud rose last year from £2m to £4m a month, even though we bought the best solution in the market with ALL the bells and whistles. Should we throw it away now and start again?".
The answer is invariably "NO", but the problem is always different, and generally relates to the process, people, decisions and implementation. Unfortunately, the technology vendor is always seen as just that. A technology vendor..... and the super-salesman who sold the technology would be as out of place in the company as he would down a coal mine. So the sort of things that need to be got right from the get go are as follows:
1. Understanding the Solution - Technology purchased in isolation. Sounds obvious, but when we buy a vehicle, we need to think about the insurance band, whether we have a licence for this type of vehicle, parking, tax, fuel, fitting in the family, car seats, colours, comfort, types of driving, mileage, servicing etc., etc., And yet buyers of fraud solutions can buy a product based upon the sales-pitch with little thinking about how it fits into the process, the business and what the people actually do. Often, the purchase AND implementation are left entirely to the technology division (or fraud team) to implement within a purchaser, without actually looking at the impact on the other areas, divisions or parts of a business. These are all important components.
2. Customer vs Risk appetite. If I buy my car, and only want to drive it at the speed of a bicycle for journeys of 200m a day, then I should have stuck with a bicycle. The business must WANT to do something about the fraud, must want to reduce its costs (and be in pain) to drive change. However, there is a balance businesses who have too much focus on 'customer' make big fraud, debt and operational losses, conversely, those who focus upon 'risks avoidance' can lose customers unless the customer is considered fully in every aspect of a technology implementation.
3. Focus upon Results. So frequently the product is purchased with high expectations of results, but there is no focus on the results, and the expected results are NOT put into the fraud (or other) team objectives. If the team in the customer do not have a clear sight of the destination, they never hope to arrive where they want to be. If the target is to get fraud down from £3m a month to £2m a month with the new product, then develop a plan to make this happen with the tool - do not switch it on and expect it to drive you there without touching the controls OR interacting with it OR bothering to change what you normally do.
4. Hunger & Urgency. There has to be a sponsor in the business, someone who is hungry to make a difference and WILL succeed. There has to be someone driving, as everyone cannot get drunk and sit in the back of the car singing. Fraud is NOT EVER about a single solution. Solving a fraud problem is about continuous effort and ongoing struggles. It needs to involve process change, prevention, continual updating of the parameters in the technology and in the process and adapting. AGain, the car will not work if you only drive with the throttle down to the floor, or never use the wipers.
5. Understand the Fraudster and his psychology. And hey, if you stop the fraudster in one place, he will move. And he will keep moving. So the customer, whether a bank, insurers, a retailer or an internet business MUST, must must watch the fraudster like a hawk and keep track of hims so that his every move can be anticipated.
So, this is all very tough for every vendor, big or small. Their products work best when there are change champions driving things forward within the business, at board level, and operationally, who know your product, who know and understand the fraudsters' every move; who are watching the numbers carefully and know exactly what the risk vs. reward balance is. Do you get this right in every case, and do you help your customer to get it right every time as best you can. Or do you just leave the new machine outside the house with the keys in it and with no manual or support. Worse still, when he plugs it in does he really know what it does and how it will change his life.
Sadly, most of the time the answer is "not in million years".