Getting “Back to Business” with the Merchant Risk Council 

The theme for last week’s MRC | Merchant Risk Council Vegas 2022 was “Back to Business,” and it couldn’t have been more apt.

I don’t know if I’ve been at a conference where people were so excited to be there. Sure, some of that is definitely due to two years of pent-up energy not gathering in person during the pandemic, but a lot of it was tied to the genuinely exhilarating information people were sharing and connections they were making. Adam Elliott and I sure had some conversations that left us inspired and invigorated about the sophisticated ways we can fight fraud and create better experiences for all in this environment.

E-commerce companies and service providers were there to talk about the latest cutting-edge trends in payments and fraud prevention, and it was clear that collaboration is king. I left Las Vegas with two big takeaways around the importance of teaming up to fight fraud:

Merchants and issuers need to work together. Sarah Strauss, Senior Vice President, Head of Fraud & Customer Channels Strategy, US Card at Capital One, discussed scams that are blending digital account fraud with old-school card theft. For instance, criminals fraudulently sign up an address for an Informed Delivery or similar account, so they can see exactly when a credit card will be in someone’s mailbox, then swoop in as soon as it arrives. Or once an account is taken over, the criminal orders something – still to the account owner’s actual address – but then contacts the delivery service to change the delivery address at the last minute, setting off fewer alarms and counting on stakeholders not communicating with each other. With fraudsters continuing to get more savvy and sophisticated, merchants, issuers and, in this case, delivery services like USPS, UPS and FedEx need to share resources, integrate tech, set up controls and fight back together.

Partnerships between vendors are more important than ever, as well. Because technology is being embraced at a lightning-fast pace, it’s often very specialized. Some companies are working to find new ways to detect bots. Others are exclusively focused on AI. Others still, like Kevari, are focused on data and techniques that have proven successful in the financial institution space and can apply to e-commerce. Varied specialties open up opportunities for multiple vendors to work together to provide a flexible and integrated fraud solution that can be tailored to the unique needs of the merchant.

For merchants, issuers, and solutions providers, teaming up to weave a web of technology will prevent fraudsters from slipping through.

I’m already looking forward to the next conference! In the meantime, if you would like to discuss ways we can work together to combat identity fraud, please reach out to me at 612-300-3005 or


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