ACI Worldwide’s Darren Wood: ‘As soon as there is friction, consumers will disappear’

The new SCA checks in the UK have started to impact the payment journey across the country. ACI Worldwide Senior Consultant, Darren Wood, spoke with Payment Expert News Editor, Joe Streeter, to discuss ACI’s vision of creating better customer profiling data, fighting back against fraudsters, and making the customer payment journey as frictionless as possible with as much security as possible. 

With up to 5.1 million cases of fraud reported each year in the UK, the two-step verification process was deemed necessary by government officials within the country. Whilst security measures are strengthened, friction becomes more apparent for the customer experience. 

Wood and the rest of his team at ACI are trying to help break that notion, hoping for a frictionless payment journey with the added security. 

“With the intelligent profile in which you can go through, you can really take that friction away,” said Wood. 

“I think that’s key to the consumer journey and having that flexibility, so it’s really about your profile engine and make sure you have all the data in there, so that data is vital for making a smoother journey.” 

These new SCA rule checks further extend the need for customer profiling to better gauge them. Wood lends his knowledge of working in the gambling and igaming spaces, and how ACI best approaches customer profiling for punters. 

“We have six pillars in terms of gambling and when it comes to gaming from that side, you have to look at things like tokenisation, your analytics, your acquiring. You’re looking at local as well as multi-acquiring from that point,” he explained. 

“You need to look at things like authentication and customer profiling to go through and help with that. It’s key that you work with a payment provider who really does have that strong area in that side business so you can work on things like the rules to cause less friction to your end consumers. As soon as they get more friction, they’re going to disappear onto another site.”

Customer profiling and more stringent SCA checks are all ultimately a part of the same cause; the fight against fraudsters. 

But over the years, fraudsters have adapted and evolved in their measures, creating new methods to outperform the fraud detection softwares. 

Wood spoke on the evolving nature of fraudsters and how concerning forms of fraud such as ‘friendly fraud’, can be larger than it is perceived to be. 

“I think there’s been a big increase in that. It has evolved a lot with things like organised fraud and friendly fraud,” said Wood. 

“You look at friendly fraud and you think ‘oh well it’s not that important’, but actually it is quite large and the organised fraud from that point is also growing. It’s such a key area to look at from a forward point of view.”