With businesses becoming increasingly digitised, and more transactions taking place online, the need to deploy robust fraud prevention measures has found itself at the top of the priority list for many gambling operators. 

But how do you stay ahead of the curve when fraudsters are constantly evolving?  

Speaking ahead of SBC Summit Latinoamérica, Anuar Alarcon, Business Development Manager for Mexico and Latin America at Vesta, tells us about how the company has established itself as a leading authority in the fraud prevention space. 

He shares his views on why betting and gaming companies must look towards new technologies as a means of combating fraudulent activity.

An industry veteran

Since Vesta was founded nearly three decades ago, the company has become a leading transaction guarantee platform that largely specialises in digital purchases. 

Its core mission, Alarcon explained, is to empower organisations by not only boosting approval rates but also eradicating the financial impacts of payment fraud. 

He began: “This mission not only encompasses direct monetary losses, but also addresses the significant issues of lost sales and faulty clients. This is incredibly important nowadays, especially with the shift towards the digital space.”

Vesta first started out in the telecommunications (TelCo) space. Since then, the platform has branched out into numerous other sectors with the aim of combating fraudulent transactions. 

It may sound like a completely different ball game, but this experience in TelCo has proved to be integral in shaping Vetas’s approach towards online gaming. 

“Indeed, Vesta has been at the forefront of fraud prevention for more than 27 years now. We initially established our roots in the telco industry long before many of our competitors even came into existence,” Alarcon continued.

“Today, we proudly serve a diverse range of industries, including ecommerce, digital, online gaming, travel, telcos, payment service providers and many more. Although the specific applications may vary across these verticals, the underlying intent of malicious actors remains consistent. 

“Our extensive experience uniquely positions us to adapt and tailor our strategies to effectively combat fraud within the online gaming industry. 

An ever-changing threat

Fraud can now present itself in a multitude of ways, including botnets, card testing and social engineering. But how do you respond to a threat that doesn’t occur in the same way twice? 

Put simply, Alarcon explained that companies must be open to adopting new technologies to combat fraud. This is even more pertinent as the world continues to shift towards digitisation.

He said: “Fraudsters themselves are becoming much more sophisticated, using new technology to steal identities, credit cards and products. Therefore, it is imperative to collaborate with a provider that leverages advanced technologies like machine learning, AI and graph link analysis, to fight fire with fire, so to speak.

“These tools enable us to identify anomalies and uncover hidden connections that might otherwise go unnoticed, helping us to prevent potential fraud attacks. 

“Furthermore, artificial intelligence empowers Vesta to swiftly recognise the hallmarks of legitimate transactions, ensuring a seamless experience for genuine customers. We’re really good at not only identifying the bad actors, but also helping identify the good ones to provide that frictionless and unique experience end to end.”

Vesta has demonstrated its commitment to remaining at the forefront of fraud prevention by investing in AI and ML-focused technologies. This enables the platform to process large volumes of information and effectively flag activities which may pose a threat to a gambling operator.

“We specialise in analysing billions of data points, ensuring that our insights and decisions are backed by the most advanced technological capabilities available,” Alarcon continued. 

“Here at Vesta, we have established a dedicated data science team that works on refining and retraining our risk models on a daily basis. This commitment ensures that we deliver the highest level of accuracy and performance for our valued customers.

“However, the proliferation of individual point solutions can present a challenge for merchants. That’s where experienced fraud protection vendors with integrated and orchestrated solutions stepped in. By harmonising these diverse elements, we play a pivotal role in reducing the overall cost of fraud for an organisation.”

Challenging economics

One factor that can have an effect on the number of fraudulent transactions is the economy, particularly when cost of living may be rising. It is at times like this when companies such as Vesta notice elevated fraudulent activity.

The Business Development Manager urged businesses to exercise caution and adopt “robust fraud prevention measures” to navigate these challenging times effectively. 

Alarcon continued: “The challenging economic climate undoubtedly introduces new dynamics into the landscape of fraud. It is during economic downturns that we often observe an uptick in inadvertent friendly fraud, as individuals become more financially cautious, and may be a little more rigorous on their expenditures. People are paying much closer attention to what they are spending. 

“Additionally, economic hardships can make people more vulnerable to scams. The pressure to make ends meet may lead some people to overlook red flags or exercise less caution, making them more susceptible to fraudulent schemes.”

By using measures such as identity verification and transaction monitoring, Alarcon believes that organisations can remain several steps ahead of fraudulent actors, and therefore create a safer environment for their end customers.

A dynamic business

It would be almost impossible for anyone to predict what changes could take place when it comes to navigating fraud prevention. But of course, we had to ask Alarcon what he thought lies ahead for the gaming industry over the next few months. 

If we look at the gaming industry on a global scale, he explained that new markets opening up could leave operators particularly vulnerable to newly emerging threats.

He explained: “For the remainder of 2023, and going into 2024, the online gaming industry faces significant fraud challenges with one in every 23 transactions being fraudulent. What this means is that the industry as a whole is particularly vulnerable, largely due to its rapid growth and evolving regulations.”

Vesta has already set out plans to engage these threats by working alongside its operator partners to strengthen their existing fraud measures. This includes enhancing verification checks, monitoring transactions that take place online as well as using technology to flag any suspicious activity.

Alarcon added: “We can’t just sit back and hope these issues resolve themselves. This is a very dynamic business, and we will continue to protect our customers from fraud.”

You will be able to catch the Vesta team at the upcoming SBC Summit Latinoamérica, which takes place from 31 October to 2 November. 

Rounding off the discussion, Alarcon gave us a sneak peek into what delegates can expect to see during the conference: “At the upcoming SBC Summit Latinoamérica, when delegates pop by our stand, they can expect to benefit from valuable opportunities to foster connections and share knowledge among operators and vendors in the Latin American market.

“Events such as this provide a platform to address common challenges and discover the diverse contributions each participant can bring to the table. 

“During the two days of networking, delegates will be able to meet with Vesta to expand their professional network and gain insights into emerging concepts, ideas and technologies across various domains including compliance, risk management, technology, ecommerce, marketing, sales and payments.”

For more information on Vesta, visit www.vesta.io.