Member Spotlight: Accertify


October 11, 2017

Honoring Accertify, the MRC Member Spotlight recognizes extraordinary eCommerce members making significant contributions to the industry, developing innovative products and processes, experiencing high sales volume and reducing fraud among other accolades.

Q&A with Mark Michelon
President - Accertify, Inc.

Accertify was founded in 2007. What are the challenges and opportunities alike you experience as a growing company? How has becoming a subsidiary of American Express affected Accertify?

Evolving from a startup to an established company under a parent company creates opportunities and challenges. Being a part of American Express has enabled us to advance our growth and leverage additional resources to pursue new opportunities. They have enabled us to grow quickly into many different parts of the world. We currently have offices in 7 countries. This growth allowed us to become more diverse as a company and not only be focused on the U.S.

While this growth is extremely exciting, growing too fast can be a distraction to achieving your company's goals if it's not managed properly. It is key to not lose focus on your core competencies. Accertify has always been an organization which listens to its customers and helps solve their problems. We made sure not to lose sight of this mission as we grew. We have been able to leverage many aspects of American Express, such as their expertise in machine learning, while still being independent.

What do you believe the future of fraud prevention entails? Where is this industry headed, specifically in relation to new technologies?

Fraud prevention continues to evolve as there are new opportunities for criminals to exploit companies for financial gain. Fraud prevention and data security continue to morph into a single strategy. Vendors and merchants must continue to protect their data while trying to prevent stolen data used within their own ecosystem.

All sales channels are evolving and it is key for merchants to have a strategy which protects all of them and not a single POS. New technology has to evolve along with the payment infrastructure. Data has always been a key factor in stopping fraud. The type of data, though, is changing from PII data to machine data and biometrics. As fraud professionals we must evolve how we evaluate the transaction and authenticate a customer. That transaction is more than the financial payment. It is account creation, account login, chargeback processing, advertising. The list goes on and on. Technologies must continue to evolve to address possible vulnerabilities in each path.

Accertify works with many leading providers to enrich and validate data as part of the fraud screening process. In this industry it's less common to see a provider working with so many different partners. How does this add value to your consumers and how did you develop such beneficial partnerships?

Partnerships exist in all industries. At Accertify we realized this from the beginning. It is very difficult for any company to be the best at every aspect of providing a service. We always look for partners who can add value to our service and deliver an ROI to the customer. We want to ensure the partner is offering something different that we might not offer.

As you develop partnerships, the strongest part is trust. Both partners must trust each other or the relationship will never work. We have built a strong brand and we always want to ensure we work with partners who share our commitment to customer service and can help enhance our brand.

What areas are you seeing the greatest demand in relation to your services? What large-scale challenges are merchants facing right now?

Most merchants continue to increase sales year over year. As their sales goes up, so do the fraud attacks. We are constantly being asked to help the client become more efficient while reducing costs and lowering losses. We achieve this by continued investment in machine learning and products that can help drive more accurate decisions without human involvement.

As fraudsters continually find new ways to defraud companies, we look to provide solutions to help plug these vulnerabilities. Account takeovers, loyalty fraud, and returns fraud are just few examples. Accertify's goal is to have a holistic view for a company so they have a one-stop shop to mitigate these risks. Besides technology our people are our strongest assets. Accertify strives to retain and attract the best fraud professionals in the industry. Our customers expect us to have the right resources to help them achieve their own risk strategy goals.

What benefits do you offer that set you apart your competitors?

We have been in the industry for 10 years. Our team is comprised of the leading minds in the fraud prevention world. We have a proven product set that is protecting some of the largest global brands. We have an incredible breadth of use cases, including account creation, account takeover, online reviews, reseller and returns fraud in addition to transactional fraud and more. Through our team and solution set we have been able to continually invest and innovate to secure our position as an industry leader.

How do you benefit most from the MRC community?

We have partnered with the MRC since our inception in 2007. We are excited about being the overall sponsor at the Platinum event in Chicago in 2018. We have served on the MRC board for many years as well. The community has been instrumental in helping us shape and continually improve our products. The events provide valuable training for all of our team members. The MRC community helped refine our global strategy as we grew our business and our team in Europe and APAC. We could go on and on. It is truly one of our most valued partnerships and one that will continue to be for our next ten years and beyond.

What educational industry resources do you offer, for no financial gain, to help build better commerce?

We have several educational resources, such infographics and whitepapers, to help merchants understand delivery and returns fraud, common chargeback challenges, multi-channel fraud and more. We have also seen the benefit of fostering fraud best practices amongst the various industry vertical we support. For instance, in 2017, we have sponsored dozens of industry round tables for fraud fighters to join forces to address and stay ahead of the common enemy.