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Spectrum Message Services finalist in 2018 Premier's NSW Export Awards


14 September, 2018

Spectrum Message Services has been named a finalist in the Small Business category of the annual Premier's NSW Export Awards.

Managing Director Gerard Vos said Spectrum’s technologies enable financial institutions to reduce the risk of fraud and provide superior customer service, while also reducing operational cost and complexity.

“If you have a credit or a debit card, there is a high chance that you will experience some type of fraud, like millions of other people around the world,” he said.

"To combat fraud banks employ fraud systems that sometimes flag transactions as suspicious, or decline transactions automatically. Spectrum's technology translates those events to a text message or push alert to the customer asking them to confirm or deny a transaction. On the simple Yes/No response the system can then take all actions of an operator, and therefore quickly fixes the issue for the cardholder, or reports it as indeed fraudulent"

Worldwide losses from card fraud rose to US$21 billion in 2015, up from about US$8 billion in 2010. By 2020, that number is expected to reach US$31 billion.

“Credit and debit card fraud is a huge issue globally and our technologies assist the banks in reducing their risk,” Gerard said.
“We provide mobile solutions connected to payments systems to some of the world’s most well-known financial institutions".

“Around 27 million people in 20 countries receive alerts from Spectrum's systems installed at various banks.
“The value Spectrum provides to its clients is two-fold, with interactive messaging and mobile banking solutions, as well as a mobile front end development and run time tool called SNAP,” Gerard said.

Gerard, a Clunes local, is fluent in five languages and this enables him to communicate and work closely with Spectrum’s clients around the world.

“I travel a lot but really enjoy coming home and working at Clunes. The clean air and natural environment allows you to really concentrate and put complex ideas into perspective,” he said.

The winners will be announced at an Awards Gala dinner on 24 October in Sydney.

Chief Executive Officer of the Export Council of Australia (ECA) Alina Bain said: “The Export Awards celebrate NSW business excellence in international trade and recognise exporters’ contribution to the NSW economy. The awards also give exporters the opportunity to make their company and international business story known. The high number of applicants, which includes the high number of first time applicants, demonstrates the strength of NSW exporters and the collaborate approach by the New South Wales Government, the ECA and our partners to focus on exporters and to celebrate their success.”

Applicants represent a range of industries including agribusiness, business services, creative industries, digital technologies, health and bio tech, e-commerce, education and training, manufacturing and METs. “They are a true reflection of the diversity of New South Wales businesses,” said Ms Bain.

“The international business landscape in NSW encompasses many companies working tirelessly to compete on the global stage. NSW’s exporters succeed through persistence and a recognition that Australia’s industry has much value to add for international customers. The awards recognise this challenge and rewards those businesses taking it on.” Ms Bain said.

Premier’s Export Awards Small Business Finalists
Spectrum Message Services Pty Ltd
Aceit Sportswear Pty Ltd
Evolution Trustees
SalDoce Fine Foods
Vaikobi Ocean Performance

View the full list of 2018 Premier's NSW Export Awards finalists.


Why do banks often ignore customer service when it comes to fraud?

Spectrum message Services Managing Director, Gerard Vos, says effective fraud prevention is all about using the same communications tools as your cardholders.

Many consumers have, at some stage, experienced fraud or suspected fraud with their debit or credit card. According to a 2016 AITE group report on global consumer fraud, one in three consumers experience some type of fraud every five years.

How a bank responds when it suspects fraud and how it communicates with its cardholders, is of crucial importance to the ongoing satisfaction and retention of its customers.

Many fraud departments have fraud reduction in their Key Performance Indicators. However, keeping cardholders happy and minimising the impact to them doesn’t usually feature in their KPI’s.

Some of the bad processes we’ve all experienced as consumers:

- You’re travelling and haven’t told the bank. The bank blocks your card on the first foreign transaction and leaves a message on your home or mobile phone to ring them during business hours.

- The bank's fraud system declines your transaction based on a real time rule but does not communicate with you, and you need to ring them whilst roaming in another country. Even worse if they use real time rules but do not have a 24/7 call centre. A transaction that occurs on Friday night cannot be remedied until the Monday.

- The bank blocks your card after a suspicious transaction and you find out when you try and use it the next time, leaving you embarrassed at the shop.

- You are on the road and the bank rings you to verify a transaction and starts with a 10 minute dialogue, asking personal questions to verify your identity, although you can't verify it is the bank ringing.

By not having sound customer service processes, banks can quickly lose customers. In addition, the money spent acquiring the account and the ongoing revenue the customer could have provided is often not considered when measuring the effectiveness of fraud prevention.

Good customer service isn’t that hard

On a positive note, there is not usually any conflict between good customer service and efficient fraud prevention. It is all about communications and using the channels that consumers use themselves.
Most people accept fraud occurs and also understand they’re part of the solution. Although they are typically not liable, cardholders are always affected in some way when their card is compromised. Whether it’s not being able to access funds or not being able to complete a purchase, it’s annoying and embarrassing for them.

The immediate solution

Often banks will face some attrition due to cardholders being dissatisfied with the way fraud is handled or with repeated denial of service. This can mean using the card less for larger purchases, or when travelling, or leaving the bank altogether and taking out another card. Good communications on fraud will reduce attrition and help banks to retain customers longer and maximise their cardholders’ use of the card.

When a suspicious transaction occurs, consumers now expect an immediate text message or push alert in their mobile banking app which they can respond to and rectify the issue.

This takes seconds and the message can tell the cardholder what transaction occurred, and what actions were taken so far. They can then confirm or deny the transaction simply by pressing a button.

Spectrum Message Services MoneyGuard solution enables banks to send these notifications automatically from their fraud system, such as ACI's PRM, to the customer's handset. The system can then reach out to customers using SMS, Push alerts, Email or Automated Voice, depending on the bank or consumer preferences and data available. This interaction is triggered by the rules firing and selects the correct message dialogue for the type of transaction.

More than 27 million cardholders in 12 countries currently receive alerts generated by MoneyGuard.

The cardholder is fully informed of what is happening in near real time and they can feel in control and they’re no longer embarrassed when their card doesn’t work suddenly at the checkout.

When the bank declines a suspicious transaction and the cardholder confirms it’s safe, the system can prevent that same transaction from being declined a second time, and also advise the cardholder they can repeat the transaction.

From our experience, cardholders tend to become more loyal to their bank as a result of these interactions. If cardholders know they can use their card overseas and quickly address suspicious transactions, they will trust your card and remain loyal to your brand.

Additional benefits

One of Mexico's largest banks first used MoneyGuard in 2015 in conjunction with real time declines. Not only did the system pay for itself in just three months because of a reduction in fraud, it also significantly improved their customer service feedback.

Using automation for customer interactions can also bring additional cost savings. One of our clients, a large Canadian bank, has reduced the call volume for suspicious transactions by more than 10,000 calls a month. They also found consumers were willing to participate and freely give their mobile number. Within 18 months of going live, they doubled the number of client mobile phone numbers in their system to more than nine million. The cost of an average interaction went from $8 to $10 for a manual interaction to a few cents for sending text messages.

Most fraud systems have what is called a false – positive rate, and that’s the ratio to when the system suspects that a transaction is fraudulent, versus when it is actually fraudulent. Rules that decline and block cards need to be the best, but are often still 3 to 1. The rules that just flag a transaction as suspicious often have more than an 8 to 1 ratio. By using automated interactions, fraud operators only need to follow up the confirmed fraud cases or 1/8 of the alert volume thereby further reducing unwelcome customer interactions.

These speedy yet simple interactions reduce fraud, reduce the cost of customer interactions, and result in satisfied customers who are part of the process and have faith when using their card.

Suite 12, Level 2, 7 Grosvenor Place
Brookvale NSW 2100

T: +61 2 89689307
F: +61 2 89689313