Visa Europe Acceptance Risk Forum was held on 25th and 26th November, London, at Visa Europe headquarters. Delegates were invited to attend this second annual Risk Forum, specifically tackling the risks payment providers and acquirers face from merchant practices. With increased use of the Internet as a channel for payments, comes greater risk of online fraud and crime. This risk generates a need for more robust payments regulation.
Visa Acceptance Risk Forum brought together all payments chain stakeholders – acquirers, payment providers and regulatory bodies – creating a community to share information and tackle the regulatory and reputation issues surrounding acceptance risk and online fraud. “Why does no one rob banks anymore? Because it’s not where the money is,” comments Jason Thomas, Chief of Innovation at Thomson Reuters.
“Payments regulation is here to stay,” confirms Peter Moller-Jensen, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Visa Europe. Even in just the past year, more fraudulent merchants with increasingly sophisticated criminal activities have entered the market. This makes the Acceptance Risk Forum more important than ever before. “We are seeing new patterns of fraudulent behavior,” agrees Ron Teicher, CEO of Evercompliant. “It is our job to be on top of it.”
With industry-leading talks from Google, Worldpay, Webshield, UK Gambling Commission and Thomson Reuters, the Forum approaches all angles of acceptance risk; new technologies, payments regulation, high-risk red flags and challenges with borderless businesses. “How much risk are you willing to take, for the benefit of that risk?” asked Jason Thomas. “We’ve seen a lot of movement in the digital currency space, like Bitcoin, for licit and illicit transactions, and how that affects folks in the business of taking credit cards.”
I spoke at the Forum about European Union payments regulation and why it has such an impact on how the payments business is driven in the EU. While ecommerce and card-not-present payments are global in nature, they are biased by regional and local regulations. Having a robust public affairs strategy, taking a holistic approach to regulation and fostering competition will tackle these inconsistencies across the EU, allowing the industry to render more innovative services.
Other key takeaways from the Visa Acceptance Risk Forum include;
- Refresh your risk management strategy; there is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach
- Be vigilant; illegality and online fraud is fostered around unregulated, digital payments
- Crime taps into fear; fake foods and vaccines breed on issues of public concern, such as the current Ebola crisis
- Manage and share information; tapping into ‘big data’ will make it harder for fraudulent merchants to operate
Visa Acceptance Risk Forum’s key piece of advice to emerge; be versatile and willing to think comprehensively. Acceptance risk management is not just about ticking boxes and assuming the job is done. Illegal online activity is constantly evolving so, as payments stakeholders, we should all be operating intuitively. Indeed, “Change regulation to suit your purpose,” advises Peter Moller-Jensen. “Engage, be constructive. That is the best way of influencing payments regulation.” Overall, acceptance risk is not something to be feared. Understanding it and managing it is paramount.