Consumers who use credit cards may soon receive legitimate automated messages about suspicious-seeming activity, thanks -- if that's the right word -- to a new partnership between FICO and Adeptra.
Together, the two companies have introduced an automated fraud detection and verification service that's designed to flag and verify suspicious credit card transactions, and then contact customers automatically using voice, text and email.
"This capability expands the reach of fraud operations while reducing overhead costs, allowing operations to run smoothly without restrictions of staffing requirements or live-agent costs," the companies stated in a news release.
FICO, best known for the credit score of the same name, provides analytics and decision-making services to financial services companies.
Adeptra makes automated call center systems that contact consumers by voice, text and email and relay or leave prerecoded digital-voice messages about suspected fraud, payments and opt-in products and services. The company's systems can contact thousands of people simultaneously, make more successful contacts and produce "significantly better results than human agents alone," according to the news release.
A service that alerts consumers to fraudulent credit card activity sounds like a boon, because more alerts might mean quicker action to close a compromised account and stop further unauthorized charges.
Still, skeptics might be concerned about more automated systems that can send out thousands of alerts triggered by suspicious-seeming, yet potentially legitimate transactions. That's especially worrisome since these systems can be set up to place a block on a credit card until the consumer contacts the company and validates the activity. The alerts themselves may be mistaken by some customers for phishing emails or phone calls that warn of an urgent security matter.
Moreover, the main purpose apparently isn't to help consumers, but rather reduce the credit card issuers' costs of combating fraud by using automation to replace human agents.
Deborah Kerr, chief technology officer at FICO, said in a statement that it's difficult for credit card companies to grow and operate efficiently.
"The more they can focus the resources they have on generating revenue instead of preventing losses," she said, "the healthier their business will be."
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