December 8, 2011, 10:13 AM

A growing staffing firm keeps its fraud rate low while reducing manual fraud reviews

oDesk also reduced the time spent on each review with a fraud prevention system.

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Last year oDesk Corp., an online staffing firm that acts as a marketplace for contractors and the employers that want to hire them, needed a new fraud prevention system that could scale with it as it grew. The pool of global contract workers offering their services on oDesk.com was doubling year over year, oDesk says. While its existing fraud prevention system still kept payment fraud rates low, it required a lot of staff attention, which meant it was costing oDesk more money as its user base grew. 

ODesk manages payments to 1.5 million independent contract workers in more than 150 countries and makes payments via wire transfer, debit card, PayPal and other means. It has to manage the payment details for each contractor and verify the legitimacy of each new contractor that joins the oDesk marketplace. After reviewing several fraud management programs, oDesk selected a web-based fraud prevention program from Accertify Inc. because it automated many of the processes that previously ate up the time of oDesk staffers.

“ODesk has had tremendous growth year after year,” says Ron Aquino, senior manager of risk management for oDesk. “Our fraud rate was under control, but we needed to invest in a system that would scale along with our business. With Accertify, we saw immediate gains in our efficiency and scalability.”

ODesk says it set up about 30% more business rules than it had previously to automatically screen transactions for suspicious behavior. That allowed oDesk to spot fraud more accurately and let legitimate transactions move through the system more quickly. It reduced the number of transactions being sent to staffers for manual review by 30%. It also cut the time spent per manual review in half, which allowed oDesk to keep the size of the fraud prevention staff in check. oDesk was also able to eliminate a manual internal verification process it used for new contractors.

“We were able to accept more business with Accertify,” Aquino says. “Our customers can get to work faster, without interference from the fraud review process.”

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