January 7, 2010, 12:00 AM

Virgin Mobile calls up new fraud-fighting tools to cut chargebacks

Virgin Mobile slashed its number of fraudulent chargebacks with a suite of fraud-fighting products from Kount Inc.

Virgin Mobile USA Inc., the multichannel retailer of mobile phones and wireless calling services, reduced by more than half its number of fraudulent chargebacks with a suite of fraud-fighting products from Kount Inc., Kount chief operating officer Steve Rouse says.

The retailer, which sells online at VirginMobileUSA.com, last year was experiencing fraudulent chargebacks related to its sales of prepaid wireless calling minutes. Customers routinely log on and use their credit cards to purchase and load onto their mobile phones wireless calling minutes. But in some cases these purchases were made with stolen credit card account numbers, resulting in chargebacks to Virgin Mobile, Rouse notes.

Virgin Mobile implemented a suite of risk management products from Kount that, within about 30 days, reduced by more than half both the number and the monetary value of fraudulent chargebacks, Rouse says.

The risk management products, which are contained within the Kount Compete risk management suite, include Multi-layer Device Fingerprinting, which recognizes computers that have been used by criminals to conduct online fraud, and Proxy Piercer, which reaches beyond a criminal’s proxy web servers to identify the geographic location of the computer that the same criminal uses to conduct online fraud. A third product is Dynamic Order Linking, which can detect the characteristics of online orders, such as the location of the buyer, that are related to past fraudulent orders across multiple merchants.

Kount constantly gathers data from all of these tools to create a risk score for each order on a scale of 1 to 99. According to the needs of each retailer, Kount then works with the merchant to set business rules that, for example, would automatically approve all orders with score under 30, automatically block all orders with a score over 70, and hold for review all orders in between.

Also helping to improve the chargeback rate at Virgin, Rouse adds, is the use of a Kount workflow tool designed to manage orders by their risk management score.

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