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David R. Butcher[July 20, 2004]

Busted! Adeptra Fights Credit Card Fraud



Adeptra, a Connecticut and U.K.-based provider of alerting technology that delivers time-sensitive information to customers via voice and text (SMS) fax, as well as e-mail, can help credit card-issuers push information out to their customers on any personal communication device.

Adeptra develops and implements the use of interactive alerting systems that provide what it calls �just in time� response solutions to any company at consumer risk, primarily financial services companies such as fraud, collections and some certain marketing, as well as hospitals and retail, allowing instant response.

Among the major bank companies implementing Adeptra�s two-way interactive program are Bank One, Fleet, Chase and Wells.

One of the major problems that banks and credit card issuers face is a lack of staffing to review and contact their customers who are potential victims of fraud, or effectively collect on past due accounts.

As credit card companies seek to decrease the amount of fraudulent transactions processed each year, Adeptra offers tools to help these companies notify the card companies� customers almost immediately when they detect a suspicious transaction and then receive a response in return. The just-in-time response solution allows credit card companies to reach out to card-holders and verify if a certain transaction or series of transactions is valid.  

Transactions are graded according to a set of rules outlined by the card issuer.  If a transaction doesn�t rate a certain grade, the two-way interactive system calls the card user and requests authentication by verifying questions only the user knows the answers to. 

If the transaction is deemed legitimate, the information gained during this verification process is integrated into existing records for future reference. If the transaction is regarded as spurious, Adeptra�s system will connect the card-holder with a live fraud analyst, who can then attempt to secure the protection and privacy of the user�s account. 

Only 80 to 90 percent of the flagged-for-verification transactions are proven legitimate, according to Adeptra President Vytas Kisielius. However, it�s the speed in which the verification process can be completed that makes the managed service appealing to credit card companies. 

The process is completely automated. This alleviates the credit card-holder of any possible embarrassment if/when he or she does purchase something about which they may not wish to discuss with a live operator (kind of like the way that a Playboy subscription arrives in an indiscernible brown packet by mail). On the collections side, it also saves possessors of delinquent accounts from feelings of judgment, responding to an automated voice or e-mail rather than to a live agent. 

This results in a reduction of collections calls hang-ups, and it limits the time spent by live employees trying to track down delinquent accounts. Instead, according to Kisielius, Adeptra will do it more quickly and more cheaply.  

Rather than focus on the technology, Adeptra prefers to differentiate itself from similar companies by centralizing on a return on investments. Kisielius says Adeptra can make customer contacts for roughly one-half of the current cost. Using the application and technology to quickly attain a ROI, according to Kisielius, will make the companies that take advantage of Adeptra: 

  • Get added value and process improvement
  • Enhance customer service
  • Lower costs
  • Implement easily
  • Improve the process of getting urgent time sensitive information to customers
  • Improve the automation of actionable response

Adeptra is a private company that originated in the United Kingdom in 1996 before coming to the U.S. under the name RealCall in 1999. Reforming in 2000, the company finally settled between Norwalk and London.

David R. Butcher is the assistant editor for TMC's Customer Interaction Solutions magazine.

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