MRC Vegas 2023 - Trends, Topics and Highlights

MRC Vegas is one of the largest conferences in its industry. With over 1200 attendees, The Merchant Risk Council’s 4 day long event brought together payment and fraud prevention professionals across all industries to network, share ideas and, our favorite, collaborate. 

New technological developments were presented side-by-side with challenges teams are facing to identify fraud while still providing optimal customer experiences. These are some of the topics that stood out:

AI and ML in Your Fraud Prevention Strategy

Zuul Quaranin, VP of Global Customer Success at Callsign, led a focus group on the role of machine learning and artificial intelligence in fraud detection and prevention. Quaranin explored how organizations can leverage data to better understand their customers and position their fraud teams for success. By breaking down silos and fostering collaboration, machine learning can help businesses reduce fraud at checkout and create a positive experience for the customer. 

Fraud During and Economic Downturns

Monica Eaton, Founder of Chargebacks911 gave a talk alongside Andy Palmer, Global Fraud Manager of Deliveroo on what we should expect to see in the world of fraud over the next year of economic uncertainty. As the state of the economy worsens, fraud often picks up. This is also something they mentioned seeing during the pandemic with the rise of food orders while we were isolating along with the opportunity that presented itself to many people to engage in unethical behavior. 

One interesting anecdote that our team took away from the talk was a point made by Palmer. The Global Fraud Manager discussed the need to make quick decisions on Deliveroo to support the spike in business growth versus the need to be diligent in their fraud prevention efforts. He explained the juggling act of keeping both the restaurants and the customers safe from scams and fraud, all whilst approving as many orders as possible.

Stopping Buyer and Seller Fraud: Uri and Asa

On the second day of the conference, our very own Co-Founder and VP Product Uri Arad took to the stage with Asa Zaidman, Product Lead - Risk and Compliance at Wix. Wix is a professional website building platform with an offering for merchants to run their business on Wix’s technology, including payments and risk. Zaidman shared the goal of the offering streamlined experience with higher approval and less friction for customers. In essence, the confidence to say “yes” more often without jeopardizing the safety of the transaction. This was possible by joining Identiq’s network and leveraging the knowledge of the peer-to-peer network. At a time where customer demand for frictionless experiences is at an all time high, these priorities were heard in this session and throughout the entire conference.

Loyalty Abuse

In a session lead by Director of Trust and Safety at Reverb and our friend Holly Sandberg and PJ Rohall, Co-Founder of About Fraud, our team had front row seats to a discussion about the ways loyalty abuse is carried out, how it affects your company’s revenue and what you can do about it. 

The ethics of fraud came into the talk towards the end. Sandberg discussed the ease of which you can find ways to commit fraud and save money nowadays. Once upon a time you’d have to scour the dark web for ideas, but now they’re all readily available on big social media sites. The accessible nature of this information begs the question; yes we can do it, but should we? As honest and loyal consumers, we must stop and consider the consequences of our actions on the merchants that we are deceiving. 

Wrapping Up

Through conversations with thought leaders and interesting speaking sessions, it is clear that with the improvement of modern technology, fraud follows steadily in its wake. Being a merchant in this day and age requires you not only to provide a smooth customer experience to trusted users, but to also stay one step ahead of the scammers. And as MRC proves year after year, we are stronger together and together we win. 

Overall, our team had a fantastic and informative time - we're looking forward to seeing you all again in 2024!

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