Feedzai launched software on Tuesday that lets banks comb social media posts for clues to fraud. Using the software, consumers can connect their social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Yelp to their mobile banking applications. They can also privately check in through the mobile banking app to alert their bank if they are traveling or doing out of character, which should help reduce false positives.
The software, called Social Connector, also uses mobile device geolocation data to help pinpoint potentially fraudulent transactions.
Social Connector feeds this extra information to Feedzai's fraud detection engine or, alternatively, an existing fraud analytics program a bank uses that's wired to a payment authorization system, such as FICO Falcon.
"There's no way for [a consumer] to tell the FICO engine you're going to travel to London," says Loc Nguyen, chief marketing officer at Feedzai. "But you do tell other people you're going to London, why shouldn't you tell FICO?"
Nguyen stresses that the consumer is in control. "This is a consumer opted-in push," he says. "The bank is able to gain agreement with the consumer to say, you push this info to me when you choose to. I'm not going to go and scrape it off your Facebook account unbeknownst to you. Consumers don't like that."
The one-time set up takes place within a bank's existing mobile banking app. The customer will share his, say, Facebook or Yelp credentials to tie that account to the bank app. If a customer checks into a restaurant on Yelp, the bank knows to expect a transaction at that restaurant in a couple of hours.
When people communicate over social media, they tend to use abbreviations and broken English. Nguyen says his company's technology, which was created by aerospace engineers and data scientists, uses artificial intelligence to interpret the posts and consider them in the broader context of the consumer's behavior patterns.
A Harris Poll, "2014 Consumer Reaction to Financial Data Breaches" conducted online on behalf of Feedzai in January 2014 among 2,047 U.S. adults found that 18% of consumers who have a social media account/profile and are aware of recent data breaches would be willing to include their bank in their social media list of contacts in order to safeguard their money.