If you ask most risk teams about their goal, they’ll say the same thing: preventing loss. Their organizational structures, processes, and tools exist to serve that goal. In fact, legacy fraud prevention aims exclusively to reduce risk rather than to encourage growth.

Legacy fraud prevention systems kill growth by introducing friction to customers rather than fraudsters. There’s little to no emphasis on building a great customer experience, increasing user engagement, or enabling revenue growth.

Additionally, rules-based systems and manual review teams focus on fraud mitigation rather than fraud prevention. But mitigation doesn’t scale — especially not in the digital era. Fraudsters are innovating at top speed. Customers are pushing for the best experience the online world has to offer, and they don’t hesitate to amplify their complaints on social media when they don’t get it.

To stay ahead of the game, it isn’t enough to add an additional layer of fraud prevention or to build a larger risk team. Staying ahead demands a change in mindset: from a legacy approach to a Digital Trust & Safety (DT&S) approach.

The term “Trust & Safety” was coined by digital-first, disruptive companies that realized trust was fundamental to their business. Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Twitter, Uber, and Patreon have all built a Trust & Safety department into their DNA.

DT&S is the strategic alignment of risk and revenue decisions, supported by processes and technology.

It isn’t just about fraud prevention. DT&S encompasses everything from risk mitigation to content moderation, from customer data protection to compliance. Instead of taking a narrow view of the customer experience and fraud prevention, the DT&S mindset invites a broader perspective: customer journeys rather than customer actions, and fraudsters’ behavior rather than fraudsters’ attacks.

Here are four ways to start incorporating a DT&S mindset.

1) Balance growth with security.

Legacy mindset: Protecting the business is paramount. Risk mitigation is the number one priority. Everything else is secondary to that goal.

DT&S mindset: Providing an outstanding customer experience is just as important as protecting the business. In fact, the two are inextricably linked. Legacy approaches apply blunt instruments — like rules and review teams — to all users. A DT&S approach leverages dynamic friction to customize experiences for each user, trapping fraudsters while giving good customers an enjoyable experience.

2) Align cross-functionally.

Legacy mindset: The risk team operates on its own or with very little cross-functional collaboration. An insular team makes decisions about fraud prevention.

DT&S mindset: Risk and fraud teams work cross-functionally to set goals that encompass risk mitigation and revenue growth. Risk/fraud teams are stakeholders in growth/product decisions and vice versa.

3) Plan holistically.

Legacy mindset: The fraud team zeros in on discrete actions and events along the customer journey. Those actions and events help them decide who’s a fraudster and who’s a good customer.

DT&S mindset: The customer journey is treated like a holistic experience. Fraud and risk teams draw on learnings from across the entire user lifecycle to determine who’s a fraudster, not just the point of transaction.

4) Think proactively.

Legacy mindset: Fraud and risk teams react to fraud after it occurs. Rules-based systems act as a rigid, clumsy barrier against fraudsters. Manual review teams make decisions that are often slow, biased, and inconsistent.

DT&S mindset: The strategy and technology are future-proofed, not reactive. Businesses use automated tools to scale risk processes. This technology learns from fraudsters and good users to adapt to new fraud patterns as they happen, and even before they’ve happened.

The death of companies like Sears, Kodak, and Toys R Us has sent a clear message. To survive and thrive, businesses must adapt to the digital world.

According to our data, 77% of fraud fighting professionals say that delivering a frictionless experience is a top priority. But nearly as many say fraud prevention measures are hindering the user experience.

Ready to deliver great customer experiences while fighting fraud at scale? Check out this ebook to get started.

Tags: ,

Roxanna "Evan" Ramzipoor

Roxanna "Evan" Ramzipoor is a content marketing manager at Sift. Her debut novel The Ventriloquists will be released August 27, 2019.