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A Guide To Hiring Your Fraud Team Part 2: Automate, Motivate and Innovate

By Julian Wong September 7, 2016

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about Julian Wong
Julian is the VP of Customer Success at DataVisor. A proven leader in the realm of trust and safety, Julian developed scalable systems and teams for mitigating fraud and abuse at Indiegogo, Etsy and Upwork. Julian also led Google’s engineering team responsible for building algorithms to prevent fraud on its ad platform.

Matching wits with a nefarious user. Solving a puzzle where you have to find missing clues. Determining what steps they’ll take next. Getting an adrenaline rush when hot on the trail of a bad guy. Protecting good customers and keeping them safe. These all describe a typical day in the life of a fraud analyst. It’s an intellectually stimulating and constantly evolving position where one is protecting the bottom line and reputation of a company as well as helping to drive growth.

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In my last post, I talked about hiring your fraud analyst team, key traits to look for and how to assess them. Now let’s take on building upon your fraud team and providing them the best environment to succeed. While training is a key part of building your fraud team, the training program will vary from one company to another because of the business context so we won’t address that here. Instead I’ll focus on a matter that’s just as crucial to building your fraud team and applies regardless of your business, and that’s creating a setting to optimize your team’s value.

Based on my experience, here are three ways to empower your fraud team to achieve their top performance:

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Instill and Value a Culture of Automation

When the fraud analyst team works towards cutting down manual reviews, productivity and teamwork increases. A culture of automation lends itself to the analytical and creative abilities of the fraud team. When it’s ingrained in them, they challenge themselves to be more efficient with their time and resources. They figure out repeatable patterns to cripple the fraudster’s ROI and make it harder and more costly for him to return. They discover ways to detect new fraud attacks and moves to counter new threats. They partner with product and engineering teams to ensure their research and insights are acted upon quickly to become part of the fraud prevention system.

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As part of automation, the fraud team naturally collaborates and shares thoughts on pinpointing the transactions and accounts that should be reviewed, as well as how to do so economically. This builds working relationships and solidifies a foundation of trust among the team members. In addition, the sharing of opinions allows for the discovery of opportunities previously untapped. A mindset to automate ensures the fraud team is constantly innovating and improving in the fight against an ever adapting adversary.

Position Team As a Driver of Growth

Fraud teams are typically seen as roadblocks, an operations function that rejects new account registrations and transactions and inhibits growth. In reality, they are enablers and drivers of growth for businesses. The fraud team should be recognized as a force that mitigates risks and protects customers, enabling the business to move into new markets, product lines and additional forms of payment.

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Fraud team leaders should inspire fraud analysts to develop a business understanding along with their fraud perspectives (e.g. how the experience of fraud prevention can influence customer adoption). Fraud prevention teams are indeed a business asset and by ensuring the fraud team is connected with every part of the company, from sales and marketing to product and engineering, elevates their sense of purpose. A strong sense of purpose and belonging to a team drives more accountability to performance.

Develop a Road-Map for Continuous Learning

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The fraud analyst role can serve as a springboard into many other teams, but it’s not typically a position where many companies have spent much time developing job levels beyond the first one to two years. That’s when the analyst is still understanding the entire fraud prevention process and he or she can be an even greater asset once they are past that, if you let them. In my post, Where to Begin – A Guide to Hiring and Building Your Fraud Team, I mentioned that good analysts are innately curious and dedicated to ongoing learning. As such it’s important to keep them continuously learning and invest in their growth so that they maintain motivated and engaged. Fraud analysts are in a multi-faceted role where they can naturally move into many other positions at a company including product management, data science and customer support.

Be clear in establishing a career ladder road-map to get your fraud team excited about the next stage of their careers. Show them that there is progression and development in the fraud prevention profession.

Organizations are constantly looking for ways to build high-performance teams. Whether it’s an environment where teammates have each other’s back, or a workplace culture that celebrates the opinions of all to enhance diversity of thought, in the end, it’s ultimately about leadership and the ability to manage the moving parts of a team. If you’re leading this team, make sure you’re leading them in the right direction – forward. No one wants to feel stuck, bored or unvalued. If you’re going to spend the time building the right team, spend just as much time making sure you keep them.

If you want to continue the conversation about hiring and building your fraud team, please feel free to reach out to me directly at julian.wong@datavisor.com. Interested in learning more about fraud detection and prevention? Visit our resources. Until next time!


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