Q and A: Ed Whitehead, Managing Director, EMEA – Signifyd
Ed Whitehead is the Managing Director Europe for Signifyd, where he leads a team dedicated to the expansion and support of Signifyd’s European client base.
What does your company do? / What is your USP?
Signifyd helps online retailers to extract more revenue from their existing checkout traffic by accepting more good orders and blocking out bad ones. Our USP is that we minimise revenue leakage by providing a financial guarantee against card fraud and a higher win rate in friendly fraud challenges.
What’s special about the platform and your approach?
We utilise any combination of Machine Learning, Merchant Rules and Manual Review as required to suit the client’s needs. We are also the only platform that provides a solution to help merchants with their end to end chargeback concerns, from card fraud through to items not received.
How does a product/service implementation actually look like and how do you measure success?
With pre-built plugins for the major platforms and an underlying API for bespoke builds, the implementation is very light touch. Even though we assess hundreds of data points there are only a couple of integration points that need to be enabled. The system then just runs in the background sending a fulfil / don’t fulfil response direct to the order management system, automating the process.
How do we measure success? Quite simply – our merchants see more orders getting approved and zero chargebacks!
How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like?
The key advantage for retailers using Signifyd is that the retailer can focus on their core job of selling their products and leave us to worry about whether an order is good, bad or likely to result in chargeback.
If you think about it, the number of bad actors out there is huge and they all behave differently across territories, devices and even just based on the latest techniques. Some chargebacks come from customers that do have a genuine claim, and others from people being fraudulent.
All of this is really hard for a merchant to keep up to date with and as a result they tend to over suppress orders to cover themselves against chargebacks due to the fear of fraud. That’s the problem of false declines and can cause a business a good few percent of lost revenue.
At Signifyd it is our job to understand the latest fraud patterns across the globe and decipher what is a legitimate order or not, so our merchants can grow internationally without the fear of fraud and in the knowledge that they will be minimising false declines and be protected from illegitimate chargebacks.
What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for 2019 / What challenges are retailers facing in 2019?
Cross Border will continue to be a significant challenge as UK merchants grow internationally looking for new audiences and expanding into areas that have historically been more of a challenge when trying to maintain high approval rates and low fraud.
And of course just changing customer expectations when it comes to online shopping in general – such as later and later cut off times for next day delivery, same day delivery and delivery to designated collection points. All these provide a challenge to merchants as they have less data (no delivery address) and shorter decision times as the order needs to get out the door quickly. Bad actors know this and exploit it as a weakness.
How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?
On the first topic, our commerce network is made up of merchants across the globe. This means two key things. Firstly, a new territory to you will not be a new territory to us. We understand the nuances of each market and know how to maintain high approval rates and filter out the bad orders. The second is that a new customer to you is likely to be known to us already, meaning we know if they can be trusted or whether we have seen suspicious behaviour from them before; and if it’s not that specific to the individual then we will know many that look like them to base our decision against.
And to the second point, Signifyd’s solution is fully automated into a merchant’s order flow with decisions returned instantly and directly into the fulfilment platform meaning there are no shipping delays and no pressure on your internal team to rush through a decision. And with Signifyd providing a guarantee against fraud chargebacks on all approved orders it means the liability is on us if we get it wrong.
What is on the horizon for you as a company?
2018 was a great year for us, launching an R&D centre in Belfast and a dedicated operations office in London. A big focus for us this year is onboarding and supporting more clients in regions which we can now do in or near time-zones which makes a huge difference.
We will also continue to expand our footprint globally meaning better and better coverage as merchants move into more remote markets. We have to remember ecommerce still has a long way to go as new territories get enabled and will have their own idea of how online retail should be done. I think it is really exciting to see how consumer attitudes to online shopping change and how things become the norm that we never would have dreamt of doing before. Who knows, maybe we will all end up buying our groceries online. Ocado’s Tim Steiner may have been right after all…
To find out more, visit Signifyd
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