Walking the line between great consumer experiences and protecting consumer experiences

Visa EVP and Chief Risk Officer, Paul Fabara discusses the technologies and philosophies that define security at the company

November 12, 2019, 5:39 PM Eastern Time

Visa Chief Risk Officer, Paul Fabara, speaking on stage at the Visa Security Summit 2019 for the Central Europe, Middle East and Africa regions

 

“Today, we are seeing just how much and how quickly technological advancements are affecting payments – from blockchain to biometrics and ‘invisible’ payments,” said Visa EVP and Chief Risk Officer Paul Fabara at the recent Visa CEMEA Security Summit in Barcelona, Spain.  

“Ensuring that we have the appropriate security foundation in place enhances our ability to capture value from these innovations by meeting—and exceeding—rapidly evolving customer expectations,” he added.

Fabara joined Visa to lead the Risk team earlier this year to lead the company’s efforts to maintain the integrity of its payments network and secure the future with industry-leading services that prevent, detect and minimize the impact of attacks on Visa’s clients and partners. He also spearheads the implementation of regulatory functions internally and communicates with regulatory agencies that oversee payments in more than 200 countries.

This work sounds complex – and it is. But in Fabara’s mind, it comes down to one simple idea. A great payments experience.

Digital payments have become integrated into so many aspects of our daily lives, but any one single failure across any of these touchpoints can create a negative experience – and negative consumer perception. In front of the CEMEA Security Summit Audience, Fabara explained that the worst possible scenario for Visa is when a merchant wants to sell and a consumer wants to buy, yet the transaction gets declined. “Everyone loses,” he said.

This is why Fabara believes security is the foundation for Visa’s future growth and the evolution of digital payments. In a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Visa, 46 percent of global firms surveyed measure the success of their risk management initiatives through higher customer satisfaction.

With the rapid growth of people shopping via mCommerce, the expansion of the Internet of Things and the fact that nearly one in three Americans now make zero weekly purchases with cash, consumer purchasing behaviors are radically changing. This presents complex challenges around the generation of false positives when trying to identify fraudulent transactions, meaning that often times it’s difficult to separate the legitimate transactions from the illicit ones.

In his talk to the CEMEA audience, Fabara cited this as a reason for poor authorization rates for cross-border transactions, leading to forgone sales and loss of “top-of-wallet” positioning. He reiterated that Visa is working to increase the flow of data between issuers and merchants/acquirers to improve approval rates through 3DS2.0 fraud-detection intelligence and tokens, which replace card account details in transactions with digital identifiers that are useless to would-be fraudsters.


PowerPoint slide showing how Visa delivers capabilities for best in class security performance for payments

 

Fabara closed his presentation with an overview of Visa capabilities and the work enabling data-driven, end-to-end security that reduces fraud, increases authorizations and removes friction from the customer experience.

Success, he said, comes from the development of security roadmaps that address the existing and emerging threats against the payments ecosystem – and the continued vigilance of the world’s largest payments company to help individuals, businesses and economies to thrive.