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The Voice of Payments

Virtual assistants are changing the way people shop, bank and interact with businesses. From chatbots to voice assistants, businesses and their customers are seeing the benefits of automating and simplifying transactions and interactions.

Learn more about voice assistants and other innovations driving change in payments around the world in the Global Payments Innovation Playbook which we produced in collaboration with PYMNTS.

Cuscal Curious Thinkers 2018 Showreel

Held on 24 & 25 September 2018 in Sydney, the inaugural Cuscal client conference “Curious Thinkers” was a journey through innovation, thought leadership, product solutions and more to inspire ideas and thinking for the future of payments.

This video gives a visual summary of the conference, which featured an exceptional line up of international and local thought leaders and experts including: – Dr Leda Glyptis (Chief of Staff, 11:FS) – Nuno Sebastiao (CEO, Feedzai) – Steven Bankston (Senior Director Product Development, Visa) – Stephen Scheeler (The Digital CEO) – Charlotte Rush (Innovation consultant, Inventium) – Rocky Scopelliti (Futurologist and Author) – Scott Farrell (Partner, KWM) and many more.

We would like to thank all our sponsors for their support; eftpos, feedzai, ACI Worldwide, BPAY Group, CA Technologies, Data Action, Kony, Macarthur Print & Ultradata.

P&N Bank launches instant digital cards

People using mobile phones

P&N Bank is Cuscal’s first client to launch instant digital cards, using the Cuscal Virtual Card API set. The APIs allow companies to provide their customers with new or replacement digital cards into their mobile wallet within seconds. Without a digital version of the card, customers can be without access to their money for days or even weeks.

Cuscal’s Virtual Card APIs are the most comprehensive instant card issuance solution in Australia. No other financial institution in Australia currently provides instant card issuance for new and replacement cards and gives its customers access to the full virtual card to allow online payments.

Instant access to the full card number is particularly useful as it not only allows customers to pay for things in person, but also buy things online. This is particularly useful for customers who are travelling and their cards are lost or stolen. They can simply log into their mobile banking application or internet banking, order a new card and continue their holiday uninterrupted.

Cuscal Head of EFT, Acquiring and Digital Lauren McCormack said Cuscal was thrilled to have been able to help P&N Bank deliver this great advancement to its mobile and digital banking capability.

“We see it as a real win-win for both P&N and its customers, saving time and money for everyone involved. We also hope that it will help P&N Bank customers get access to their money more quickly and easily in those awful, stressful situations we all find ourselves in when our cards are lost or stolen,” she said.

Not only does instant card issuance have great customer benefits, it is also very useful for financial institutions and other companies that issue cards. They can save money by not needing to physically mail out PINs to their customers and also start earning revenue sooner by giving customers quicker access to their money. In the future, companies may decide to save even more money by not issuing physical cards at all.

Financial institutions and their customers can realise even greater benefits if they combine Cuscal’s Virtual Card API with the Card Control API. Financial institutions can decide to enable controls on a card (eg restricting spend for instore/contactless payments) until the physical card has arrived with the customer. This reduces the chance of someone intercepting a card while in the mail and then being able to make fraudulent payments.

Cuscal’s solution currently works for Visa and eftpos credit, debit and prepaid cards. Cards can be ‘provisioned’ (enabled in a mobile wallet) to Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. The solution also works for any cards making payments via eftpos and Visa, companies do not need to be current clients of Cuscal to make use of the API’s capabilities.

Cuscal hits female leadership targets

Cuscal's female leadership with MD Craig Kennedy

A gradual increase in the number of senior female appointments in recent years has helped Cuscal to hit its target of 40% of senior leadership roles to be held by women.

In May this year Helen Mediati, Cuscal’s General Counsel and Company Secretary was appointed to Cuscal’s Leadership Team. This followed the appointment of Bianca Bates to the role of Chief Client Officer, earlier the same month. Cuscal’s Managing Director, Craig Kennedy, says it has been a deliberate part of Cuscal’s long-term strategy:

“Cuscal is a payments company which straddles the worlds of technology and banking, both industries which struggle with gender diversity and female leadership.

We knew that having greater gender balance in our leadership would help make us a stronger, fairer, better company, so we have been working towards a goal of greater senior female leadership for a few years now. Three out of seven of my Leadership Team are now women (43%) and this ratio is consistent throughout leadership positions at Cuscal.

We know there’s still some way to go, for example our diversity at Board level isn’t what we would like it to be, but we’re pleased to hit this target and now need to maintain or improve it.”

Cuscal has employed a range of initiatives to improve diversity, female employment and leadership at Cuscal which include:

  • Creating a Women’s Initiative Network three years ago and then a Diversity and Inclusion Council
  • Mandating that recruiters include at least one suitably qualified female applicant for each role
  • Trialling blind resumes in the project and technology division
  • Reviewing our flexibility policies to ensure consistency in application
  • Extending paid paternity leave from one week to four weeks.

As of May 2018, Cuscal’s ratio of male/female employees was:

  • Board: 13% female, 87% male
  • Leadership Team: 43% female, 57% male
  • All employees: 40% female, 60% male

Pictured L to R: Bianca Bates, Craig Kennedy, Helen Mediati, Christie Welsh

Fraud and AI: what you need to know

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already having a significant impact on the way we do business today. From helpful chat bots guiding us through complex purchase journeys to detecting potentially fraudulent payments, AI has the potential to create seamless customer experiences while simultaneously processing large amounts of information.

Machine learning frees humans from the grunt work of data tracking and pattern analysis – it’s faster, more scalable and learns from past information. No wonder Gartner predicts that more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated by 2020.

So when it comes to balancing customer demand for real-time payments with secure fraud-mitigating authentication, AI is an effective enabling tool for fraud teams to focus their investigation skills in the best place to securely ensure the speed and rigour required for a real-time payment. And that’s why more organisations are exploring the use of AI, especially in the area of fraud.

What role could AI play in fraud prevention and detection?

Through machine learning, the complexity of big data really becomes useful. At Cuscal, we have partnered with Feedzai to provide an advanced risk management platform that will be core to protecting Cuscal clients from the evolving threat of fraud.

“When using Feedzai, banks have significantly improved fraud detection, reduced false positives and overall a better customer experience – outperforming leading non-AI solutions – that’s why banks like Citi and Capital One have backed Feedzai’s technology.” said Richard Harris, SVP Sales International from Feedzai.”

With so many more payment channels available – online, mobile, P2P – there are more points of vulnerability. More than ever, we need a complete view of customer activity across products, an integration of channels to improve the customer experience, and to make more data-backed business decisions.

How will AI strengthen existing fraud protection systems?

With AI’s ability to analyse complex data in real time, fraud teams are better equipped to predict fraud before it occurs and so minimise losses.  AI reduces some of the noise of large amounts of data to focus on the real threats.  As we prepare to launch the New Payments Platform (NPP) in Australia, we can expect to see digital transaction processing converge with analytics providing better insights. Machine learning will enable organisations to look at more data, from more sources, and make better predictions with less uncertainty.

Of course, bots could be working on both sides – and the next generation of AI-enabled fraud systems will also need to be prepared to tackle new and increasingly sophisticated fraud attempts and scams.

Every Australian financial institution connecting to the New Payments Platform (NPP) needs to consider their real-time fraud monitoring and ensure effective controls are in place. AI is likely to underpin best practice – checking every transaction in real time for anomalies and flagging suspicious activity for action by experienced fraud investigation teams.

Learn more about preventing fraud in a real-time world.

Fraud prevention: then and now

Fraud & AI Infographic

Learn more about preventing fraud in a real-time world.

By Michelle Trundle, Senior Manager, Fraud