Getting Intimate With Kount
By Emma Rainville
Kount is an AI-driven service designed to protect your business from fraud. Following on from the Shockwave Solutions podcast’s latest episode, in this assessment, we will explore Kount’s various products and services and find out how it can help your business.
Maximizing your revenue is one of the main things you think about as a business owner. Any money you lose to costs, leakage, or other factors directly affects your bottom line. One area that can cause a big problem is fraud, especially credit card fraud.
Fraud detection and mitigation are essential. It is estimated that around the world, organizations lose up to 5% of their revenue from one type of fraud or another. When you add to that the labor hours wasted tracking down, reporting, and trying to collect on fraudulent transactions, the actual costs are much higher.
Kount in its Own Words:
“Kount’s Software as a Service platform helps online merchants approve more orders, uncover new revenue streams, simplify fraud detection, and dramatically improve bottom-line profitability.”
They state that businesses had 98% fewer chargebacks after implementing Kount and saw a 2.2% – 5.8% increase in bottom-line sales. Kount provides services in two main areas:
Analyzes data points around real-time transactions to identify and minimize business losses from fraud.
Businesses can spend the time that would otherwise be used chasing fraudulent transactions actively growing revenue using Kount’s business intelligence and reporting tools.
Kount’s Product Line
Kount provides four main types of products:
- Kount Complete – Online fraud monitoring for accepting credit and debit cards where the card isn’t present at the point of sale.
- Kount Central – Providing fraud protection for credit card payment gateways, payment providers, banks, and eCommerce providers.
- Kount Access – Login protection for high-volume account login/creation websites designed to prevent malicious hacking into accounts and records.
- Kount AI Services – Artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide insights about business performance.
Kount Complete is Kount’s main product. It provides fraud monitoring and detection for online businesses, eCommerce stores, or other environments where a credit card isn’t presented in person. It’s designed for most online business types, including retailers, affiliate marketers, utility providers, travel providers, B2B, ticketing, events, and more.
Kount Complete uses several different types of technology to detect fraudulent transactions, including:
Kount’s AI implementation uses multiple data points to predict whether a transaction might be fraudulent. It combines this with global trend tracking to see where, when, and how fraudulent transactions happen in real-time, clarifying any apparent patterns.
Device and User Information
“Fingerprinting” is used to track the electronic signatures of various devices. This feature is supplemented with geolocation and IP tracking to learn where transactions are being made from. Kount’s advanced fingerprinting includes specialized software to detect if a proxy server/ VPN is used to hide real locations (a common issue with eCommerce fraud).
Multiple Data Points
Transactions are “scored” to see if they pass a target threshold, allowing them to be considered genuine. Cross-business data lets Kount understand whether transactions are being made across multiple businesses at once. It also uses the speed and quantity of transactions made from a particular credit or debit card to better understand any risk. It’s rare for a stolen card to be used in just one transaction, with scammers usually making multiple high-value purchases in a short time frame, which Kount can often detect.
Information Provided By Kount Complete
Kount Complete presents several different kinds of information back to you, including:
Details of Each Transaction
Get insight into every individual transaction that’s been made. You’ll see transaction summaries, customer information, payment details, and more. Best of all, you can customize the dashboard to show what’s most important to you and your business.
Locations of Transactions
See where in the world transactions are coming from, including any areas where there’s a higher risk of fraud.
See the historical trends on how your customers are buying from your business and set up your dashboard to give you the insights you need. You can choose from different types of graphs for a visual representation of the data.
Kount Central is designed for a particular type of business — one that is part of the ecosystem of accepting, managing, approving, transacting, and various other aspects of credit card payments. That typically means payment gateways, payment processors, banks, card networks, eCommerce platforms, shopping cart providers, and related businesses.
Kount Central provides high-quality fraud protection, increased transaction acceptance rates, reduced chargebacks, and less need for manual review of transactions.
Types of Fraud Protection
Kount Central provides four levels of service:
Kount Central Enterprise
Allows providers to integrate Kount Complete with their other payment offerings and provide a complete suite to their clients.
- No need for businesses to integrate Kount/fraud protection separately
- Full access for businesses to Kount Complete
- Integrated solution – quick to set up and easy to use
- Reduce customer churn by providing additional features
- Allows selling of a “white label” fraud protection solution
Kount Central Fraud Manager
Allows payment infrastructure providers to give their customers a branded interface to manage and monitor their fraud and risk reports and thresholds.
- Designed for small and medium-sized businesses
- Allows them to self-manage their fraud and risk thresholds
- Can be sold as a “white label” solution — providers can brand it however they want
- It doesn’t need to be separately integrated with IT
Kount Central Portfolio Manager
Gives payment infrastructure providers the ability to monitor their entire portfolio of businesses and transactions. It also allows a review of transactions from all sources for the identification of fraud.
- Reviews all transactions across the portfolio/business
- Can help to meet regulatory and compliance needs
- Identify risk areas in the portfolio
- Identify problematic areas/businesses so proactive actions can be taken
Kount Central Continuous Underwriting
Continually monitors accounts for risky behavior and fraud.
- Early identification of potential issues
- Proactive management of merchant accounts
- Monitors data points to provide a continually updated risk profile for each business
- Protects payment infrastructure providers from account abuse
Kount Access isn’t specifically for preventing transaction fraud. Instead, it’s about protecting your logins, accounts, and databases from malicious actors. Hackers often use “brute force” and other tactics to access an account from a business or payment services provider.
Attacks like these can involve sophisticated software/hardware, social engineering, and various other means to guess login and password combinations. Breaches and hacks like this are a significant issue for many businesses.
Kount Access protects against this, together with account creation issues, affiliate networks, and other fraud. For account takeovers, that means identifying fraudsters when they try to login into accounts and preventing them from accessing sensitive information.
It can also be applied to account creation, preventing hackers from creating new accounts, or getting access to your products and services. The software is especially good at preventing brute force attacks but can even detect seemingly innocuous, low-level signs of fraud like multiple users sharing a single password.
How Kount Access Detects Fraudulent Logins
The system works as follows:
- Kount Access records multiple data points about each logon attempt, including:
- The ID of the device logging in
- The location and IP address of the device
- The number of devices trying to access the same account
- How often the login for a specific account is being used
- The number of different password attempts
- Data and analytics are returned to the client, and their systems can decide whether to allow or block access or trigger more authentication steps.
- The whole process takes milliseconds and is entirely invisible to the end-user.
Other Uses for Kount Access
Kount Access isn’t just limited to detecting login fraud. It can also be used to verify account holder details, location, and more and help providers decide if they should offer specific products or services.
For example, it can verify that anyone accessing their account is doing so legitimately, authorizing a business’s services and products. It can also understand where the user is located, an essential step for location-specific services. The data collected by Kount Access can help businesses meet compliance regulations on services or products offered to various account holders.
Kount AI Services
Kount AI services are designed to provide insights about a business based on multiple data points, machine learning, monitoring, and several other areas. Kount uses this information to make adjustments to its risk profiles and fraud detection algorithms across its network.
It uses anonymized data to provide some of this information to customers to manage fraud detection thresholds better and focus on improving sales.
Kount AI Services provides four distinct types of service for a business:
Machine Learning Rules Review
Kount’s data analysts will review your business metrics, goals, and objectives and help you create specific rules for maximizing fraud detection and revenue generation. This feature will help you understand likely future performance and targets.
Custom Data Review
Exploring how data from your business is being transmitted to and used by Kount, including details of how it’s used to manage your risk and fraud profile and suggestions on other metrics and data you can use to enhance fraud detection.
Platform Performance Analysis
Allows business owners to analyze how the Kount platform is positively affecting their business and reducing fraud. It can help uncover gaps in fraud coverage and help you implement recommendations to reduce risk and the possibility of fraudulent transactions.
Data Orchestration Hub Analysis and Implementation
Uses high-quality, detailed data from third-party providers and risk management information to enhance fraud detection. You can also get training on how to use other data sources to strengthen fraud detection even more.
Uses for Kount
Kount states that its services are beneficial in several specific areas:
Mobile devices are commonly used in fraud, and it can sometimes be challenging to detect inappropriate activity. Kount’s fraud protection uses multiple signals from mobile devices to detect and reduce fraud, including user authentication, device and geographic data, and other real-time data elements. This service gives businesses more confidence in making their online stores mobile-enabled, which can significantly improve customer reach and revenue.
Chargebacks happen when a credit card transaction is challenged. Chargebacks can occur for many reasons, with one of the main ones being fraud (e.g., stolen credit card information). Chargebacks are costly to businesses — not only do you lose the sale value, but you will also have to pay a chargeback fee (typically between $15 and $50). Fraud detection and elimination naturally reduce chargebacks by preventing fraudulent transactions from ever taking place.
Stopping Payment Fraud
Online payments are increasing in complexity, with many more payment providers, channels, and methods. Kount provides an overall view and matches this with your risk profile and multiple data points to proactively detect and reduce fraud. It also works with various eCommerce platforms and other providers.
Stopping Account Takeover Fraud
Existing user accounts are a major target for hackers. Kount can help prevent unauthorized users’ access and uses multiple monitoring factors to detect legitimate account logins. Data breaches and hacks can cause very significant financial, regulatory, and reputational damage to a business, making it increasingly important for companies to have some way to protect themselves against this kind of fraud.
Reduce Manual Reviews
One of the highest costs for online retail businesses is using resources to review orders manually. Kount can reduce the number of orders needing manual review to 2%-3% by providing much better, up-front fraud screening.
Costs to Use Kount
Kount does not list pricing on its website, as prices are dependent on:
- The Kount service(s) required
- The number of transactions processed
- The total value of transactions processed
- Other factors
You can contact Kount sales to get pricing according to your needs. If you are using a CRM, such as Sticky.io or Konnective, you can add Kount at a discounted rate by contacting your account manager.
Below are other details that you may need to know, including installation information, payment types, existing customers, and training and support options:
Installing and Using Kount
Kount claims that installing its services is fast and easy. They have approached product design and installation from a merchant’s perspective, assuming they are not IT or fraud experts. They claim the system can be set up and start providing fraud protection within several hours and that it’s easy to use once it’s in place.
At Shockwave, when using Kount, we’ve seen how true that claim is. There are usually only three steps to take in our experience – install Kount, sign in to the service, and set our thresholds (with an account manager).
Types of Payments Accepted by Kount
Kount monitors transactions and payments of any type made from a credit or debit card. They monitor payments from over 180 countries worldwide and can be easily integrated into eCommerce platforms like Magento and Demandware.
Platforms that use Kount
Kount is already integrated into several payment infrastructure platforms and companies, including, Sticky.io, Konnective, 3D Cart, BlueSnap, Braintree, Chase Paymentech, Demandware, GoECart, Magento, Oracle, and more. Find out from your provider if Kount is an add-on for their services. If you are with a good one, it will be.
Training and Support
By offering one-to-one training in installing and using its products (along with direct customer support via phone or email), Kount aims to streamline standard onboarding processes.
Kount also offers integrations, APIs, and SDKs to allow developers to effortlessly integrate their fraud detection services into pre-built or custom-made payment and transaction platforms.
Overall, Kount provides a valuable service — fraud detection. Every business needs to protect its bottom line, and Kount looks to be a robust solution for doing just that. If you want to reduce losses, eliminate chargebacks, protect your data, and maximize profit, it’s definitely worth a look.
Bear in mind though, that due to the product’s sophistication, it may take a little experimentation and tweaking to get the most out of it. Tweaking Kount is an art. It takes time and dedication. At Shockwave, we rely on Adam Pivko to direct us on where our threshold should be. We are constantly monitoring and changing our settings to have the highest possible conversions with the lowest possible chargebacks – and we definitely suggest hiring a consultant like Adam, who can help navigate your business.
On this week’s Podcast, we did discuss Kount with Adam. Did you miss it? Click here to play it now!
If you’ve used Kount, let us know what you think! Leave a comment below.