RSA Brings Risk-Based Authentication to American Express SafeKey

Today we have some very exciting news to share – the American Express SafeKey authentication service joins Visa, MasterCard, and JCB International Credit Card Co., Ltd in helping to protect cardholders’ transactions with the RSA® Adaptive Authentication for eCommerce solution.

With fraudulent activity growing each year, RSA continues to fight the trend. In 2012, we helped protect over 475 million card transactions and have saved our customers hundreds of millions of dollars in attempted fraudulent activity. This is why we are so thrilled to have AMEX on board with us. Working together, we will provide cardholders with greater confidence while shopping online. For example, the RSA Adaptive Authentication for eCommerce service takes the foundation established by 3D Secure and extends it with risk-based logic to help prevent fraud. It does this while removing unneeded steps and improving the overall customer experience.

Here’s how we pulled it off: we used intelligence within the RSA eFraudNetwork and the RSA Risk Engine, and combined them for an enhanced solution designed to evaluate each transaction in real-time against more than 100 transactional and behavioral fraud indicators to determine the level of risk. We then challenge cardholders engaging in “high-risk” transactions to provide a secondary method of authentication. This analytics is done in real-time, drawing from a variety of data sources. We didn’t call it Big Data when we started doing it, but it definitely fits the bill.

Typical scenario: If a cardholder is trying to buy a phone from for a typical amount, and the IP address identifies his location as California (where he lives) – the transaction will go straight through. If, however, that same “cardholder” hops over to buy expensive electronics from a site he’s never visited before and his IP address identifies his location as somewhere in, say, Europe, the engine will immediately flag the transaction as high-risk and depending on the card issuer’s (?) policies, will block it or require an additional form of authentication before moving forward. This real-time workflow is depicted in the following graphic:


Now you can see why we are so excited, because with the addition of American Express SafeKey service, the RSA Adaptive Authentication for eCommerce solution continues a proud history of innovation while helping to prevent ecommerce fraud for cardholders around the world.

About the Author: Dan Matot