Barmy Army targets e-tailers

Barmy Army targets e-tailers

UK-based Retail Decisions (ReD) has launched onto the Australian e-tail and retail market through its acquisition of Melbourne-based Australian Card Services (ACS).

The publicly quoted UK-based ReD reportedly paid $24 million for ACS, operators of the corporate Motorpass card, a credit card specific to fuel outlets.

According to ACS managing director Robert Hillan, ReD plans to use its recent acquisition as a launch pad for its credit card fraud prevention system.

"It has gone with ACS in order to build on the potential of our existing products, and use Australia as a base to target the local market and Asia," Hillan told ARN.

Hillan explained that the anti-fraud system worked on the basis of measuring established purchasing patterns.

"Statistical and velocity rules are applied in real time, through Neural technology," Hillan said.

When an unusual purchase occurs the merchant is immediately notified.

"Our system actually protects the merchant, where fraudulent transactions are actually taking place. The Neural system informs the merchant as the transaction occurs so that they have the opportunity to make further checks," Hillan said.

While the ReD anti-fraud system is designed for the benefit of all retail merchants, Hillan believes that it is especially applicable to the e-tailers because of the high level of sales that are processed on a "card not present" basis.

"E-tailers have a greater chance to protect themselves when the card is not present," he said.

ACS currently promotes a series of SME retail credit cards including the Motor card, and Account card. Hillan believes that an injection of capital from the ReD takeover will assist the company to secure the Australian market.

However, the nature of the ReD neural technology will lead ACS into different markets. "At this stage we have been focusing on smaller retail outlets.

"However, all merchants will benefit from this kind of fraud prevention program, so we are looking at how to target larger retailers, as well as online merchants," Hillan said.

ACS has over 18,000 customers with more than 80,000 Motorpass cards accepted at about 11,000 retail outlets and service stations around Australia.

Hillan believes that this strong market presence was what made the company an attractive acquisition for the UK group.

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