We embarked recently in producing a retail fraud prevention solution where it was key we had to enrich and cycle data through “account takeover,” “card payments,” and “chargeback” assets to assert a “faster than fraudsters” approach to keeping the barbarians at the gates.

With the fast pace of evolving technology in retail and their voracious appetite to curb the attack from companies like Amazon, we find ourselves as a consumer interacting with one company but in reality being bounced around a myriad of disparate technologies loosely taped together. Every hop between technologies leads to plentiful opportunities for fraudsters while leaving the same retailers chasing the rainbow of a single client view.

Let’s get some facts on the upside potential.

So the games afoot. How can a retailer give us a seamless experience? How do they have a single view of me as a customer? And how can they blend cross sell and up sell across multiple channels? If done right, this pays dividends taking the agility of their online presence and incorporating it with their bricks and mortar locations, making something rather magical. This gives them a leg up over the online only experience.

I wrote a blog recently citing a retail use case where my wife’s been surfing on a retailer site; I find myself a couple of weeks later picking up some rather fetching gold toe socks. On swiping my credit card, they tell me that the dress my wife likes is actually in stock, in their store, in her size and in the color she wanted. And get this, her birthday is coming up, so I win BIG, and so do they. Most importantly I get a reprieve from the doghouse!

That’s what Omni-channel means for retailers.

Now flip the coin and that same thirst to curb Amazon’s attack on their business created disparate architectures and plenty of gaps to be potentially exploited.

Most companies didn’t stop with a single online presence and just one store architecture, but rather they buy a few and acquire inorganically for good measure. Add the Europeans thrust to Chip’n’ Pin which spoilt some fraudster action and the Omni-channel focus with a sprinkling of “card not present” becomes very lucrative and easy picking for payment fraud.

The good news is that most, if not all, fraud solutions today detect the fraudulent activity. Most solutions are, however, based on data “at rest” and most, if not all, deploy point solutions and don’t handle Omni-channel. Nor do they look to enrich between attack vectors. This basically means they let you know fraud happened “if” they see it. They can’t handle the variety of attacks, and they can’t adapt quickly.

The great news for us is not only does it make our solution unique, but if you tilt your head a little, you can use the exact same Big Data pipeline for both fraud prevention and loyalty Omni-channel optimization.

On the fraud side, we handle all the data, in-memory, as the event happens, with state and enrich across all vectors.

On the cross sell side, we handle all the data, in-memory, as the event happens, with state and enrich across all vectors.

OK, repetitive I know, but Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker were kin. History tells us that there’s a very short distance between the different sides of the track. Both opportunity and risk are born from the exploitation of the gaps and the same technology can and will prevail.