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Scammers hunt for our money with assorted devices, a Hungarian fintech star beats them back

Similar topics will be highlighted at our Financial IT 2022 conference on May 31st.

In the last year, what has been a huge increase – in terms of capital involved, clientele and headcount – what will be the challenges in the next period?

In April of this year, we were able to share the good news that SEON Series B raised $ 94 million in capital led by U.S. Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), joining former investors Creandum and PortfoLion, as well as several renowned business angels. The biggest challenge is maintaining the growth rate, however we also need to significantly increase our team. Keeping recruitment at such a high level is not only about finding candidates with the right expertise and keeping company values ​​in mind, but it also raises the question of the stability of culture. For my founding partner Bence Jendruszák, who is the Chief Operating Officer of SEON, for example, this will be one of the most important tasks this year, which is especially important if we are to develop into a market-making company on a global scale.

The tech sector is currently huge, There is a correction that has not been experienced for 12 yearswhich means a new environment for us as well, and for that I must definitely list the constant adaptation here.

For the company as a whole, further increasing its presence in the global market and its customer base in the American and Latin American and Asian markets are also among the top goals. In America, we also recently opened a local office in Austin, Texas, so we plan to for further scalability and to facilitate global branding.

Tamás Kádár is the managing director and co-founder of SEON. The company was started during their university years with their founding partner. He graduated from Corvinus University and

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Tamás Kádár is the managing director and co-founder of SEON. The company was started during their university years with their founding partner. He graduated from Corvinus University and Next

We have more and more world-famous international clients. What differences do you experience in serving domestic and foreign customers? What are the strengths of domestic financial service providers, what should they catch up with?

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SEON was founded in 2017, ever since we have worked with more than 5,000 service providers, By controlling 1 billion transactions, we managed to save our customers more than 50 million euros by preventing potential fraud and fraudulent transactions. Last year, the company produced outstanding growth in all major regions (Europe, Latin America, North America) and professional areas (e-commerce, cryptography, Buy Now Pay Later, digital banking). Naturally the business culture is different in each geographical area, the cost of entry may be lower in the software technology sector, but there is more competition in foreign markets, so there is a sense of innovation. The already acquired international references and prestigious clients help us all to expand abroad at home.

Your solution uses a complex analysis of digital footprints from multiple sources to filter out suspicious transactions. How accurate is the system? How much has it improved over the years?

SEON’s digital “footprint” solution is able to filter out abuses seamlessly from a large number of online interactions for service providers and end users. We are constantly expanding our service coverage as it looks different in different countries and different markets people’s digital footprint, largely depending on what the popular services are there. If we want to go before fraudsters, we have to give as accurate a picture as possible, which presupposes local relevance – this is the hardest thing to imitate for a fraudster who, say, from another country, only obtained the data of a citizen of that country for unauthorized use.

The European Commission has repeatedly lifted restrictions on the sharing of user data between companies. Would a measure like this affect your solution in any way?

We could spend hours asking this question with our legal colleagues, but the simplest answer to this is that our solution would not be affected at all by a similar restriction. As a data processor, SEON ensures that it fully complies with and operates in accordance with the relevant international, European and domestic data protection regulations, and that information security is of paramount importance in our processes, both at the level of administrative and technical measures. From the point of view of information security, our systems are closed from the first step of data processing to the last, and the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data must not be compromised. We do not associate the data submitted by customers with the data of other customers in any way, no logical connection is established between the data of different customers or the user data transmitted by them. As data controllers, our customers have full control over what data we process and how they can take any action they require on their own, in accordance with legal deadlines. All of this makes it easier for not only SEON but also our partners and customers to comply with the current regulatory environment and industry requirements at all times, even in highly regulated segments such as the banking sector.

What other opportunities do you see in artificial intelligence and machine learning to increase efficiency or diversify your product range?

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In the fraud prevention sector, AI is not just a buzzword for attention, but almost has become a basic requirement due to the huge volume of transactions. Therefore, SEON also attaches great importance to investing in both machine learning and AI or MI. However, this is not present on the scale as a separate product, but rather contributes to the comprehensive, continuous development and updating of the services offered.

SEON also provides a solution for BNPL providers. What types of fraud can occur in this relatively new industry?

Theft of identities is a particularly big problem for BNPL companies fraudsters create a false user profile with stolen identity documents or personal data and use various products and services from it, without the knowledge and consent of the real owner of the data. Theft of user accounts (ATO) can also be classified as a major threat, in which case online scammers use different techniques to access user account data (email address and password are usually required) and also order different products with deferred payment options. provided to them by BNPL companies, however, unlike legitimate users, they do not plan to pay for the goods later on.

It’s commonplace, but scammers are constantly adapting to the tools that filter them out. What strategy are you always one step ahead of?

We are thoroughly familiar with online scams and the way fraudsters work. Part of our main philosophy is to prevent them and pull their calculations through wherever possible and where SEON is integrated, they can’t kick a ball. This is made possible by the fact that SEON was built with the help of fraud managers and many ex-fraud analysts are still working for the company. With their help, we are able to continuously detect real fraud rings in our system. It also helps us to keep an eye on new trends in the market and keep an eye on changes in the details of scams, as fraudsters, as you mentioned, adapt to the environment without stopping, but we can keep an eye on them as well. And we can walk ahead of them in such a way that we can work with outstanding developers in the profession, who are familiar with technological trends and the possible shortcomings of new developments, the usability of which they can analyze for the future.

Cover image source: Getty Images

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