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Stopping Fraud: How to Make Travel Take Off Post-Pandemic

With Europe entering various degrees of national lockdown, businesses across all industries are facing further crisis as Covid-19 infections show no sign of slowing down. However, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for the travel industry. A partnership between Aegean Airlines and ACI Worldwide is proof that airlines can protect themselves and customers from fraud and save revenue despite Covid-19. 

This is despite the news that the airline industry has been one of the worst-hit globally. With national lockdowns and bans on international travel significantly curtailing passenger numbers. It’s been estimated the global airline industry will lose up to $252 billion in 2020. 

Andrew Quartermaine leads merchant customer success for ACI Worldwide. Here he explains how the companies partnership with Aegean could make travel take off post-pandemic.

Protecting airlines from fraud

Aegean Airlines is the largest airline in Greece. With 120 international destinations in 44 countries, as well as flights to 31 domestic airports, the Star Alliance member continues to attract an increasing number of international passengers.

But increased international travel brings increased fraudulent transaction attempts. Added to this, as with all other airlines, Aegean has seen a significant decline in sales due to Covid-19. And fraudsters were quick to test the company’s defences during this time of uncertainty and disruption. Working together, Aegean and ACI adapted the airlines’ fraud strategy and closed down opportunities for fraud at speed.

This has enabled Aegean to combat the growing threat of online fraud during the pandemic and drive revenue growth. Since go-live, on average 97% of all confirmed fraud has been captured; in 2019 alone, this translated to €1.4 million in savings. Money every airline desperately needs to keep hold of right now. Thanks to the partnership, Aegean Airlines has been able to stay in flight throughout 2020 and ensure genuine customers were handled fairly and with sensitivity.

Taking off post-pandemic 

The complex, multi-channel, international nature of travel makes it a prime target for fraudsters. And this is compounding the detrimental impact of Covid-19 travel restrictions on the airline industry. However, leveraging a multi-layered fraud strategy will help mitigate this threat and leave airlines free to focus on increasing revenue streams and serving customers.

One of the biggest barriers airlines face when combating fraud is an inability to create a holistic view of transaction trends across their systems. The main reason for this being that they rely heavily on manual processes for fraud screening.

By leveraging automation, airlines will be able to view key transaction trends quickly and easily. While obtaining other valuable information that can help them implement timely and effective rule changes across their systems where needed. To be most effective, this should focus on critical issues, such as consistently prioritising short notice bookings in the fraud screening process.

Harnessing automation also means airlines will be able to create a comprehensive view of customer behaviour profiles. As well as consistently monitor and update existing fraud prevention approaches.

While 2020 has been one of the most challenging years for the airline industry, rising to the challenges of a crisis is nothing new to the broader aviation sector. As the industry has overcome historic health epidemics, economic recessions and ever-rising levels of fraudulent transactions, it will also overcome Covid-19. With a strong, robust fraud strategy, airlines will put themselves in the best position to protect themselves and customers from fraud. Leaving them free to focus on growing revenue and moving forward with confidence.

 

Author

  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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