TransUnion: Advanced Analytics to Reduce Risk

Mohit Kapoor, CIO
We use the term ‘Big Data’ to deal with information that is large and complex that comes from multiple sources. As the financial industry has to deal with mountains of data regarding fraud and risk, the traditional approaches seem to be antiquated,” says Mohit Kapoor, CIO, TransUnion. Headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion leverages state-of-the-art tools and technologies including Ab Initio, Hadoop and Hadar to maximize relative strengths of each technology in answering the questions posed by its clients in a timely manner. Using these tools, the company now sifts billions of records to create results that clients desire, from creating actionable “what if” analysis to highlighting unique details and possible patterns that might indicate suspicious activity requiring further investigation.

The company offers a deep understanding of the data it is entrusted to by its customer and helps them to improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data, advanced analytics and decisioning capabilities. It has gradually expanded its wings from financial services to other industries such as insurance, automotive, healthcare, telecommunications, retail, rental screening, consumer and law enforcement. In each case, TransUnion is helping its customers make timely decisions in credit and risk management.

TransUnion also offers numerous solutions like credit reporting, portfolio management and fraud and identity management to its multiple customers. The Credit Reporting solution updates, audits and monitors millions of files on a regular basis. Portfolio Management monitors the risk continuously to mitigate losses and improve decisions to increase revenue. Fraud and Identity Management helps in protecting the business of the customers as it verifies and ensures that the right customer is accessing their data to reduce risk and potential losses.

CreditVision, the recently launched solution of the company helps consumers by providing the full history of their credit management to make effective credit decisions.
“This is a progressive advancement from traditional credit reports that provided just a current month point-in-view of customer services,” says the CIO. TransUnion’s depth and breadth of understanding data to deliver analytical and decisioning services in numerous vertical markets makes the company unique from its competitors.

TransUnion’s services and expertise in Big Data are just not confined to the U.S. A growing and emerging middle class throughout Latin America, India and Brazil are in need of financial, credit and insurance services. Leveraging Big Data with comprehensive decisioning and analytical tools will be key to help these emerging economies sustain growth and effectively manage risk.

TransUnion is helping its customers make timely decisions in credit and risk management

TransUnion has currently more than 90,000 data sources reporting information to the company and is managing multiple data centers around the world. “We are deploying world-class analytic technologies that dramatically shrink analytic project times. By leveraging platforms such as Ab Initio, Netezza, Hadar, Hadoop and powerful analytical and visualization tools, we are able to process vast amounts of data and link and match disparate data sources and formats,” says Kapoor. Endeavoring to provide financial, credit and insurance services to various countries, the company with the help of comprehensive data and analytical tools is planning to help enterprises in these nations— offering timely business information to mitigate fraud and risk.

TransUnion News

As Businesses Reopen Physical Locations, New TransUnion Research Shows Fraudsters Decrease Online Schemes Against Companies

Chicago - TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) latest quarterly analysis of global online fraud trends found that fraudsters are decreasing their schemes against businesses, but increasing COVID-19 focused scams against consumers online.

TransUnion came to its conclusions about fraud against businesses based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in its flagship fraud prevention solution, IDVision® with iovation®. It found the percent of suspected fraudulent digital transactions against businesses worldwide decreased 9% from the beginning of the pandemic (“phase 1,” March 11-May 18) to when businesses began reopening (“phase 2,” May 19-July 25). In contrast, TransUnion’s Consumer Financial Hardship surveys found consumers targeted by digital COVID-19 schemes increased 10% from the early days of the pandemic (week of April 13) to more recently (week of July 27).

“With the rush for businesses to go digital as many were forced to go completely online almost overnight, fraudsters tried to take advantage,” said Shai Cohen, senior vice president of Global Fraud Solutions at TransUnion. “They were most likely unsuccessful in their attempts and took their scams elsewhere as those businesses ramped up their digital fraud prevention solutions while providing a friction-right consumer experience. Conversely with consumers, fraudsters are increasingly using COVID-19 to prey on those persons who are facing mounting financial pressures.”

In contrast to the recent suspected fraud decrease against businesses, when comparing phase 1 (March 11-May 18) to right before the pandemic (Jan. 1-March 10), there was a 6% rise in suspected digital fraud against businesses. When comparing digital transactions pre-pandemic to during the pandemic (March 11-July 25), suspected fraud against businesses remained relatively flat, increasing 1%.

Examining Fraud Types and Their Impact on Industries

TransUnion analyzed the below industries for a change in the percent of suspected fraud against them, comparing the periods of March 11-May 18 and May 19-July 25.

Suspected Fraud Post-Pandemic Declaration

“It appears fraudsters assume travel & leisure companies are scrutinizing transactions less in order to capture more revenue as the pandemic continues to severely negatively impact their business,” said Melissa Gaddis, senior director of customer success, Global Fraud Solutions at TransUnion. “Another interesting note is that telecommunications, e-commerce and financial services companies – all industries that have fared relatively well during the pandemic – were targeted with the most digital fraud early in the pandemic but are now among the least targeted. This shows us that fraudsters initially targeted the hottest industries with the most money to be had early in the pandemic in order to hide behind the rush of transactions but have now made an obvious shift.”

Globally across industries, TransUnion found the countries with the highest percentage of suspected fraudulent transactions were: 1) Kazakhstan, 2) Greece and 3) Cyprus. In the U.S. overall, TransUnion found the cities with the highest percent of suspected fraudulent transactions were: 1) Livonia, Mich. 2) Akron, Ohio and 3) Jackson, Miss.

Consumers Targeted By COVID-19 Schemes

To better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on consumers, TransUnion surveyed 8,265 adults in Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, South Africa the U.K. and the U.S. the week of July 27. More than three out of 10 respondents (32%) said they had been targeted by digital fraud related to COVID-19, with Gen Z (age 18-25) being the most targeted at 36%. Among consumers reporting being targeted with digital COVID-19 schemes globally, the top pandemic-themed scam is phishing with 27% saying they were hit with it. Despite the survey showing Baby Boomers were the generation least targeted with Digital COVID-19 scams, among consumers reporting being targeted they were the age group saying they faced the highest percentage of COVID-19 themed phishing scams.

“Phishing shows fraudsters aren’t after a quick hit, but rather looking for the long haul,” said Gaddis. “Once a fraudster steals consumer credentials, the wave of disruption they can cause with a stolen or synthetic identity is endless from compromising multiple online accounts to significantly impacting credit scores.”

Consumers can learn how to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft with the TransUnion Fraud Victim Bill of Rights.


Chicago, IL

Mohit Kapoor, CIO

Provides tools and resources to help in information and risk management.