A/B testing

A/B testing is a research method in which two groups, a control group (representing the current strategy) and an alternate group (representing a hypothesis for an improved strategy), are tested against one another in order to scientifically select the optimal final strategy.


Acquirer (Acquiring Bank)

The Acquiring Bank, also known as the merchant acquirer or the merchant bank, is the bank that is responsible for settling credit and debit card transactions on behalf of the merchant. Its counterpart is the issuing bank which settles card transactions for the purchaser or card holder. Acquirers enable merchants to accept credit cards, often provide merchants with necessary hardware and software to accept card transactions, and for their role in the card payment process, receive an acquirer fee or markup in addition to the interchange and other fees in a credit card and debit card payment.


Active Authentication

Active Authentication is a security and authentication method in which the user is challenged with questions about what he/she knows (knowledge-based), has (possession-based) or is (biometric-based).


Advance-Fee Fraud

Advance-Fee Fraud is a common fraud scheme generally involving a criminal tricking a victim into paying an up-front fee with the promise of a larger reward paid out later.


AI (Artificial Intelligence)

AI or Artificial Intelligence is broadly used to describe the simulation of the processes of human intelligence by computer systems. The processes simulate human learning in that the systems start with the acquisition of information, creating rules for using the information, reasoning by using the rules to reach conclusions, and self-correction by evaluating outcomes and compensating for incorrect predictions or errors. Artificial intelligence is generally categorized into one of three types: 1) Weak AI or Narrow AI, in which the systems and algorithms are trained to perform narrowly focused tasks, 2. Strong AI or General Intelligence, the theoretical goal of having a system apply intelligence to solve any problem much like a human would, and 3) Superintelligence, in which a system could far outperform human intelligence through rapid, recursive self-improvement. Although general intelligence and superintelligence are frequently discussed in media and entertainment, neither has been achieved and neither seems to be achievable in the near future. Artificial intelligence is often used interchangeably (but incorrectly) with machine learning and deep learning. AI is the science and approach to developing technology that mimics human intelligence. Machine learning, a subset of AI, involves the application of statistical techniques and modelling to create algorithms that improve with experience. Deep learning, a subset of machine learning, involves the creation of algorithms using multilayered neural networks trained on vast amounts of data.


AML (Anti-Money Laundering)

AML or Anti-Money Laundering refers to a set of procedures, laws or regulations designed to stop the practice of generating income through illegal activities. 'Money laundering' is the process in which criminals undertake a series of steps that make it look like money made from illegal or unethical activities were earned legitimately and can enter the traditional banking system. Most anti-money laundering programs focus on the source of funds as opposed to anti-terrorism and similar programs which focus on the destination of funds. In modern finance, a typical anti-money laundering program would be run by the financial institutions to analyze customer data and detect suspicious transactions.


ATO (Account Takeover)

ATO Fraud or Account Takeover Fraud is a form of identity theft in which a criminal gains control of a consumer’s account. In doing so, the perpetrator gains access to confidential information such as the consumer's PIN, enabling them to change account settings, such as the statement mailing address or passwords, and/or enabling them to make unauthorized withdrawals. ATO can involve one or many of a victim's accounts -- including, but limited to, bank, brokerage, phone, utility, social media, travel or online shopping accounts -- and then used for a variety of unlawful activities. Financial account takeover usually involves funds being removed from victim;s accounts either by direct debit, payments or transfers being set up for fraud without the victim's knowledge or consent. With account takeover of mobile phones, often the perpetrator's intent is to gain control of the phone-based security authentication factor, usually a code or security token which sent via SMS or authentication software to the phone, which once acquired by the criminal, can grant him/her access to the victim's bank, brokerage, bitcoin and other financial accounts. The credentials to commit account takeover are usually obtained by criminals indirectly through data breach marketplaces on the dark web or directly from the consumer using malware or via phishing. Once a fraudster gains access to a victim's account, they often update the account credentials and contact information so the victim no longer no has control over the account no longer will be informed about changes to the account. In most cases, the victims are unaware that their account has been compromised until the damage is done and the perpetrators have covered their tracks.


AVS (Address Verification System)

AVS or Address Verification System is a payment processing system comparison of the numerical portions of billing and shipping addresses with the addresses on file at the credit card-issuing bank. A single-digit code is returned that represents a match, a partial match, or a number of errors or alerts. The original concept contemplated that the transaction could then be subsequently approved, declined or set aside for manual review. AVS is one of only a few metrics provided to merchants by the issuing banks to assist in the merchants' risk assessment, but AVS responses are also one of the biggest reasons legitimate orders are declined.