A well-known name in the online payments landscape, no less thanks to its connection to Visa, Cybersource is regarded as a highly reliable solution for online merchants, combining payments management and fraud prevention through one platform.
But how does it compare to its peers, what are its strong suits, and what alternatives are available for those who wish to try a different solution?
|Disclaimer: Everything you’ll read in this article was gleaned from online research, including user reviews. We did not have time to manually test every tool. This article was last updated in Q3 2023. Please feel free to contact us to request an update/correction.
Best Cybersource Alternatives
|Nubank, Air France, Kindred
|Frictionless, in-depth customer profiling and flexible rules with ML insights
|ACI (ReD Shield)
|Decathlon, Burlington, Mango
|Automated anti-fraud solution guaranteeing compliance with direct access to payment solutions
|Fitbit, OpenTable, instacart
|Adaptable and scalable fraud protection with direct access to payment solutions
|New Balance, Staples, Wyze Labs
|Secure end-to-end platform
|Motorola, ASUS, Under Armour
|Chargeback protection with analyst support and risk strategy advice
|Southwest Airlines, Ticketmaster, Ubisoft
|Flexible fraud prevention making use of decision science
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What Does Cybersource Offer?
A well-known name in the sector thanks to its long history and connection to Visa, Cybersource came onto the scene in 1994 and today provides combination fraud and payment management services to online merchants – mainly of medium and large company size.
Per the brand’s own statistics, they are active in over 160 countries and provide services to over 450,000 businesses.
Two milestones in this success have been the acquisition by Visa in 2010, when Cybersource became Visa Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary, as well as their own acquisition of Authorize.net, a payment services provider for small businesses, in 2007.
These strategic moves have attracted more interest from clients and added prestige to the brand.
Cybersource’s current offering is fairly expansive, and includes:
- payment processing
- fraud prevention and management
- data security
- payment distribution and recurring billing
- global tax calculation and VAT compliance
- dynamic currency conversion
Cybersource supports POS, mobile and online payments, as well as ACH payment processing.
Why Look for a Cybersource Alternative?
Clearly, Cybersource seeks to be a comprehensive solution for managing payments and mitigating risk that can serve certain types of business fairly well.
Our research, including a survey of customer reviews, indicates that the product seems to lend itself better to larger businesses, due to its focus on mass transactions. With this in mind, we presumed that partnerships are typically out of the price range for smaller businesses working with lower margins.
Moreover, it is clearly not a dedicated anti-fraud solution, with everything this might entail. Risk management addons are limited in scope and fairly rigid. There is no real-time monitoring, while the focus is on payments rather than on risk.
Finally, a frequent pain point for Cybersource customers are the limited options for payments older than six months, which cannot be managed or even included in downloadable reports, according to some users.
Six Cybersource Alternatives
If you’re in search of a Cybersource alternative, this might be because you feel the solution is no longer appropriate to your needs, or you may be hoping to find a payment model that better suits the way you work.
Let us take a look at what is out there.
Features & Use Cases
The solutions offered by SEON are centered on preventing and mitigating fraud, with real-time access to data enrichment protocols, risk scoring and whitebox machine learning that adapts to each organization’s needs as a scalable and transparent tool.
There is a reverse email and phone lookup module, which serves as a frictionless yet highly efficient method to gather information about a user or customer, and make an informed choice on their intentions and risk profile from it. Because it uses the micro fee model rather than chargeback guarantee, there is no incentive for SEON to block or delay legitimate customers. As a result, it is well-known to minimize churn with no compromises to safety.
Available to be used manually by fraud analysts or to power data enrichment and risk ratings, it taps into OSINT data from over 90 online platforms and networks. This means less potential for fraudsters to come up with a convincing persona or impersonate someone successfully.
SEON’s holistic end-to-end fraud prevention platform utilizes highly sophisticated browser and device fingerprinting, behavior analysis, velocity checks and machine learning to assign risk profiles to each user and transaction, which can be set to trigger different types of responses on a case by case basis.
In practice, this means that each organization can adjust the rules and additional triggers according to their risk appetite and overall fraud landscape, while there are also customizable industry presets available for convenience – such as those for fintechs, payment gateways, online shops and iGaming operators.
ACI (ReD Shield)
Features & Use Cases
Following the 2014 acquisition of fraud prevention company ReD, ACI Worldwide took the flagship solution ReD Shield and developed it further.
This Cybersource alternative combines payment management with fraud prevention. Overall, the company boasts over 6,000 customers worldwide, with 25 billion cloud transactions and 225+ billion consumer transactions processed every year.
This is a big plus for their clients’ protection, as ACI’s Network Intelligence Technology enables the real-time leveraging of fraud insights across their customer base, via sharing industry-wide signals and patterns. ACI also continually invests in developing these insights for use inside their ML model. As a result, rules stay up to date to boost safety while streamlining onboarding and transactions, with a focus on revenue growth and compliance.
ACI has a large number of sectors it targets, inclusive of ecommerce, education, telecoms and service providers but is especially well known in the banking and payments sector where, in their own words, they serve “19 of the top 20 banks worldwide” such as India’s SBI and South Africa’s Absa Group.
For those who seek a combination of payments management and anti-fraud functionality, ACI Worldwide’s solution can be a good alternative to Cybersource. The brand’s approach seems to be one of providing assurances and minimizing the need for oversight, as its automation potential is stressed as a core feature, while users appreciate the seamless integration with payment management.
Features & Use Cases
Stripe’s anti-fraud tool is called Radar, and promises to provide frictionless, machine-learning-powered fraud prevention and detection software. Coupling Radar in keeping fraudsters at bay is Stripe Identity, which also promises to streamline KYC and prevent account takeovers.
With a customer base that, by their own admission, ranges across 195 countries and every business model, size and industry, Stripe has the ability to search across the fraud landscape to assign more detailed risk scores. The premise is that even if a card is new to your business, it will likely have been seen elsewhere on the vast network.
Targeting payments in particular, the security approach is three-pronged, with data from Stripe’s financial partners, network payments and checkout flows coming together in order to provide better protection. We should note that Radar and Identity are built into the Stripe platform and not available separately. There are customized options for some of the products, yet these tend to be more pricey.
The integrated package uses a pay-as-you go payment model, with no setup fees. This means each payment monitored and processed has its own charge attached, which, for companies based in the US, is set at $0.30 plus 2.9% per successful card charge. Naturally, this can quickly add up for merchants who deal with large volumes, who we recommend get a quote for a customized package that corresponds directly to their needs and location.
It is obvious that Stripe seeks to be a comprehensive solution for any business handling online transactions. This can be very helpful for some organizations yet cumbersome for others, especially those who are not interested in the majority of the tools it integrates – which include apps to enable and optimize financial reconciliation and reporting, global payments, payout timing, PCI compliance, invoice support, and unified payouts.
Features & Use Cases
Idaho-based fraud prevention company Kount offers solutions against different types of fraud, including ATO fraud, friendly fraud and chargeback fraud to its enterprise business clientele around the world. In February 2021, it was acquired by Equifax, which allowed for integration with some of the latter’s services.
What makes Kount stand out among the competition, and potentially a good Cybersource alternative for some, is the Identity Trust Global Network, a database spanning 13 years and 32 billion data points in more than 200 countries and 75 industries. This wealth of historical data helps inform AI systems, which automate anti-fraud decisions for Kount customers.
The main digital fraud prevention product is called Kount Command, and addresses various different types of fraud with its technology, including account takeovers, friendly fraud, gift card fraud and chargebacks – with the latter covered through the brand’s chargeback guarantee, which suits some companies’ needs better than micro fees.
Furthermore, Kount Control protects from cyber threats such as card testing, credential stuffing and bot attacks. There is also a dedicated product available for payment providers, dubbed Kount Central.
Among Kount’s customers are big players in the retail, beauty, travel and MLM fields. Well known names include Brooks, Canada Post, New Balance, BP and Dunkin’ Donuts. More than 15,000 companies are part of the Kount clientele.
In terms of pricing, each of the three products bundles different tools but exact prices are available only by speaking to the Kount team.
Features & Use Cases
Established in Brazil in 2001 and with offices in the USA, Mexico and Brazil two decades later, ClearSale is a brand that specializes in preventing ecommerce fraud. According to the official website, 6,000+ customers are served worldwide, among which are Wish, OfficeMax and Motorola.
ClearSale covers all CNP transactions. Artificial intelligence analyzes the risk attached to each transaction, with manual reviews taken care of by the ClearSale team.
This can be helpful to those merchants who can’t or won’t do this on-site, but can affect turnaround, with the anti-fraud vendor offering a “customizable timeframe” and “VIP lists” for manual reviews.
Unfortunately, this means that customers might be left wondering why they have not received confirmation, or even looking to cancel their order if this takes too long. Per ClearSale, approximately 91% of transactions are automatically approved, therefore the remaining 9% might be subject to delays – unlike in-house manual reviews, which are actioned by the merchant’s team when they deem fit.
A big selling point is the integration with the most popular ecommerce platforms, which can be prebuilt or customized. These include Salesforce, Shopify, Magento, VTEX and BigCommerce, as well as others.
In terms of return on investment and suitability, the solution was made for ecommerce, with a clear focus on automation, simplification and chargeback protection.
As a result, it is appreciated by small and medium ecommerce businesses, which are eager to make use of the quick and easy integration with their shopping platform partners. We should also note that ClearSale also supports enterprise organizations, still in the ecommerce sector.
However, this comes with a downside: The ClearSale pricing model sees the company take a small cut of each transaction. Profit maximalists will not prefer this, though it can be a useful arrangement for those whose transaction volume fluctuates significantly throughout the year.
Features & Use Cases
Accertify has interesting parallels with Cybersource, not least because it is an American Express company, just like Cybersource is affiliated with Visa.
In terms of fraud prevention, its Interceptas Platform was recently overhauled, which removed its name while keeping its penchant for flexibility, speed of deployment and 24/7 support.
Existing Accertify customers appreciate the manual review and confirmation process, offered in easy to read and decide format, while the community support that comes in the form of its two multi-merchant databases adds unique insight to fraud analysts looking to make decisions.
The brand has made a name for itself in ecommerce as well as the travel industry, where well-known companies that prefer its services include easyJet, British Airways and Greyhound. It is a truly global product with an around-the-clock helpline and full support for several local currencies, languages and time zones.
Unfortunately, some of its customers report stability issues and occasional trouble tweaking their rulesets while, because it’s optimized for American Express products, its other integrations might be found lacking.
How to Choose a Cybersource Alternative
On the question of which is the best Cybersource alternative, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. A company’s needs, size, sector and threat landscape will define what is best to go for, as well as the full range of desired functionality.
Points to keep in mind are whether the solution uses whitebox (transparent) or blackbox artificial intelligence; how customizable it is; whether it fits your sector; existing customer concerns; and payment model.
The above should be a good starting point in your search for a Cybersource alternative, or even in concluding that Cybersource might be the best solution for you after all. Knowledge is power, and we hope we have provided some useful basics to help you on your way.
FAQ for Cybersource Alternatives
What cheaper alternatives are there to Cybersource?
It is not easy to recommend a cheaper alternative to Cybersource because its pricing model is not opaque, while the payments solution integration makes it difficult to compare to payments-only or fraud prevention-only solutions. We advise that you set up a demo with their team, if you are interested.
Where can I learn more about Cybersource?
Find out more by visiting the official Cybersource website and reading reviews online on specialist websites such as G2.com. You can also read a detailed comparison between SEON and Cybersource here.
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