The Key Benefits of a Fraud Detection API

Author avatar

May 8, 2020 by Bence Jendruszak

Fraud Detection APIs let you protect your business faster and more efficiently. But why do they work exactly?

An API, or Application Programming Interface, allows two systems to interact, communicate and integrate with one another. Historically, APIs were all about connecting internal software products.

But these days, businesses are increasingly opening them up to customers and external users. This post will examine its benefits in the context of fraud detection and Risk Operations (RiskOps), with clear examples of how it could help your business grow with complete peace of mind.

How Modern Fraud Detection Systems Work

The key to powerful fraud prevention systems is to access as much customer data as possible. The key points where you want to gather user data are:

  • Onboarding: when your users sign up for the first time
  • Login: when users enter their credentials to access your services
  • Transaction: when they purchase goods or a service
  • Other on-site activities like deposit or withdrawal

That data needs to be sent to the fraud detection system, which enriches and processes it with preset or custom machine learning rules.

The fraud management system will then give you a risk score, and if it’s built properly, transparent and human-readable explanations of how it got to these scores.

This then lets you trigger an action, either to Approve, Decline, or trigger manual reviews. Additionally, you can classify your users based on how risky you think they are and redirect them towards additional security measures if needed.

This is true of all verticals, whether you are in the iGaming sphere, selling items online, or operating a global airline.

So here are three examples of user behaviours that could appear risky:

  • A user signs up with a disposable email address domain. This can be checked with an email analysis tool. It seems risky because normal users would use a more established email service.
  • Your user signs in from a new device, in a new country. This is checked with your IP analysis tool and device fingerprinting module. It lets us know there is a chance someone found the login details and is using them, which is known as an ATO, or account takeover attack.
  • Your customer purchases a good or service with a credit card whose name doesn’t match their own. This could mean they are using a stolen card, which could cost you a lot in chargeback fees.

As you can imagine, you need to process a lot of data for these examples to work, and fast. Moreover, you might also want to send large amounts of historical data so that it can be analyzed by a machine learning system.

But how do you send your data points and request data to the fraud detection system? The answer, of course, is via APIs.

Fraud Detection APIs Vs Manual Data

If you want to protect your business from fraud, SEON gives you a few options. You can take your user data and feed it to our system manually, via an extension, the GUI, or you can use APIs. All have their pros and cons, but let’s see where APIs work better.

APIs Are More Efficient For Developers

Developers don’t have to develop a full fraud detection application from scratch into your system. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, as all you need to do is find the correct APIs in the documentation, and automate the right queries.

They’re The Best Method to Use for Scaling

Processing a lot of data in real-time is impossible to do manually. By using APIs, you cut out the middleman and let your systems communicate directly, which not only speeds up the process, but also makes it possible to work on huge scales for thousands of simultaneous transactions, logins, or sign-ups. For instance, our fraud prevention systems deliver results under 1 second only, regardless of the amount of data to process.

They Offer A Fully Automated Process

Once the APIs are integrated, all the data is sent and received automatically. This makes it much easier to manage, and reduces the maintenance and manual efforts of the fraud team and IT team. Just like with cloud-based apps, we take care of all the updates and security fixes, so you can concentrate on growing your business.

Fraud Detection APIs Allow for More Personalization

Fraud detection might plague every business, but not everyone will need to focus on the same data points and tools. Which is why APIs will let your developers decide how they want to process the information SEON delivers, and build tools that make sense for your business.

They Give You More Flexibility

At SEON, for instance, you can pay for our tool based on the number of API calls you make. This makes it very easy to scale your operations without worrying about changing contracts, whether you are in a temporary downturn or scaling your operations fast.

Examples of What Can Be Done With Fraud Detection APIs

  • Reverse email or phone analysis: enrich user data based on an email address or phone number alone. You can see if the phone number is valid or not based on string analysis, find its location and type, and even the person’s last login date, and a profile picture by looking at the public social data from Viber, Whatsapp or Telegram.
  • Social media lookup: see if a phone number or email address has been linked to social media accounts, such as Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, or Twitter. You can use the data to calculate a risk score, or even as a way to track fraudsters, for instance in the context of loan repayment.
  • Data enrichment fed through a ML engine: You can connect to SEON’s rule-based engine, which will enrich data from external databases, and use Machine Learning for advanced classification. This is what helps our customers reduce their fraud rates on average by 70-80%.
Fraud detection API, fraud detection system by SEON

Why Use REST APIs for Fraud Detection Systems

APIs are usually either categorized as SOAP or REST, both of which have their advantages. At SEON, we use REST APIs, which are more lightweight and use the JSON format to receive or send information.

Fraud Detection APIs and Transparency

To make the most of fraud detection APIs, you need to be able to trust the quality of the documentation, and the server’s uptime. Which is why SEON makes it easy to access the documentation online with your API key, and to check the status of our SEON Fraud API for uptime.

Ready to Start Implementing Your First Fraud APIs?

At SEON, we have put a lot of effort into providing the best API documentation for developers. You can check our integration flow for more information, or don’t hesitate to contact us for a free demo to see how we can help you grow your business safely today.

Share on social media

Learn more about our products


Author avatar
Bence Jendruszak

Bence is the co-founder and COO of SEON whose vision is to create a safer online environment for merchants in high risk verticals.

Sign up to our newsletter