Webshield RiskConnect 2018: The Anatomy of a Good Risk Management Strategy
The event started with a presentation held by Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Bernstein on fake news, the impact this has on our societies and the way truth is perceived via 'fake news lenses'. Bernstein has preached the gospel of finding 'the best obtainable version of truth', stressing the fact that journalists are similar to data miners, permanently searching for info, and that their ultimate role should be connecting these data to offer the best obtainable version of truth. This ideal can be achieved if we present information in context, as simple facts presented isolated from the bigger picture do not cover the truth. A crucial role in this system is played by the validation of our data sources.
He concluded his presentation by drawing a parallel between the role of journalists and risk management professionals, as both categories use similar investigative principles to grasp the whole picture of a given situation / merchant profile, for instance. When you don't know/suppose you know the truth you face a risk, the risk of missing out the factors that made that truth happen, of not knowing what will be the right consequences, of being part of a distorted world, hence, facing unreal consequences/
What exactly is risk?
There have been a lot of debates around this concept, as it is not a fix, but a variable one, depending on the degree of risk a business/person is willing to accept, the impact the accepted risk has on the business/consumer, risk appetite, the way it makes a business/consumer feel when they take a particular risk etc.. Nevertheless, risk can be monitored/assessed due to ISO 31000 standard on 'Risk management – Principles and guidelines on implementation' that states that the process of risk management consists of several concrete steps, such as establishing the context and identifying potential risks and assessment - once risks have been identified, they must then be assessed as to their potential severity of impact.
According to Shaun Lavelle, Senior Vice President Risk, Payment Processing, Paysafe Group and Bill Trueman, Director, RiskSkill (http://www.riskskill.com/
For instance, at the moment there are too many shady merchants under some acquirers' custody conducting illegal activities, such as child pornography, nutraceuticals, and unfair billing practices causing great fines applied to these acquirers by the regulators/schemes. Not to mention the different perspectives regulators have over these risks and the vast terminology used within this market (that not everyone understands/
Bitcoin, ICOs, crypto… a risky business?
Over the past few years, cryptocurrency has grown exponentially and it seems that a new cryptocurrency pops up every day (currently there are more than 1500 available). The appeal of making a fortune by joining the cryptocurrency market is enticing with mining facilities multiplying and the emergence of "Initial Coin Offerings" (ICOs). Similar with IPOs, ICOs enable startup businesses to raise capital for their projects by issuing their own digital tokens.
However, fraudsters are also exploiting this new digital asset ecosystem. For instance, there are sites that teach you how to launch an ICO in just 20 minutes, or others that through deceiving advertising trick users into thinking that they are buying 'the next worldwide crypto' (when actually they don't receive anything). Also by co-opting well-known brands, such as card schemes – Mastercard, Visa – or by using celebrity names/faces in a deceiving way, ICOs can gather over 30,000 registrants in just a few days, according to the Canadian Financial Authority investigators Annie Leblanc and Maude Blanchette.
The good news is that there are regulators and authorities throughout the world, such as the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and many others that monitor these fund raising activities/transactions, investigate any illegal/illicit/
How to lower the risk?
Mastercard and Visa are preparing their clients/merchants on how to deal effectively with the evolving risk management challenges. During RiskConnect, Jonathan Trivelas, Director, Customer Compliance and Fraud, Mastercard, covered Mastercard's Business Risk Assessment and Mitigation (BRAM) program and its latest requirements concerning high risks merchants. These initiatives are called AN 1683—Addition of High-Risk Securities Merchants to the BRAM Program and Revised Standards—High-
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