Taking Fraud for a Taxi Ride

March 21, 2018
Read time: 7 min
Sean Barding
Sean Barding
Cybersource | Director, Strategic Managed Risk Analyst

Fraud management is far more than an operational box to be checked. Implemented effectively, it can reduce financial headwinds, limit economic risk, and free your business to expand products, services and geography more quickly.

Let’s explore how one company, CMT Group, used Cybersource Decision Manager to dramatically reduce fraud losses and give newfound momentum to its business.

CMT Group—transforming taxi payments


From its founding in New York City in 2005, Creative Mobile Technologies, LLC (CMT) has been expanding to provide innovative mobile booking and payment systems for taxis around the world. Today, the company’s point-of-sale devices are used by approximately 50,000 taxis in 150 cities spread across North America and Europe.

In 2015, CMT introduced a mobile passenger booking and payment app–Arro–to enhance passenger convenience while helping taxis remain competitive with emerging ridesharing services. Launching the app–and with it a new payment channel–sent CMT on a mission to improve its fraud management practices.

Time to stop the bleeding


Combating fraud is always a challenge, but for CMT, it became a business imperative after the introduction of its mobile app. With this new payment channel, CMT found itself facing $100,000 per month in chargebacks related to card-not-present fraud.

“We could no longer absorb the losses,” says Jeffrey L. Wilson, CMT General Counsel and Director of Business Development. “We needed a solution that could help reduce fraud and stop the bleeding.”

CMT’s first attempt to implement a fraud management solution yielded disappointing results, but it did give the company a silver lining—insight into the increasing scope of the problem. To improve fraud management going forward, the CMT team needed to find a better solution, and one that could be automated and strengthened over time.

Any new solution also had to accommodate the unique nature of the company’s payments business. Whether someone is registering on the app or paying for a cab ride, there’s simply no time for manual review.

“If a passenger has to wait two minutes while someone reviews multiple sources of data, the taxi company will never see that passenger again,” says Chris Plunkett, Director of Product Line Management for CMT.

A better solution


In the course of its search for a new fraud management solution, CMT’s card brand partners and other technology partners recommended Cybersource. The CMT team found that Cybersource understood and embraced the company’s unique challenges to propose a comprehensive, effective solution.

CMT ultimately chose the Cybersource Decision Manager fraud management solution to drive down fraud losses. Decision Manager supports both the company’s Arro mobile app and a white-labeled version of the app branded for individual taxi companies. To date, CMT has implemented Decision Manager in the United States and the United Kingdom, with further rollouts planned in other North American and European countries.

CMT also has implemented the Cybersource payment gateway, which connects to its back-end processor, in the U.K., and plans to roll it out in North America as well.

By working with Cybersource, we have a better handle on fraud, and the confidence to take on new markets with less financial risk.

Jeffrey L. Wilson, General Counsel and Director of Business Development, CMT

In order to maximize the value of Decision Manager in managing fraud, CMT is using Cybersource Managed Risk Services. With Managed Risk Services, a dedicated analyst proactively assists with ongoing fraud concerns, works with CMT personnel to refine and test rules and stays attuned to evolving fraud threats. 

These services have proven critical in helping CMT combat fraud. In the first month of implementation, Cybersource helped CMT reduce chargebacks by a staggering 92 percent. 


 “We didn’t have the proper resources and expertise in-house to build a large fraud department,” says Plunkett. “Cybersource Managed Risk Services gives us continuous access to expert assistance to help us optimize our fraud management strategies.”

Additional insights


A dedicated team can help streamline implementation—To help CMT deploy Decision Manager and the payment gateway quickly, Cybersource assigned a team that included a project manager, a solution expert and a technical integration specialist.

“Throughout the implementation process, the Cybersource team was focused on keeping the project moving and ensuring our success,” says Plunkett.

Real-time decisions help Deliver a strong customer experience—Decision Manager helps CMT and its taxi company customers maintain a rapid, seamless customer experience for passengers.

“Cybersource Decision Manager enables us to make fraud decisions in real time so we don’t disrupt the experience for good customers,” says Plunkett.

Reducing economic risks enables business expansion—With Decision Manager and Cybersource Managed Risk Services, CMT has significantly reduced fraud losses. That reduction enables the company to move forward with the development of new features and functions for the app.

Fewer monthly losses also mean CMT is in a better position to continue rolling out its mobile app in new cities across North America and Europe. “By working with Cybersource, we have a better handle on fraud and can expand into new markets with much less financial risk,” says Wilson.

Expert resources can help contain evolving fraud threats—The Managed Risk Analyst service is helping CMT navigate a constantly changing fraud landscape. Whenever regulations change or new threats emerge, the analyst is ready to recommend new rules to implement.

“It was definitely a smart decision to bring in an expert from Cybersource rather than trying to develop our own expertise internally,” says Plunkett. “With fraud management, there’s no finish line. You have to move fast, and you have to keep moving,” says Wilson. “Now we have the resources we need to stay ahead of fraudsters.”

Want to learn more about Decision Manager and Managed Risk Services? Explore how Cybersource can help your business reduce fraud losses.