Talking online payments and fighting fraud with PayMongo’s Jaime Hing III

As more people in the country turning to the internet for their shopping needs, the security of online payments has become much more important. After all, no one wants to suddenly find that their hard-earned money is suddenly gone due to an unsecured online transaction.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that online payment provides are doing their best to beef up their security. One such company is PayMongo, which, as reported in our previous coverage, has partnered with online security provider Vesta.

Looking to understand more about the challenges of securing online payments in the Philippines, we got in touch with PayMongo co-founder Chief Technology Officier Jaime Hing III to talk more about the topic at hand.

At just 30 years of age, Hing already has extensive experience in software development and information technology. Before co-founding PayMongo, he worked for companies such as QuadX, Cambridge University Press and KFC Philippines.

Hing is a firm believer in the ability of IT to complement people’s lives and that technology helps people gain different perspectives to solving complex problems. In this case, the “problem” at hand is the security of online payments in the country.

Even with the increased demand for online payments, Hing says that online payments in the country are still “4 out of 5 secured.” He states that there are still bad actors who will try to defraud businesses and consumers in a myriad of ways.

For businesses, he explains that the most common type of fraud comes from the use of stolen or counterfeit credit cards and identity theft. Stolen cards, in particular, can result in chargebacks when the legitimate owners of these cards find that they’re being used. In these cases, the business ends up having to shoulder the cost.

For consumers, he says that the ease of putting up a business online also makes it easy for bad actors to trick them if they aren’t careful.

“As a consumer, you need to do some background checks such as reading customer reviews about the legitimacy of a business to avoid being scammed,” he noted.

For its part, PayMongo has been working to make it easier for businesses, especially those new to online payments, to get up to speed with the technology.

This is important as Hing notes, some businesses can get too eager to enable online payments, causing them to make questionable decisions.

“Some merchants are either too focused on making a sale or trust other people so much that they would offer to use their own credit card to pay for a transaction and offer installment payments to their customers,” Hing laments. “We gently but firmly advise them that this kind of practice would be detrimental to their business.”

Because of this, Hing emphasizes the importance of educating entrepreneurs on how to mitigate online fraud while still being able to maximize their businesses. In this end, he believes that both PayMongo and its customers need to work together to make online payments more secure.

“I believe that it is a shared responsibility between businesses and payment gateways like us to be aware and fight fraud.”

Working with its customers is very important for PayMongo. After all, the company prides itself on making it much easier for businesses—especially small and medium enterprises (SME)—to use its system.

Now, this can be a challenge. Adding extra technology for security can make things more complex for users. Moreover, most SME owners may not be properly equipped to understand the data from these systems and pinpoint possible cases of fraud.

To address this, PayMongo is investing in machine learning to analyze these many data points, allowing them to detect and fight fraud in real-time. At the same time, this data is also presented to the company’s customers in a format that’s much easier for them to understand.

“All of this, information, such as billing and customer information, are available to our merchants as a reference when dealing with any suspicious activities,” Hing explains. “We also block suspicious payments in real-time and also send our notifications if there are post-processing payments that we think are fraudulent.”

PayMongo’s new partnership with Vesta is meant to further strengthen this capability. The latter company has 25 years of data and experience fighting fraud. PayMongo then is looking to hardness this to better strengthen the security of their customers.

“I believe that their fraud detection algorithm has been tried and tested all throughout their years of existence,” said Hing.

In addition, Hing notes that Vesta’s technologies do not intrude into PayMongo’s own products. Hing explains that their customers wouldn’t even notice that Vesta’s technology is running alongside PayMongo’s, even as both companies work to secure their transactions.

Hing says that he and his team worked closely with Vesta in integrating the latter’s technology with PayMongo’s. He noted Vesta’s commitment to the project and to making sure that the end result is the “best experience to secure online payments.”

With his enthusiasm for the partnership, it’s clear that Hing believes that it will help make people more confident about making online payments. That said, he says that technology is only one part of earning people’s trust.

The other part, he says, is good customer service, punctuating this with something said by the late Tony Hsieh when he was still CEO of Zappos: “Customer service shouldn’t be a department; it should be the entire company.”

With its focus on the customer experience and working with them to secure their transactions, it’s clear that this is something that PayMongo takes to heart.

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Franz Co

managing editor | addicted to RGB | plays too many fighting games

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