Understanding Manual Review in Fraud Prevention


Think about this: If your business were to reduce manual review of eCommerce orders  by 50 percent, how much would you save? And how much more would you sell?

The most expensive aspect of fraud prevention — manual review — continues in a seemingly unstoppable upward trend. It’s a time-consuming process that adds cost without return and can have a severe impact on customer experience.

According to research by CyberSource, one in four eCommerce orders is manually reviewed. The study also found that only 3 percent of orders are declined after manual review, which indicates more orders are being reviewed than is necessary.

Having  more intelligence earlier in the fraud detection review process can prevent this.

So, it follows that reducing the volume of fraud review can save your company money and help you rapidly approve legitimate transactions.

What is manual review?

As its name implies, a manual review is one performed by a team of actual people, not an automated fraud prevention tool. As such, it incurs the cost of payroll, training, policies and procedures.

Whether the review is conducted in-house or by a third-party vendor, a person physically checks on an order, transaction or account request. That person validates the user’s identity and the authenticity of the order or request in order to determine if it’s a case of fraud or not.

When the fraud prevention system indicates a level of uncertainty in the validity of a user or his or her information, it often triggers a manual fraud review.

Typically, the minimum amount of time required for a manual fraud review after a transaction is flagged by a risk engine is 15 minutes. Since this process includes subjective judgement, your team must be well trained to avoid unnecessary revenue loss.

False positives are a big issue. Online fraud prevention measures that frustrate customers to the point of abandonment will cost you much more revenue than actual fraud will. In 2019 , false positives were expected to cost retailers a staggering $370 billion, while actual fraud cost only $5.5 billion.

Every time a false positive occurs, you run the risk of not only losing a sale, but also potentially losing a customer for life. For that reason, you need to consider the larger issue at play: striking the delicate balance between a prudent level of fraud prevention and low customer friction.

Inc. reveals when customers aren’t satisfied, they’ll tell between nine and 15 people about the negative experience. On the other hand, only one in 10 will share a positive experience.

False positives shouldn’t be viewed as the price of better fraud prevention. The lifetime value of a loyal customer is at stake .

Explore how fraud prevention tools and applications reduce labor-intensive reviews.

An effective way to maximize revenue and reduce friction is to implement automated processes that flag high-risk transactions. Then, you can use manual review as a last line of defense against a smaller volume of high-risk transactions.

Analyzing post-manual review acceptance and rejection levels is also valuable in helping fraud teams tune their automated screening systems to make better use of manual review teams.

If you can trade the high cost of false positives for better fraud prevention results, why wouldn’t you? Purchasing a new fraud prevention tool will quickly pay for itself by reducing the overall costs associated with manual fraud review.

The Emailage suite of fraud detection solutions empowers you to boost your top line with transaction approvals that lead to revenue increases —  while also reducing your manual reviews and improving false-positive rates.

Emailage Email Risk Score

Email Risk Score increases authorization speed and simultaneously reduces customer friction and fraud risk. How? By pairing dynamic data with customer email addresses and machine learning models. This results in an unprecedented level of transparency behind each transaction, enabling your manual fraud review team to make confident decisions.

Emailage Portal 3

Portal 3 delivers at-a-glance insights with an intuitive interface designed to help manual fraud review teams increase their speed, accuracy and efficiency.

Reduce manual fraud review costs with this key takeaway.

Manual review is the most time-intensive part of the fraud management process. When a purchase is falsely declined, it creates a negative experience that can drive customers away from your brand forever.

Your risk assessment strategy needs to give your fraud detection team as much intelligence as possible to eliminate the need for manual review. The ideal solution will facilitate the automatic approval of more transactions and empower your team to manually approve or decline the small segment of high-risk transactions .

Emailage fraud management tools are all scalable for any industry. This  allows you to outsmart bad actors and reduce the high costs of manual fraud reviews so your business can focus on real customers and meaningful growth instead.


Emailage can help optimize the manual fraud review process by enabling faster decisions.