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PaymentViews #2 - Nicolas Bosmans, Fraud and Payment Manager @ Oui.sncf

by Matthieu Couet on

Today we interview Nicolas Bosmans, Fraud and Payment Manager at Oui.sncf. We talk about his career, SNCF payment challenges, and KPIs and much more!

Nicolas Bosmans Oui.sncf

Hi Nicolas, it’s great to have you here! Could you start by introducing yourself?

Hi, sure! I’m Nicolas Bosmans, Fraud and Payment manager at Oui.sncf. I have been working at Oui.sncf for 12 years, and for 7 years on the creation of a Fraud & Payment team. Before that, I worked at American Express for 15 years where I ended up as the Head of Corporate Customer Services and Business Travel account for France, Finland, and Sweden.

You have made the choice to move from a provider to a merchant. What have been your feelings discovering the merchant side of the payment industry?

The first thing that surprised me was to see that Oui.sncf, which is one of the biggest digital players with billions of transactions to manage, didn’t have any Fraud & Payment team at this time. We had a warning in 2009 when we switched to the e-tickets. Our fraud rate had multiplied by 10! You can imagine the impact on the business. On the other side, our payment providers started asking us what was happening.

Could you tell us about your scope as the Fraud and Payment Manager?

I have a cross-departmental mission on the 3 entities of E-voyageurs that deal with payments, which are:

  • Oui.sncf (SNCF’s subsidiary platform for train tickets booking)
  • L’Assistant SNCF (SNCF’s app that allows users to check traffic in real-time but which has been developed as a Maas: Mobility As A Service for urban mobility)
  • Rail Europe (train ticket booking platform acquired by OUI.sncf for crossborder transactions dedicated to our customer outside Europe)

My job is to fight against fraud and to develop the payment infrastructures of these entities.

If we quickly draw up a panorama of the challenges we have on fraud, we can say that it’s properly managed on Oui.sncf, as well as on Assistant SNCF (but we are still working on growing the fraud historic on this entity). Attacks on Rail Europe are more violent due to the cross-border transactions.
One of our mid-term goals is to have unified dashboards on payments and fraud across these 3 entities to be able to monitor global KPIs.

What are the main payment KPIs you monitor at Oui.sncf?

We have both Fraud and Payment KPIs.

On Fraud, we monitor our Fraud / Chargeback Ratio. As fraudsters often buy train tickets for immediate departure, our challenge on it is to be very reactive and to review these transactions very quickly.

Another objective is to identify the “Fraud Cloud.” It’s not a KPI but the objective is to close the doors the fraudsters use and the ones they may use in the future. Identifying a Fraud Cloud consists of understanding where the fraud lies. For example, at this moment, we can have attacks coming from Brazil with American cards on Paris–Marseille tickets, with a departure in 15 days.

On payments, our top priority is our overall acceptance rate. Thanks to ProcessOut, we also want to go deeper on the analysis of these KPIs, analyzing our acceptance rate per issuing bank or in different areas. Then we need to analyze the declined transactions: what are the causes? Is it an issue from the bank? A fraudulent payment that has been blocked? A technical issue?

Analyzing these declined transactions through different filters then allows you to act the right way to optimize your acceptance rate, either correcting some technical aspects with your PSPs or discussing with some issuing banks which may have too strong fraud filters on some patterns of transactions.

Another main KPI is the adoption rate of 3DS2 with all the banks, mainly in Europe but also internationally. I have the feeling that a few tests are running worldwide even if they also postponed the regulations.

Finally, what piece of advice would you give to a junior Payment Manager?

I would tell him to plan a fixed time slot in their day to review payment traffic for at least 1 hour. If you monitor your payments on a weekly basis, you will take late decisions. Fighting fraud is a day-to-day struggle!

But the main advice is to be curious, open your mind to listen to your network, competitor, and providers, they are your daily support.

**Thanks a lot, Nicolas for taking the time and for all these insights. See you soon!

**