Online Risk and Compliance Day Session Four Recap: Payments Professionals Are Not Just Payments Professionals

Online Risk and Compliance Day Session Four Recap

Last month, LegitScript, Marketplace Risk, and the Merchant Risk Council hosted Online Risk and Compliance Day, an industry-wide day of education and networking for professionals working in merchant risk & compliance and in trust & safety. This is a recap of Session Four with contributions from Kevin Lambert, SVP Merchant Acquiring Risk Leader from KeyBank, Elaine Jamer, SVP Head of Sponsorship from Citizens Bank, and Nathan Morrell, Senior Card Risk Advisor from Silicon Valley Bank.


Sponsor banks provide more than compliance oversight. In this fourth and final session we hear from the leading banks about what it takes to thrive in an ever-changing industry  — all in the shadow of a global pandemic.

“Pandemic payments took our old way of underwriting and risk management, and forced us to suspend not only our daily lives but the historical go-to models that we used in our day-to-day businesses,” said moderator and payments expert Melissa Sutherland.

Let’s look at the key takeaways from this session — how to adapt in a constantly changing world.


Key Takeaways: Expert Panelists Give Advice on Adapting to Change

Kevin Lambert:Now…[we] have an actual underwriter look at it. Where[as before] that might only happen in a higher-exposure, higher-risk situation. [We make] sure that we've got better visibility than what we had before —  from an underwriting perspective. Same thing on the risk monitoring side… . We went through, we looked at [the rules], we made sure [to look at things] that maybe we wouldn't have looked at before from an ongoing monitoring standpoint … to make sure we have visibility into those systems. So we were still doing a lot of what we did before, but we just … reprioritized relative to how the risk had shifted within some of the industries that were most impacted, like travel.” 

Elaine Jamer: “So I think what we're trying to do is anticipate the next risk event. While we had time to prepare for COVID, nobody really knew what was going to happen. So I think we can all be a little bit more prepared. I think we all need to be flexible and understand that risk changes quickly and … [we should constantly] review laws and regulations.”


Expert Panelists Address Recurring Themes — Like the Truth Behind “What it Takes” to Mitigate Risk

According to panelists, the truth behind mitigating risk is that it requires a deep dive into the payments ecosystem and a nuanced understanding of the culture of compliance. 

Morrell said, “You've got to really be able to embrace change and try to keep up with the technology and the ever changing market demands, demands by the merchants, demands from their customers, the cardholders.”

It’s critical for each department to work together toward their common goals. “Underwriting, Risk Monitoring, and Sales — I think they all need to be in alignment, but especially Risk and Underwriting,” Morrell said. “If you have Underwriting and Sales over here … and then risk monitoring in a different camp [using] different strategies, it's just not going to work.” 

The recurring theme across all panelists was clear — payments professionals need an in-depth understanding of the payments ecosystem and a good attitude toward interdepartmental teamwork. Each is more important than ever in this constantly changing climate.


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For more than a decade LegitScript has partnered with banks and other payments organizations to help them mitigate risk and more confidently grow their portfolios. If you have questions about how we can help you reach your business goals and remove cybercriminals from your ecosystem, contact us. We look forward to helping you.