Graeme Mackey, Elavon’s Vice President of Airline Business, says the complex payment landscape means airlines need the support of partners.

How does Elavon’s Transaction Risk Analysis (TRA) work and does it facilitate a better conversion rate?

TRA brings to the table the ability to reduce unwanted friction to the customer sale journey by allowing TRA-approved customers to avoid 3DS (3D-Secure security protocol) authentication.

We all know that friction lengthens the time within a customer sales journey and checkout process, while increasing the possibility of cart abandonment. Basically, TRA flags to the issuer that fraud checks have already been completed and it is recommended that the transaction is processed without 3DS. The issuer then decides to approve the sale or soft decline the transaction so the 3DS step is introduced to the transaction for approval.

In regard to the conversion rate, Elavon is very proud that its TRA approval rate is on average above 90%.

Why would this be a good product for airlines?

Though there are a few reasons why this product is good for airlines, the main one is reducing abandonment rate due to payment friction. More completed sales means more revenue.

Also, the fact is, the majority of airlines already managed and were comfortable with their fraud levels pre-2FA (Multi-Factor Authentication) and SCA (Strong Customer Authentication). Due to this, they saw SCA as bringing unwanted friction to the customer payment journey.

Elavon’s outsourced TRA allows the airlines to continue with their successful fraud monitoring, pushing what they deem low risk transactions through the sales journey without this additional friction. Elavon TRA allows requests on transactions up to €500. Very few acquirers have this up to €500 ability. For airlines, this higher value means even more transactions are in TRA’s scope.
Is it easy to implement?

From an acquirer standpoint, Elavon has two TRA product offerings. Elavon Direct TRA is a hassle-free product as it does not require any development by the airline or their payment service provider (PSP). Basically, Elavon does all the heavy lifting!

All transactions are sent to Elavon as per normal and Elavon, after various fraud and criteria checks, applies TRA to those transactions deemed to be at low risk of fraud. The transactions that are designated a higher risk are simply sent back for 3DS to be completed. 

Elavon also has outsourced TRA. This does take some airline and PSP development work, but it gives an airline the ability to make decisions on what transactions are or are not flagged for TRA. They decide low risk versus high risk. This is a great product for airlines that like to be in control of their own destiny. 
Do airlines need to maintain the system or employ specialized personnel?

Not for Elavon Direct TRA. Elavon Direct is all maintained by Elavon. For outsourced, the customer needs to maintain their fraud process as they need to assess the transaction as low or high risk. This has not been an issue for airlines as the majority of airlines have excellent fraud monitoring in place.

How would you describe the value to airlines?

Elavon can confirm over 90% of TRA requests are approved. We also insist our customers run a Proof Of Concept for an agreed period of time. This gives them a level of comfort as they know what to expect. All airlines that have gone through this Proof of Concept have continued with the TRA service. It clearly brings a better customer experience with less friction and airlines lose less sales to fraud.

In general, do airlines have enough focus on payment infrastructure? 

The challenge for airlines is that it is a very complex landscape to operate payments efficiently globally. It takes a dedicated team and focus to ensure that airlines are maximizing acceptance and minimizing costs.

That is why it is so important for airlines to work with partners like Elavon with 30 years of experience and dedicated airline expertise that can propose solutions and innovative products that work on autopilot.

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