On the last day of holiday shopping in 2003, consumers were buying presents with Visa credit cards at the lightening-fast speed of 5,119 transactions per second. But Visa USA CIO Scott Thompson doesn’t consider that a big accomplishment. Rather, he’s most proud of a new fraud-identification system he and his staff deployed in 2003 that ranks a transaction’s potential for being suspect in real-time. Because the system looks at possible fraud among both customers and merchants, he explains, it has value for both the bank and the merchant.
For Thompson, his fraud identification system is hardly the only thing to run in real time. “Everything we install has to work in 196 countries around the world from the moment you install it,” he explains.
“There’s no maintenance window. If you mess it up, millions of people notice.”