M&S to market anti-fraud system

Marks & Spencer is planning to sell innovative anti-fraud technology it has developed internally to other retailers, after the...

Marks & Spencer is planning to sell innovative anti-fraud technology it has developed internally to other retailers, after the system contributed to a 10% reduction in till losses.

The company believes the Intellagent system, to which it owns the intellectual property rights, can help cut fraud across the retail sector, said Martin Wilkinson, profit protection manager at M&S.

"We have had a lot of interest in the system from other retailers because the fraud problem is identical across the sector," he said. "We want to open up our proven business model to as many retailers as possible - it is a good opportunity to share our success in fighting crime."

The web-based system, which is based on Microsoft .net technology, monitors all purchases, expressed in XML, against a set of user-defined rules, such as specified amounts or stolen credit card numbers.

Suspect transactions are identified by comparing patterns of buyer behaviour and mapping receipts from cash registers with information stored in a .net-based central analysis system.

Once a suspect transaction has been identified, a text message is immediately sent via a specially written .net service to store security and managers' mobile phones. The whole process takes about 30 seconds.

M&S will be marketing the Intellagent system in conjunction with software and services partner Conchango, and it will offer early adopters the chance to shape future releases of the product.

Last week, Computer Weekly revealed that Kalido, the software supplier spun out of oil giant Shell, had received a patent for its datawarehouse products.

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