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Payfone Secures Patent for First-of-Its-Kind SIM Swap Fraud-Fighting Tech

June 14, 2017
identity verification

The mobile identity authentication leader is partnering with top mobile network operators to combat this dangerous scam

NEW YORK, NY (June 14, 2017)Payfone, the leader in mobile identity authentication for digital channels, announced today that it has secured a patent for a first-of-its-kind technology that thwarts SIM swap scams, one of the fastest-growing types of fraud plaguing consumers today. Payfone’s newly patented API-based solution detects and prevents SIM swap fraud by leveraging the company’s unique partnerships with the U.S.’s largest mobile network operators.

As the rate at which consumers engage with their banks, healthcare providers and retailers on mobile continues to grow, so does the sophistication of fraudsters and the tools at their disposal. SIM swap fraud is a dangerous new threat that has been robbing victims of their hard-earned savings and costing banks and other financial institutions billions of dollars. Payfone’s technology makes it impossible for hackers to complete these types of attacks. The API-based solution can immediately detect when a SIM card has been swapped and can notify the customer’s bank when this, or other high-risk/out-of-the-ordinary events occur. Because Payfone communicates in real-time with mobile network operators, it has the ability to know at any moment in time whether or not a SIM card has been swapped. Without Payfone, banks are flying blind—there is no way to detect when a customer’s SIM has been changed.

“We’re experts in mobile identity. We predicted that as chip cards rolled out in the U.S., fraudsters would attack two-factor solutions that secure banking, fintech and bitcoin services,” said Rodger Desai, Chief Executive Officer, Payfone. “Payfone’s newly patented mobile identity authentication solution thwarts these types of attacks before they can do harm by detecting suspicious SIM swaps as soon as they occur.”

SIM swap scams typically involve fraudsters impersonating customers in order to persuade customer service representatives to transfer the customer’s phone number to a new SIM card in the scammers’ possession. Once they have control of the customer’s phone number, the hackers then use it as a credential to take over the victim’s bank accounts. For more information about how SIM swap attacks work, read this report by Let’s Talk Payments.

While security is at the core of Payfone’s identity authentication tech, faster and more effortless user experiences are an additional benefit of the company’s behind-the-scenes authentication processes. Nine years ago, Payfone made a contrarian bet against more traditional digital security methods focused on blocking “bad actors”, instead focusing on a new approach that enables “good actors.” Until Payfone stepped in, the only options to prevent fraud involved ratcheting up security, having a massive call center to manage fraud, or purchasing dozens of tools designed to block fraudsters. These approaches aren’t only unsuccessful in terms of fighting hackers, they’re also detrimental to the user experience, which in turn eats away at businesses’ bottom lines.

“Consumers expect digital services to be effortless and secure. Yet security can often be cumbersome,” said David Birch, Global Ambassador, Consult Hyperion. “With new, cutting edge attacks such as SIM swaps, businesses need more and better security, which could mean more friction and therefore fewer customers. Payfone’s technologies deliver the security without the friction.”

Payfone takes a new approach based on positive rules; positive behavior and profiling good customers. As a result, Payfone processes over 10,000,000 transactions a day for the largest financial, healthcare and governmental organizations and is set to reach 50,000,000 transactions per day by year-end, enabling its clients to provide safer, faster and easier user experiences for their customers. The company’s proprietary platform processes millions of signals a day to authenticate and score transactions with unrivaled speed, safety and accuracy. Payfone’s investors include RRE Ventures, Opus Capital, Relay Ventures, Early Warning Services, American Express Ventures, Verizon Ventures, Rogers Venture Partners, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Andrew Prozes, Strauss Zelnick, Maclab Development Group and Transaction Network Services. Business Insider Intelligence recently highlighted Payfone’s recent round of funding as one of the 10 largest US VC-backed fin-tech deals of Q1 2017.

About Payfone

Payfone is the leader in mobile and digital identity authentication for the connected world. We are trusted by the world’s largest banks, insurers, brokerages and technology companies to enable effortless customer experiences by instantly authenticating new user account openings, mobile and web logins, text and chat sessions, and inbound and outbound call center calls. It’s all done through our patented platform, Lotus, which dynamically analyzes millions of digital signals against multiple authentication factors to generate proprietary Trust Scores for mobile identities—the only measure of mobile and digital trust of its kind on the market today. Learn more at

Yuka Yoneda