Fighting fraud in hospitality industry

The Webcom Group has launched a complete risk solution for the car rental and hospitality industry

April 13, 2010

The Webcom Group, an Information Communication Technology (ICT) organisation that delivers end-to-end products and solutions, in conjunction with subsidiary ACCSSA (Active Customer Credibility Scan and Security Alerts), has launched a complete risk solution for the car rental and hospitality industry.

The solution provides a credibility check on customers and employees upfront, as well as a means to register and monitor customers that engage in fraudulent, criminal or other ‘undesirable’ activities.

ACCSSA works by checking  identity documents, including passports, drivers licenses, ID books and social security cards of both prospective customers and employees  online  in ‘real-time’ against our comprehensive  database of defaulters or ‘past offenders’; helping to combat fraud and alert other subscribing companies to the risk profiles of these individuals. ACCSSA can be seamlessly integrated into an organisation’s reservation and rental systems.

Working with MaxID, a South African company that produces scanning equipment for both the domestic and international markets, ACCSSA can now make use of the decrypted ‘chipped’ identity document-, passports- and drivers license information to physically verify identities upfront and access the relevant database to ascertain whether the individuals have been flagged previously for offences.

Organisations within the hospitality and car rental sectors can also flag individuals for such offences and upload them to the database to ensure that other companies will be alerted in future. In doing so, these defaulting customers and employees are shared not only throughout all branches within your company, but also to all fellow subscribing members.

Says Mike Martin, MD of ACCSSA, a Webcom company: “The hospitality industry and car rental companies are subject to a range of threats, from fraud and theft, to vandalism, property damage, ‘no-shows’ and so on. The ACCSSA system allows information on people who commit these offences to be shared throughout the industry.”

High risk individuals, syndicates and companies will now only be able to default once before being added to the ACCSSA database, after which all ACCSSA subscribers will be able to identify these high risk individuals upfront and be protected against them.

Features and benefits of the ACCSSA system include:

• Reduction in fraud, theft and vandalism by alerting to high risk customers and employees upfront

• Limits the number of ‘no-shows’ so rooms are not wasted and car rental companies  are not required to carry excessive reserve stock

• Collaborative effort through information sharing to reduce all forms of undesirable behaviour • Maximised profit through reduced risk and better, informed decision making

• Facilitates compliance with KYC (Know Your Customer) and Anti-Money Laundering regulations

• Intuitive Web interface for access from anywhere

• Seamless integration with existing Point of Sale solution

“Several prominent hotels in Cape Town have already subscribed to ACCSSA, and we recently signed up First Car Rental, which will be using both ACCSSA and MaxID seamlessly integrated with their check-out procedure.

First Car Rental are known within the industry to be ‘concept leaders’ and must be commended for their foresight as sharing of information is a new way of doing business.  With the Soccer World Cup taking place this year, car rental and hospitality companies will be busier than ever, and we believe that ACCSSA will provide significant benefits for these sectors, helping them to manage and mitigate risk and make more informed decisions, and therefore more profit.

“We have also recently seen interest from the Retail sector. They are specifically interested in the screening of prospective employees, as well as capturing past employees that have been involved in undesirable activities and, in doing so, protecting their branches and other subscribing members from such unfavourable employees,” Martin concludes.

Says Melissa Storey, Executive Head: Strategy, Development & Marketing for First Car Rental and Sixt rent a car South Africa: “The development with MaxID and ACCSSA not only addresses accuracy and security upon check-out, but forms part of a much bigger project for us – inclusive of a completely “green” check-out procedure and the much debated ‘Administrative Adjudication of Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) compliance’.

“AARTO was initiated in July 2008 in the Tswhane region and will imminently include the rest of South Africa. We are prepared for AARTO with processes that include sound data accumulation and existing communication of offense driven information and vehicle movements related to renters or staff to adapt to any changes that Enatis or the Department of Transport introduce.

This is as a result of working with great partners like MaxID and ACCSSA.”