How PayPal is taking a chance on AI to fight fraud


September 1, 2016

Like all financial companies PayPal worries about fraudsters, armed with stolen credentials, logging into a legitimate customer’s account and using a credit card linked to it.

The company has more reason than most to worry, given its high visibility and massive payment volumes. It generates $10,900 in payments every second, and it handled 4.9 billion payments in 2015 for 188 million customers in 202 countries.

To detect suspicious activity, and more importantly to separate false alarms from true fraud, PayPal uses a homegrown artificial intelligence engine built with open-source tools. The effort has forged a bond between its human fraud analysts and its AI program.