Q&A with Marcus Holm at Forter

Marcus HolmSteven Leitman, Commercial Director at the Payments Consulting Network, recently caught up with Marcus Holm, Chief Revenue Officer at Forter.

Forter supports merchants from various industries by offering an innovative platform that utilizes solutions such as real time data analysis, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to prevent fraud across the entire payments ecosystem. This includes protection across a comprehensive spectrum of fraud types, that range from account takeover and identity theft to friendly fraud and sophisticated cyberattacks.

Forter has grown to serve leading merchants in over 20 countries and has received several recognitions in the last 12 months. This includes being named in the Forbes Cloud 100 and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies lists, being called the “Best Fraud Prevention” in the Fintech Breakthrough Awards (2023), and “The Most Innovative Fraud Prevention Solution” at the 2023 MPE Berlin Awards.

But what exactly does Forter do, and how does it do it? Steven asked Marcus a few questions to better understand Forter, its solutions, and the tangible benefits it provides to its clients worldwide.

SL: Thank you for joining me today, Marcus. Could you please provide a high-level overview of the Forter business and its history?

MH: Forter was founded in 2013 and has grown rapidly over the past decade to have more than 500 employees serving clients in over 20 countries across various industries, from apparel and footwear to beauty and delivery services.

The company’s first products focused on payment fraud, and Forter has since expanded to offer a platform that addresses many critical decisions across the digital commerce journey from a single, unified portal, including payment fraud, identity protection, account takeover, abuse prevention, payment optimization, and chargeback recovery.

SL: Do you have a worldwide presence?

MH: Yes, we have regional headquarters in NY, Tel Aviv, London, and Singapore and serve many clients with global operations.

SL: What makes Forter’s Trust Platform stand out in the market?

MH: Forter’s Trust Platform stands out based on its results – providing accurate, real-time decisions about every digital interaction. One of the best parts of my job is working with prospective clients to evaluate our platform. As part of the sales process, we can run a pilot in a client’s production environment and compare our results to their current capabilities. Every prospective client that has evaluated our platform head-to-head has gone on to become a Forter client.

SL: How do you achieve such strong results?

MH: Our Trust Platform has three core elements that enable it to assess trust instantly for every digital interaction.

  1. The first is the use of the first-party Identity Graph, which can pinpoint an identity behind any online interaction, even identities that are new to merchants. This helps merchants to block more fraudsters and approve more legitimate transactions from good customers.
  2. The second is the power of network effects; a fraudster or good customer known to one merchant is made known to all merchants without sharing any merchant data. Furthermore, Forter offers greater network effects than any other fraud prevention provider and more than 200,000 businesses benefit from Forter’s real-time decisions, and in the past 12 months, we have processed $350 billion USD in gross merchandise value, many times more than our nearest competitors.
  3. The third is using an approach that fuses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and human expertise, known as the Decision Engine, to assess trust instantly. This approach leverages soft linking and can pattern-match thousands of attributes in fractions of a second to detect bad actors and legitimate users.
SL: What are some benefits that merchants can expect to receive after implementing Forter?

MH: Our clients consistently see an increase in customer lifetime value, increased revenue, and reduced chargebacks. On average, merchants that switch to Forter experience a 72% reduction in chargebacks and a 46% reduction in false declines.

SL: What does the implementation of the Trust Platform look like?

MH: Forter is built for simplicity in all aspects. With simple APIs, clean integration points, and an intuitive portal, merchants can be live in production rapidly, taking as little as two weeks to be live. And our expert Delivery Team works with merchant teams of all sizes to ensure a smooth implementation process.

SL: What should I consider if I were a merchant evaluating various Trust Platforms?

MH: There is a lot to consider when evaluating vendors. To start, you should assess the following:

The size of the vendor’s consortium dataset, which is crucial in identifying who is behind every transaction.

a. The strength of their connections to the fraud, payment, and consumer identity assessment management ecosystems

b. Their use of machine learning and artificial intelligence, as this will ensure the platform is anchored and not simply relying on legacy rules

c. Whether there are levers of visibility and control that allow you to visualize the identity of your users in real-time and make real-time decisions to address fraudulent activity

d. The vendor’s contractual options, which should be designed to put you in control and optimize your performance and ROI

Author: Steven Leitman, Commercial Director, Miami, Payments Consulting Network

He has led highly successful projects across the US card payments industry, relying on his in-depth knowledge of the field to create value and drive growth. His expertise has been key to creating a competitive edge in the Latin American payments industry.


If you found this article helpful and would like to read similar articles, please subscribe to our newsletter.

To get notified of our latest posts, follow the Merchant Advisory company LinkedIn page and click on the bell icon at the top right section of our company profile.