As executive vice president of international anti-fraud company, ClearSale, Rafael Lourenco is highly skilled at leading smart people to solve complex problems. Rafael led the company's growth from 25 employees to more than 1,300, with offices in the United States and Brazil.
Q: What devices do you use daily?
A: Lourenco's daily technology use includes what he refers to as the "standard" devices in today's technology focused world – his phone, an iPad and his laptop. His laptop and his phone are his go-to technology devices, but his iPad serves a purpose, as well.
"My iPad is a great solution when I need something larger than a phone, but my laptop is too bulky to carry around," said Lourenco.
Q: What technology do you use to get ahead of your competition?
A: Anti-fraud companies live and die by their technology. Many of them use the same technologies, but it's the teams behind them that make the difference. For instance, AI and machine learning are common in anti-fraud, but Lourenco says a company motto is machines will only learn what you can teach them.
"Because of our long history in the ecommerce fraud sector and our huge internal team of highly trained, highly specialized AI experts, we stand apart by what we can teach our machine learning technology," he said.
With technology being such an important factor to success in Lourenco's industry, it's no surprise that ClearSale is leveraging cutting edge innovations. Biometrics and behavior analysis are becoming important fraud identification tools, and two-factor authentication is becoming a major functional piece in deterring fraud. But perhaps most surprising is the company's use of social media for detection.
"Social media profiles are very useful data sources to find out if a person really is who they say they are," Lourenco explained.
Q: Is technology a significant enabler for your business?
A: "Absolutely," Lourenco said. While the company identifies as a service organization that heavily relies on technology, ClearSale was founded as a technology-only company.
"As we continued, we started to see that the potential for this solution was great, so we started adding more technological layers to it, like the analytics and our proprietary manual review process," he added.
But it isn't just ClearSale that leverages technology. Customers, primarily e-commerce retailers, clearly depend on technology for their businesses. At the same time, partners like payment gateway providers interact with ClearSale thanks to technology.
"We have to stay on top of new technology and compliance in order to provide them with the best possible protection for their merchant clients," said Lourenco.
Q: Has social media influenced your business at all, from internal employee policies to the way you promote your company?
A: Social media plays an important role in helping Rafael's team identify fraud in new ways. But social media is key to ClearSale's internal communication and culture.
"As a global company with offices in Brazil and the U.S., and … more than 1,300 employees, having effective communication is vital," Lourenco explained. "We have adopted the use of social media as an important method of keeping our company culture alive and allowing fluid communication between all our teams."
Executives like Rafael use Facebook live streaming to communicate with the organization, and ClearSale has even developed an internal social media platform that facilitates updates and announcements to the entire global staff.
Q: Have you had to adapt your business because of security concerns brought about by the increased use of technology?
A: Lourenco's business is dependent on elevated security standards.
"Internal security is a must for us. As the representatives of security for e-commerce merchants worldwide, we need to ensure that we have the highest standard of security ourselves," he said.
Because the company does extensive amounts of data collection and is a critical piece in online transactions, they strive to stay one step ahead of fraudsters and hackers.
"That is the promise we make to our customers," said Lourenco. "We work hard to exceed their expectations."