Please Show Your Work

Mar 5, 2021 2:45:58 PM / by Jack Alton

When I was in school, those four words made me sweat. Mrs. Paul, my ‘Intro to College Math’ professor, would start every test with that statement, “Please remember to show your work.” Math was never my strongest subject and my chicken-scratch writing when I was trying to figure out answers was almost undecipherable. I remember asking Mrs. Paul, “What does it matter if I show my work if I get the answer correct?”


It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I started working with and understanding neuroscience in the digital world that I realized answers are easy, but how someone gets to the answer can open up another level of insight into what a person is thinking.

Most fraud systems rely on the information entered into a form, application, or payment page to base their analysis of whether the person entering the data is a fraudster or real prospect. In fact, just like in math class, the final answer is only part of the equation to determine genuine customers from fraudulent or risky ones.

How someone types, taps or swipes on a mobile device or computer, what we call digital body language, tells a lot about what their intentions are – whether they are legitimate or nefarious. By paying attention to the time it takes to input certain information, the hesitation, copy and pasting, etc., online companies can get deep insight into the true intentions of the customer.

Data such as social security numbers, addresses, emails, payment information, and so on can easily be purchased on the dark web and used by cybercriminals to try and fool online merchants. However, the method and timing of getting that information into the appropriate fields on a form or checkout page is difficult, if not impossible to replicate, and reveals an incredible amount of information which can add a dramatic new layer of intelligence not seen before. It provides the ‘how’ behind the answer.

This new layer of behavioral data is key in areas such as fraud mitigation or customer experience. It requires no PII or any 3rd party data sources, merely the data captured from the myriad of digital interactions, already occurring with organizations every day. Want to know more about how to see this new data that is at your fingertips? Contact me and we’ll set up a review.

By the way, I should give a big, “Thanks” to Mrs. Paul, because I finally get it.

Tags: fraud, Blog, behavioral analytics, intent

Jack Alton

Written by Jack Alton