RP Sanjiv Goenka Group

Challenger bank reduces fraud response call times by 55%

The challenge: Cutting fraud response times and improving customer satisfaction

The client is the only UK bank to fully refund defrauded customers. While this provides a competitive edge it also makes fast fraud response imperative.

In fraud cases first two hours are crucial – within this time it is possible to stop payments leaving the system. Time is money and every second matters!

Long wait times are unsettling for defrauded customers and costly for the bank. The challenger bank committed to reducing fraud response and payment dispute query times. Ambitious targets were set – to lower Average Speed of Answer (ASA) from 640 to 300 seconds and reduce average talk time to 500 seconds.

Reporting fraud and disputing payments are high-stress situations – poor customer service can be damaging to the brand. To improve customer satisfaction throughout these enervating events the bank wanted to open more channels to report fraud including in-app chat and email.

Importantly, the bank sought an outsourced solution that would complement their in-house fraud and dispute teams.

Objectives summarised

  • Reduce ASA from 640 to 300
  • 500 seconds for average talk time
  • Improve customer satisfaction with fraud and disputed payment response
  • Outsource a portion of fraud services to complement in-house teams

The solution: Tapping into internal expertise to build efficient onshore and offshore operations

Firstsource built a fraud response solution with onshore operation tackling voice calls and offshore operation supporting digital transactions.

Onshore voice call operation

The onshore team receive inbound calls reporting fraud or querying declined transactions, they also manage outbound calls to check suspicious transactions.

To coach new associates Firstsource tapped into wealth of internal expertise. Training was developed by tenured advisors with years of experience in financial fraud resolution. These top performers developed best practices for fraud prevention and dispute handling including:

  • Questioning techniques to resolve card unblock requests quickly
  • Security checks to authorize stopped transactions
  • How to spot signs of first party fraud
  • Guidance on reducing time wastage by attending to relevant information on fraud cases

Advisors were also trained to handle transactions flagged by the Falcon referral system that automatically stops suspicious payments on Debit and Credit cards. We ensured advisors are well versed in using the right profiling questions for cases where a real-time authorization conversation was required.

All the training instilled confidence in our associates. Even the newly qualified team members were able to process calls without putting them on hold unnecessarily.

Offshore in-app and email support

To support customers opting for digital channels Firstsource set up a back-office team offshore in India. the team handles fraud complaints raised through in-app chat and email.

The most experienced onshore advisors trained the offshore team to prepare them for complexities of fraud. The coaching period for offshore team was also expanded. It covered two weeks training, two weeks cadet period and four weeks on-the-job training — all delivered remotely.  

Initially, only simple fraud cases, involving one or two transactions on the account, were handled offshore. As associates gained competencies, we cross-skilled them to deal with complex cases with50-60 transactions. Now, the offshore team have authority to issue refunds of up to £2,500.

Servicing oscillating demand for services is an integral part of the solution. The onshore team reached 70 full time employees (FTEs) at peak time and subsided to 30 FTEs during quieter periods. The offshore operation reached 25 FTEs at peak and is currently contracted to deliver 700 hours per week split between 20 expert advisors.

Solution summarised

  • Training developed by tenured specialists in financial services fraud response
  • Onshore team handling inbound calls for fraud claims, disputed payments and frozen transactions
  • Real-time authorization and profiling for automated Falcon referral system
  • Offshore back-office team tackling fraud reports via in-app chat email
  • Cross-skilling offshore team to deal with complex fraud cases up to £2,500
  • Flexed up and down to match volume requirements – reaching 70 FTE onshore and 25 offshore at peak time

The result: Going beyond the targets with a culture of continuous improvement

From month one Firstsource onshore team met ASA reduction targets of 300 seconds, down from 620. In fact, for at least three months the average call waiting times dropped as low as 288 – that’s a 55% reduction.

Firstsource also met ambitious talk time reduction targets of 500 seconds – averaging 495 seconds. In practice, our onshore team regularly outperforms client’s in-house team on speed and quality of fraud call handling.

The offshore team has hit the target of 15 minutes for email response each month after the initial onboarding period.

Both onshore and offshore operations have consistently met ambitious quality target of 95%, recently hitting 98%.

To track quality for our onshore operation, four calls from every associate get marked against client’s outcome testing every month. For the offshore team, four online query responses per associate are reviewed monthly. If any interactions are marked as unfair further testing happens, the associate receives additional coaching and findings are shared at an operational level.

Firstsource continues to meet goals thanks to our continuous improvement approach. We take monthly reviews notifying the entire operation of any suboptimal response trends, advise process changes and absorb insights into future training.

Business impact

55% reduction

in Average Speed of Answer (from 620 to 288 seconds)

495 seconds

for average talk time


quality average above 95% SLA

15 minutes

email response time target consistently met

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