Through the Eyes of a Risk and Fraud Specialist Recruiter


October 07, 2016

Sam Spall works as the Fraud and Risk Recruiter at Payments & Cards Network. Today we're taking time to talk about what he's been observing and learning this past month working in the field. Sam hopes this column can be a friendly resource for those working in the industry.

Interviewed by Layla Durrani, Payments and Cards Network

This month, what growing needs in the industry did you observe on both the merchant and service side of the field?

Well this month, I've noticed for the merchants that there's been an increased need for payment specialists at the managerial level. The biggest characteristic of this being PSP negotiations. Ideally, a good Payment Manager would have strong knowledge of payments and fraud, but there are hidden gems. Certainly, candidates from an Account Management background can be very strong in this role.

On the Service side I see a need for card schemes compliance managers. The demand has been going up, and I've had a number of casual conversations with people in the field who confirm it. The regulations change so often so there's a need for a professional to make sure the company itself and merchants are compliant. A lot of professionals don't have the knowledge about multiple credit card companies -- maybe just Visa, just MasterCard or just China Union Pay -- but service companies are really looking for someone to cover all.

Where did you see a lot of growth and change this month?

I think PSPs are realising that to supply more assistance to smaller merchants in terms of fraud will be really smart long term. Many small to medium sized merchants rely on external fraud products. A PSP can supply these along with a specialist to assist the merchant. Fraud is something that should be focused on just as much as the payments systems.

As a recruiter you're constantly absorbing new information and picking up facts from your clients and candidates -- what did you learn this month that you'd like to impart to your readers?

Of course I'm continuously learning, one thing I have been thinking about is how important it is to have a positive, confident phone voice. I have no doubt how qualified some candidates are but it's important for their voice to sound confident. However, it's important to try and judge someone on their knowledge and not on their timidity. Often we reward extraverts and leave introverts behind because we judge immediately on talkativeness or outward expression (there's a great TEDx talk about this here). At the same time, with a really qualified candidate who is also super shy, it's always good to work with them on their phone voice so they can accurately convey their passion and excitement to a potential employer across the phone.

Lastly, can you think of a tip you'd like to share? You work with clients and candidates so you see all sides of the process. Is there anything you've observed that might positively impact the hiring process?

In situations where a recruiter isn't needed and isn't helping with job specs, I'd say it's really important to make interesting job descriptions. I often rewrite them to be as engaging as possible. I know it's hard to write an outline that stands out but it's important to try and make the description engaging. Think about the role and what you're looking for and rework that list into questions. Say something in detail (exactly what we do), the main responsibility (for example, payment manager), make it fun and make it full of questions. For example, "What was the best ROI you have received from a fraud strategy you have implemented?" With this approach, sure you're reducing the number of applications but you're getting applicants who are actually suited to the role, who are thinking with you and who are excited about the job!

About Sam Spall

Sam Spall, Headhunter Risk & Fraud Specialist, joined Payments & Cards Network in 2016 to head up the Risk and Fraud initiative. He has a wealth of recruitment experience having worked as a Consultant and Sales Analyst within recruitment organisations. He moved to The Netherlands in 2014 to start an initiative in the Oil & Gas industry, and now is now very much enjoys his work in the Payments industry.