Right now is a fascinating time in the payments space, with lots of innovations coming online that can help merchants significantly improve their dispute management. One of the more promising developments coming out is Mastercard’s “Connected Intelligence,” so we’d like to take the time to report about it to you, the merchant.

Connected Intelligence is designed to help merchants identify weak links in their transaction stream vis-à-vis fraud detection and false declines. Merchants currently lose five times more revenue to false declines than to chargebacks. MC is projecting that U.S. merchants alone will lose upwards of $443 billion in revenue to false declines in 2021 – that’s up 18% from the $331 billion lost in 2018. Add to that the ever-increasing complexity of fraud schemes, false declines are a growing problem, and one that Mastercard, Ethoca and ChargebackHelp are all working to mitigate for merchants.

Cardholders that are declined falsely typically don’t return to that merchant or they’ll likely use a different card. That makes merchants and Mastercard fellow travelers in the quest to reduce false declines.

What is Connected Intelligence?

Connected Intelligence is general category of fraud detection tools, combined with preexisting anti-fraud merchant infrastructure. That’s a really fancy way of saying that merchants can now integrate their existing fraud prevention tools with evolving Mastercard/Ethoca technologies. The main take away from this is we ant our merchants to review their current protocols and evaluate how they might be enhanced by Connected Intelligence. Look through each section here as a checklist of what you currently have deployed vs. what you may need to better reduce false declines.


Artificial intelligence is becoming a merchant must-have for processing online. With the rising rates of fraud fueled by countless large-scale hacks and breaches, your processing is naked to these threats without it. AI is relatively new and still finding its sweet spot, so it must be deployed with care to avoid excessive false declines. Machine learning comprises of applications that can scan your transaction data, and in the Connected Intelligence scenario, it merges with Mastercard SAFE data and Ethoca alerts to score transactions for threat liabilities. Here are some of the tools that make machine learning possible:

  • Bot detection
  • Biometrics
  • Device Intelligence


The Payments Card Industry is the trade organization of the card schemes and they maintain best practices on protecting data in transactions. Merchants can assess their compliance by running a vulnerability scan through the PCI Security Standards Council here. PCI compliant gateways have the following protocols in the transaction process:
  • 3D Secure authentication
  • Tokenization
  • Address Verification System
  • CVV Confirmation
  • Email Validation


Machine learning and PCI Compliance are great ways to detect potential fraud threats, but they’re prone to false declines in and of themselves. That’s where Mastercard’s Connected Intelligence comes in. When these safeguards are filtered through Mastercard’s extensive SAFE data on stolen cards and fraud histories, they become increasingly accurate. So merchants need to integrate with these assets. ChargebackHelp clients get connectivity to SAFE data built in through ChargebackHelp Plus (CBH+). Otherwise, a merchant must integrate hundreds of datapoints with Mastercard alone, and maintain that connection through updates and bugs.

When Mastercard released Connected Intelligence, they provided a slew of resources on how to enhance automated decisioning and fraud detection. For further information, you can download this helpful guide to Connected Intelligence. If you’re a ChargebackHelp client or thinking about partnering with us, Give us a call. We can breakdown how these tools can work for your business specifically.

Drop us a chat down on the right, shoot us an email, or go old-school and call us 1.800.975.9905