How PayPal Boosts Security with Artificial Intelligence

To PayPal, the transactions signal fraud: a U.S. user’s account is accessed in the U.K., China, and elsewhere around the world. But PayPal’s security system—thanks to a growing reliance on an artificial-­intelligence technology known as deep learning—is now able to spot possible fraud without making mistakes. That’s because algorithms mine data from the customer’s purchasing history—in addition to reviewing patterns of likely fraud stored in its databases—and can tell whether, for example, the suspect transactions were innocent actions of a globe-hopping pilot. From a cybersecurity perspective, ­PayPal has a target on its back: it processed $235 billion in payments last year from four billion transactions by its more than 170 million customers. Fraud is always possible via theft of consumer data in breaches such as “phishing” e-mails that con users…


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