Freeing Returns, A New App, Prevents Return Fraud with Envestnet | Yodlee’s New RESTful API

Return fraud — defrauding a retailer by gaming its return policy — takes many forms, and it's a major problem. According to the National Retail Federation, the amount of fraudulent and abusive return dollars was $15.9 billion for the US retail industry in 2015. With that kind of financial loss is on the line, it's no wonder retailers create draconian return policies or even, as much as legally possible, dis-allow merchandise returns completely. A big problem like return fraud requires a big solution; that solution may finally be here. Freeing Returns, a new app now being developed by Lillii RNB, hopes to make returns — both online and in-store — simpler and safer for consumers and retailers. Here's how it works: By analyzing transaction data available from Envestnet | Yodlee's new modern RESTful Aggregation API, Freeing Returns’ algorithms assign consumers a return score — like a credit score of retail shopping and return history. Using the app, a consumer can initiate a return from the web, a smartphone, or wearable tech. When they do, the information entered is aggregated with data from Envestnet® | Yodlee® and run through Freeing Returns' policy engine to generate the consumer's return score. A consumer with a high score will be allowed to finish the return process through the app. Freeing Returns rewards loyal customers who have a clean history of legitimate returns with a quick and easy return process, heightening brand loyalty. At the same time, it protects retailers from dubious and possibly fraudulent return transactions. Freeing Returns won the coveted "Best in Show" award at the inaugural Advanced Technology Development Center's Fintech Hackathon in November 2015, a three-day competition sponsored by Worldpay US, Envestnet | Yodlee, and NCR. The app taps into transaction data from Lillii RNB's widely used point-of-sale systems, which can feed into the Envestnet | Yodlee Financial Data Platform. As Freeing Returns becomes more widely used, the two systems will grow together —Yodlee Aggregation API feeding data to Freeing Returns, which feeds transaction data right back. Big data informs better decisions, providing retailers and consumers with more accurate and up-to-date information to make transactions faster and safer. While there are return fraud protection technologies, most of them are so expensive that only the largest retailers can afford them. But return fraud isn't a problem only for large retailers. With Freeing Returns, Lillii RNB hopes to give small and medium sized retailers the same level of confidence and security enjoyed by big brands. Ultimately, Freeing Returns aspires to stem the yearly billion-dollar losses due to return fraud. Are you a developer building an innovative financial app? Learn how over 450 Internet companies leverage the Yodlee Aggregation API to securely access financial data and save time and resources when bringing products to market.