As you may have already seen or heard this week, I'm delighted to have announced GBG's acquisition of Transactis, a provider of data management services, from the Shop Direct Group. Transactis brings some great capabilities to our GBG family. The company's leading technology portfolio includes advanced anti-fraud services, marketing solutions and transactional data, particularly focussed on the retail industry. Ultimately, this decision is about bringing further value for our customers; helping combat the increasingly urgent issues of retail fraud and the need for companies to be able to understand their customers.
We all know that fraud within the retail sector is becoming increasingly sophisticated and adaptable, particularly within a digital age when fraudsters never have to step foot in a store to defraud it. Recent forecasts predict a loss of £2.5 billion for UK retailers during the upcoming festive season as a results of mobile retail fraud. Transactis will give us and our customers a real lift in the battle against data driven crime and the misuse of identity information.
The other major issue facing retailers is the challenge of understanding and building relationships with their customers. This can, once again, prove difficult in a digital mass-market, but with the right technology in place, personalisation can prove to be a key differentiator for brands.
I recently read this article featuring Neil McGowan, CIO of online plus-size shopping company JD Williams, he said: "If someone comes onto our site and we know who they are and that they haven't been to the website for a while, we might decide to give them an extra discount as an incentive… Ultimately, effective use of business intelligence can create a more personalised shopping experience."
That's exactly the type of intelligence that businesses need to operate with if they are to build relationships with their customers. Amazon provides the best example of this - fostering relationships with consumers by helping them make decisions through recommendations of items based on past purchases, user reviews and ratings and suggested complementary purchases. After all, how can you expect someone to trust you if, every time they use your services, you have to ask who they are all over again?
Our acquisition of Transactis and the addition of its core capabilities means our clients will receive best in class solutions that help them understand the identity of UK citizens and respond to their needs much more effectively. The acquisition will arm GBG with enhanced skills and technology that will help businesses understand who they are dealing with - across multiple channels and in real time.
This will benefit both existing and potential GBG customers including Thomas Cook, FitnessFirst and Ikano in the UK, in the race to recognise and understand their own customers better - even when interacting across multiple channels. We also extend a warm welcome to customers joining us from Transactis including Nationwide Building Society, Betfair, MBNA and HMRC.
The acquisition of Transactis will help further position GBGroup as a leader in identity intelligence and will help our clients combat the dual difficulties of identifying and understanding their customers. This will enable businesses to create relationships with their customers based on mutual benefits and trust. At GBG, we believe that's something worth getting excited about.