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A Comprehensive Survey on Machine Learning Techniques and User Authentication Approaches for Credit Card Fraud Detection

Authors: Niloofar Yousefi, Marie Alaghband, Ivan Garibay


With the increase of credit card usage, the volume of credit card misuse also has significantly increased, which may cause appreciable financial losses for both credit card holders and financial organizations issuing credit cards. As a result, financial organizations are working hard on developing and deploying credit card fraud detection methods, in order to adapt to ever-evolving, increasingly sophisticated defrauding strategies and identifying illicit transactions as quickly as possible to protect themselves and their customers. Compounding on the complex nature of such adverse strategies, credit card fraudulent activities are rare events compared to the number of legitimate transactions. Hence, the challenge to develop fraud detection that are accurate and efficient is substantially intensified and, as a consequence, credit card fraud detection has lately become a very active area of research. In this work, we provide a survey of current techniques most relevant to the problem of credit card fraud detection. We carry out our survey in two main parts. In the first part, we focus on studies utilizing classical machine learning models, which mostly employ traditional transnational features to make fraud predictions. These models typically rely on some static physical characteristics, such as what the user knows (knowledge-based method), or what he/she has access to (object-based method). In the second part of our survey, we review more advanced techniques of user authentication, which use behavioral biometrics to identify an individual based on his/her unique behavior while he/she is interacting with his/her electronic devices. These approaches rely on how people behave (instead of what they do), which cannot be easily forged. By providing an overview of current approaches and the results reported in the literature, this survey aims to drive the future research agenda for the community in order to develop more accurate, reliable and scalable models of credit card fraud detection.

Keywords: credit card fraud detection, user authentication, behavioral biometrics, machine learning, literature survey

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