Catching credit card cheats from Cork to China

Merchants takes the hit in internet fraud and Cork entrepreneur Pat Phelan has devised a tool to help them spot dodgy customers

Fri, Jul 11, 2014, 10:22

It hasn’t let up since. March of this year saw Trustev take home the top prize in the start-up accelerator competition at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and Phelan is a finalist in the 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

Not surprisingly, the company has come to the attention of the bigger beasts in the jungle.

“We’ve had a couple of acquisition inquiries over the last few months. But you know,we’re going to build a global business,” he says.

Central to their ambitions is the US and Phelan moved to the New York this spring. “We are beginning to be successful in Europe, but a lot of our customers are in the US and I was in the US three times a month. So we moved, myself, my wife, and my son. All area happily ensconced in the Bronx. ”

He genuinely seems to have no interest in selling this business. “I think there are enormous opportunities in this space. I think it’s something that’s broken and people don’t know that it’s broken. There is so much money being left on the table here.”

All he has to do is get the retailers to see what they are missing and he thinks it will not be that difficult.

“What we do is we just say; can you drop in our code? It creates no burden, no load and, at the end of two weeks, we give them a report saying: Hey! here’s all this free money.”

As you might expect of any business connected to Liam Casey, China is very much in Trustev’s sights.

“You have, 60,000 people a week joining the middle-classes . . . insatiable demand for high-end western goods,” he says.

Three billion credit cards have been issued in China in the last five years but the Chinese cannot buy international goods over the internet because no-one accepts payments from China for fear of fraud.

“I am trying to help. We want to enable global commerce for high-end brands.”

It is perhaps not the most noble of ambitions, but it is a very lucrative business opportunity.

CV: Pat Phelan

Name: Pat Phelan

Position: CEO and founder of Trustev

Age : 49

Family: Married to Carol with two sons, Andrew and Scott.

Education: Cork Institute of Technology

Something you might expect: He has 15,000 followers on Twitter

Something that might surprise: He became an apprentice butcher at the age of 15