Protection for retailers: Software supports fraud detection Wincor Nixdorf Retail Consulting GmbH has developed a fraud detection system for the retail sector. The FDplus software solution, which is based on Microsoft technology, is already deployed by several retailer companies, including the Netto discount supermarket chain. FDplus is based on Microsoft's .NET framework and SQL server technology. The Wincor Nixdorf solution supports central auditing in retail companies. With FDplus, a retail store auditor has an effective instrument not only to detect irregularities at point of sale but also to launch necessary measures. The solution, which is located at the head office of a retail group, can detect, for instance, when manual price reductions are made frequently at a specific POS terminal in a branch store. Routine checks often reveal differences, for instance with returnable containers or unusual discounts. Experience shows that the ability to expose and recognize fraud effectively curbs criminal behavior from the very start. The FDplus software solution not only exposes criminal acts but also offers effective measures to prevent them from happening again. FDplus is customized for the Microsoft .NET framework. The interconnection to the back-office solution from Microsoft or the merchandise management systems via standard interfaces can be implemented quickly and cost-efficiently. The software pays for itself fast by exposing and deterring fraud. In fact, return on investment can be within two months of the software installation. Fifteen million transactions per night FDplus software is already deployed in numerous retail companies. In 2003, for instance, the German discount chain Netto came to Wincor Nixdorf in search of a fraud detection system. Together with Netto, Wincor Nixdorf developed a custom-tailored solution to meet all requirements of the retailer's 1,000 stores. Today, FDplus is operating in all of the stores that use Microsoft technology. Netto is currently using the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server operating system. The company has already made the necessary preparations to upgrade to Windows Server 2003. Directly after store closing, data from the Netto chain stores is audited daily at the company's head office. More than 15 million transactions are controlled every night. FDplus is able to check all data completely and not conduct spot checks only. All data is stored for a period of three to four months. Access to this data is possible at any time, allowing checks to be made at later dates. Thanks to their close cooperation, Microsoft, Wincor Nixdorf and Netto were able to implement the solution in very short time. A new custom-tailored and optimized version of the FDplus, based on the standard product, was developed for Netto. Software programmers at Wincor Nixdorf have meanwhile integrated the improved features of the Netto solution into the standard product. In every respect, the FDplus software solution has performed successfully for Netto. The system offers potential for further development. Currently, it is being tested on a high-performance 64-bit server. Another test involves the integration of Microsoft's Analysis Services software in the SQL server and BizTalk server.