Data mapping has increasingly become one of the most important tools to identify and manage merchant risk in the rapidly shifting payments landscape. When reviewing a merchant application and its basic business information, there is much more than meets the eye. Often, there lies an entire network of connections between the merchant and existing domains, directors, IP addresses, third party providers, and risk history. Why does this matter? Well, if it is possible to identify relationships or connections between a new merchant on the web to current or previous entities, it’s possible to gather enough data to predict what risk they present to an acquirer or payment provider. Prediction rather than reaction is essential in mitigating merchant risk and fraud, both at boarding and throughout a merchant relationship.