Automating business processes to combat financial crime

By Mohsin Khan | April 12, 2017 | Categories: Blog | Tags: , , , , ,

The UK loves to shop. Total spending on all UK debit and credit cards reached £856 billion in 2015. And a lot of that spend is online – the UK is the third largest e-commerce market in the world, behind only China and the USA. In the last 12 months, the value of e-commerce sales was £533 billion, which is roughly half of the UK’s national debt.

With stats like that, there’s no wonder that online credit card fraud is a key target for hackers. There are potentially very rich pickings indeed for cyber criminals. That’s borne out in the stats too – according to Financial Fraud Action UK, 2015 saw fraud losses on UK-issued cards total £567.5 million – an 18% increase from £479 million in 2014 – rising for the fourth consecutive year.

And as the trend continues and online spending spirals upwards, this increasing e-commerce activity inevitably leads to even more opportunity for scammers to strike. For those of us who might be worried by these figures, it’s heartening to know some lenders are fast tracking change initiatives in their fight against fraud.

Detecting and preventing fraud is a constant, ever-evolving battle for lenders, with criminals developing more and more sophisticated techniques to circumnavigate the latest security measures. Time is always key in such scenarios, with quick detection often saving the same account from being defrauded multiple times. Which is where Business Process Automation (BPA) can be so valuable.

Take the recent change project carried out by a leading UK credit card lender, which saw them revamp how they deal with any transaction on a customer’s credit card flagged as ‘suspicious’. By automating their procedure for contacting a customer in the event of a fraud rule being triggered, they can now query a suspicious transaction with the card holder in a matter of minutes, rather than several hours or even days.

Genuine transactions can be confirmed by customers, and cases closed, via an auto Short Message Service (SMS) or Interactive Voice Response (IVR). This removes the need for the lender’s call-centre agents to plough through large queues of cases individually and allows them, instead, to focus on investigating only those transactions confirmed as fraud by their customers.

As well as saving time, BPA invariably leads to an improvement in quality and consistency, greater metric visibility, improved operational efficiency and increased reliability. Not to mention a much smoother and responsive customer journey when fraud, or suspected fraud, rears its head.

Financially, the value of this change project for the lender will be significant, mainly owing to decreased administration and increased card utilisation. And of course, the benefits are not just in monetary terms, but are reputational too. To stop fraud in its tracks before it affects the customer is to be applauded, right? And this lender isn’t alone – the pace in the rise of online fraud has thankfully led to most of the leading UK lenders similarly putting automated fraud detection and prevention systems in place.

As somebody who relies almost exclusively on debit and credit cards when shopping, seeing first-hand the value added by BPA in making my money safer makes me feel a whole lot better about my own bank’s readiness to fight fraud. So the question you have to ask yourself is: are your card providers just as well prepared?