How AI and ML are stepping up in the fight against financial fraud


US fraud volumes and losses continue their alarming annual increase, exacerbating an already worrisome trend in the financial sector.

A new study, released jointly by PYMNTS and HAWK:AI, a leader in enterprise financial crime prevention software, points to the urgent need for innovative technologies to battle this growing menace.

The report, titled “Increasing Fraud Heightens Need for Newer, Better Technologies,” offers a grim snapshot of a sector besieged by escalating financial crime, particularly scams. The study also emphasises the reluctance among financial institutions (FIs) to adopt solutions due to perceived complexity.

In startling findings, more than 40% of FIs reported a year-on-year increase in fraud incidents, adding to last year’s data which showed that 70% of financial institutions had also reported an uptick compared to 2021. Particularly concerning is the fact that 55% of FIs with assets over $5bn noted a status quo in fraud levels, meaning that even if they’re not witnessing a surge in fraud, things aren’t improving either.

The study takes a deep dive into the nature of these fraudulent transactions, revealing that a significant 12% originates from scams. Among the most prevalent types of scams were bank tech support and IRS impersonation frauds. The extent and impact of such fraudulent activities make it imperative for FIs to leverage the most advanced, fit-for-purpose technologies to protect both themselves and their clients.

On a promising note, the study does indicate that there’s a rapid adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) among FIs to counteract fraud. Currently, 66% of financial institutions are using AI and ML technologies, a significant jump from just 34% in 2022. Moreover, 48% of FIs are either in the process of implementing or are planning to adopt AI and ML-powered systems within the next year.

Tobias Schweiger, CEO and co-founder of Hawk AI, weighed in on the matter, stating, “Bad actors are accelerating an arms race. A tool that’s capable of combining things like sanction screening and anti-money laundering (AML) transaction monitoring with fraud protection, while enriching the signals of one another and vice-versa, is the answer for how banks can win the arms race—and how they can do it much more efficiently.”

Read the full post here.

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