Survey from Guidehouse & American Banker/Arizent finds that technology needs to be more closely aligned with broader fraud mitigation programs
Ongoing vulnerability & risk assessments, adequate investments and coordination with third parties is essential to maximize the benefits of available technology solutions
WASHINGTON—January 13, 2022—Despite a market saturated with advanced technology tools, many financial institutions are struggling to effectively deploy and integrate anti-fraud solutions into their risk mitigation frameworks. Consequently, new, evolving, or unforeseen threats continue to pose risks to financial institutions of all sizes. These are the findings of a survey and new in-depth report issued today by Guidehouse, a leading global provider of consulting services to the public and commercial markets, and conducted by American Banker/Arizent.
Guidehouse’s Optimizing Your Anti-Fraud Technology report, based on a survey of 128 senior executives who contribute to fraud strategy at banks, in wealth management, or for money transfer or fintech organizations, reveals an overreliance on a “set it and forget it” approach to anti-fraud technology. With resources stretched in the pandemic era, it has been a challenge for financial institutions to continue fighting the new and innovative fraud schemes that criminals continue to employ. As a result, these companies face profit loss, erosion of customer trust and public reputations, and possible scrutiny from regulators.
"This survey and our analysis underscores just how critical it is for public and private sector clients alike to align their technology solutions with broader risk mitigation frameworks throughout the enterprise,” said Ellen Zimiles, partner and head of the Financial Services segment at Guidehouse. “In our work with clients we leverage expertise from top fraud and fraud technology specialists and bring a collaborative approach to risk management that ensures a bespoke, flexible, and forward-looking approach to fraud prevention.”
A third (33%) of respondents indicated they are “only somewhat” or “not at all” effective when it comes to ongoing maintenance, operation and governance of their technology-aided fraud mitigation programs; notably, 37% of all financial institutions believe they are not adequately prepared to evaluate risks from, or respond to, evolving and new fraud threats to the enterprise. These findings come even as 66% of all respondents identify evolving fraud patterns as their top challenge.
“Some organizations think fraud prevention technologies will mitigate most fraud risks, without first understanding their fraud exposure, or the resources they’ll need,” observed Salvatore LaScala, partner and leader of Guidehouse’s Global Investigations and Compliance practice. “Effective solutions deploy an integrated set of tools that can be adjusted to address the unique vulnerabilities an organization faces at various points in time, but only when aligned properly to its specific risks.”
Evaluation, Investment, and Coordination Critical to Success
Technologies of all types—but particularly anti-fraud solutions—are viewed as a cost-efficient and sophisticated way to prevent an institution from incurring financial losses from fraud. Nevertheless, 35% of respondents indicated they didn’t have the correct level of investment in fraud mitigation tools. Moreover, 38% of institutions profess outdated technology or organizational infrastructure as major challenges to fraud prevention—putting some institutions behind market peers who also grapple with rising fraudulent activity.
A better route forward, according to LaScala, would be for those tasked with anti-fraud activity to ensure well-developed benchmarks are in place so that the effectiveness of technology solutions can be precisely and comprehensively evaluated and optimized.
“A more holistic approach to risk management should encompass anti-fraud technology, ensuring that all tools at an organization’s disposal will also be used in a complementary manner,” LaScala said.
In the report, Guidehouse explains that to use technology effectively, organizations should understand the unique strengths and weaknesses of their internal controls. A thorough, fluid, ongoing fraud risk assessment process is essential to developing a comprehensive and effective anti-fraud strategy that can combat known and unforeseen risk.
Organizations that align technology and anti-fraud efforts will enjoy better financial results and customer satisfaction, according to the report. Fraud risk programs no longer need to be a cost center, but rather a competitive advantage.
Late to the (Third) Party
An overwhelming 92% of financial institutions’ respondents stated they depend on third-party vendors for maintenance, operation, and governance of their anti-fraud efforts.
Vendors have broader exposure to the threat landscape because they deal with organizations of different sizes and specialties, and work with fraud prevention technologies along the entire program, Guidehouse observes. This holistic view of fraud threats gives them a unique perspective to help organizations respond to dynamic threats.
Those interested in learning more about the results can download the report here: Optimizing Your Anti-Fraud Technology
Methodology: Optimizing Your Anti-Fraud Technology is based on an online survey conducted by Arizent Research/American Banker on behalf of Guidehouse in July 2021 among 128 respondents who contribute to fraud strategy at banks, in wealth management, or for money transfer or money tech organizations.
Guidehouse is a leading global provider of consulting services to the public sector and commercial markets, with broad capabilities in management, technology, and risk consulting. By combining our public and private sector expertise, we help clients address their most complex challenges and navigate significant regulatory pressures focusing on transformational change, business resiliency, and technology-driven innovation. Across a range of advisory, consulting, outsourcing, and digital services, we create scalable, innovative solutions that help our clients outwit complexity and position them for future growth and success. The company has more than 12,000 professionals in over 50 locations globally. Guidehouse is a Veritas Capital portfolio company, led by seasoned professionals with proven and diverse expertise in traditional and emerging technologies, markets, and agenda-setting issues driving national and global economies. For more information, please visit www.guidehouse.com
About Arizent Research
Arizent delivers actionable insights through full-service research solutions that tap into their first-party data, industry SMEs, and highly engaged communities across banking, payments, mortgage, insurance, municipal finance, accounting, HR/employee benefits, and wealth management. They have leading brands in financial services, including American Banker, The Bond Buyer, PaymentsSource, Financial Planning, National Mortgage News, and in professional services, such as Accounting Today, Employee Benefits News, and Digital Insurance. For more information, please visit arizent.com
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