What the frontline fraud fighters are seeing

A recent survey finds that, while the industry has made a lot of progress, there’s still a ways to go to optimally balance frictionless CX and customer protection.

The banking industry’s fraud investigators and analysts are the boots on the ground in the fight against identity fraud schemes and rings. For this reason, there is tremendous value in knowing how these fraud fighters are faring in their continuing battle against the organized and sophisticated criminals preying on financial companies and their customers.

What motivates them? What’s their perspective on how their teams are equipped to fight fraud? And most importantly, how do they recommend their organizations adjust their fraud strategy to combat today’s quickly evolving schemes?

A recent survey by ID Insight and About-Fraud shows that, despite documented increases in stolen credentials and identity fraud incidents, fraud fighters have not lost their spirit or passion for their chosen vocation. In fact, their survey responses indicate that they are motivated by the impact they are having in detecting and preventing fraud.

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Respondents told us their work made them feel like they are “making a difference in the world” (95%), and that they “can stop fraud” (92%) and “prevent fraud from happening in the future” (97%). Additionally, nearly all respondents (98%) said they are “performing an important role for [their] organization” and “doing something good for [their] customers” (96%).

Perhaps as a result, more than nine of every 10 respondents said their “work is valued” by their organization, and a healthy majority even felt they were “compensated fairly” for their work.

Fraud fighters are raising red flags

Despite overwhelming confidence in their own abilities and impact, fraud fighters raised red flags related to the actions of their organizations and its customers. More than 85% said “customers make it easier for fraudsters to commit fraud,” and a little more than half said their “company’s customer experience initiatives make it easier for fraudsters to commit fraud.”

These responses suggest that we as an industry still have a long way to go in educating consumers about how to protect their own identity data and credentials, and in balancing the desire for frictionless customer experiences with the need for fraud prevention.

Are financial services companies doing a better job at preventing fraud than they have in the past? Absolutely, according to 80+% of respondents. Nearly seven in 10 indicated that “fighting fraud is a top priority” for their employer/organization.

What more is needed in the arms race against criminals?

Although respondents acknowledge the improvement their company has made, the vast majority of them still say their companies should be doing even more to fight fraud. Fraudsters have easy access to vast stores of stolen data. They also have sophisticated technology that allows them to constantly evolve their attack vectors. In fact, 65% of fraud fighters told us there is “better technology to commit fraud than there is to prevent it.”

When asked about the single most-important investment their company could make to manage fraud more effectively, fraud fighters most often chose “new tools or services to fight fraud” from a lengthy list of possible options. Responses related to data also floated to the top of the list, including “availability of real-time data” and “availability of enterprise-wide data.”

The ultimate goal for banks and financial services companies is to vastly reduce the number of manual reviews that reach fraud investigators and analysts. In that regard, companies in this industry segment must also continue their work to:

Create a multi-layered approach to detecting identity fraud attacks and schemes: If fraudsters find a way to breach your outermost perimeter of defenses, make sure they don’t breach the next one, or the next one.

Strive for an automated, enterprise-wide system: This system would host multiple solutions and allow sharing of data and insights across channels, products and departments to thwart fraud holistically.

Challenge-test fraud defenses continuously: You should be the one to find your weaknesses before the fraudsters do.

Know the fraud-solution providers in the marketplace: Understand the full range of products, services and potential partners. If you – or fraudsters – identify a gap in your defenses, you’ll need to know who you can call to quickly implement new protections.

Fraud fighters are critical to our understanding of what is slipping through the cracks and making it into the fraud investigation queue. That’s why it is so important to listen to them, collect feedback and use it to inform and strengthen your fraud strategy.

Jack Sundstrom is chief product and marketing officer for ID Insight.