OCBC Bank Uses Predictive Modeling To Combat Fraudsters

Image credit: iStockphoto/NicoElNino

The digital banking landscape is shifting fast. Unfortunately, as banks are looking to make it easier for consumers to transact and do banking, fraudsters are not far behind.

It is one reason why OCBC Bank deployed a Fraud Surveillance System (FSS) developed together with SAS Institute.

FSS uses data and network analytics and leading surveillance techniques to monitor customer activities and transactions and quickly identify fraudulent behavior. And it worked, helping the bank recover approximately SGD 8 million in Singapore when it went live in the first year.

The solution’s capabilities include assisting in the detection, investigative remediation, and analysis of customer fraud exposures using multiple analytic techniques, including predictive modeling, text mining, and network link analysis, amongst others. These allow the system to identify known and unknown patterns proactively. 

The holistic capability of FSS enabled monitoring of customers’ transactions and alerts in real-time. Monitoring was done across multiple channels, including ATM, CASA, online banking, mobile banking, wire transfers, and corporate transactions. With FSS, synergies were realized across OCBC’s operations in multiple countries.

FSS form a crucial part of OCBC Bank’s anti-fraud program. In 2020, OCBC reported that more than SGD 10 million was prevented from falling into the hands of fraudsters through its anti-fraud program. The bank received recognition by law enforcement agencies and 27 awards from the Singapore Police Force to recognize its multifaceted efforts.

This multifaceted fraud prevention strategy involves various measures and stakeholders, combining the latest technology, traditional detection methods, and staff at branches who interact with customers.

Apart from using the latest technology, the bank also expanded the monitoring scope and capabilities of anti-fraud measures, revamped its fraud education program to strengthen fraud awareness among its staff, and extended the whistle-blowing program to the public. Proactive risk management also remains a core focus, concentrating on vulnerable customer segments.

 The FSS is part of OCBC Bank’s commitment to using technology to combat fraud. While the bank does not hold liability for transactions conducted by customers on their digital channels, they continue to invest in technology to potentially help save customers from falling prey to fraudsters and scammers. OCBC Bank also is no stranger to using innovation to fight cybercrime. For example, it was the first Singapore bank to tap AI and machine learning to combat financial crime and launch an AI unit in the country.

OCBC Bank’s Group Operational Risk team has extended the real-time fraud surveillance coverage to international branches, including its Hong Kong subsidiary, OCBC Wing Hang Bank (April 2021), and OCBC Hong Kong Branch (May 2021). It will roll out the coverage in other Southeast Asia countries, including Thailand and Vietnam, at the end of 2021.

Image credit: iStockphoto/NicoElNino