Five Digital Technologies for Fighting Fraud

Five Digital Technologies for Fighting Fraud

February 2020


Right now, as you read this article, fraudsters could be on the phone with one of your call center agents. Surprisingly, if experience is any guide, they probably aren’t trying to execute a fraudulent transaction—at least, not yet. It’s more likely that they are calling to gather intelligence about your funds and processes. How long does money take to clear? What’s required to open a new account? Once fraudsters have the information they need, they will most likely attempt the actual crime online. In other words, fraudsters now operate in a multichannel environment—and fraud prevention efforts need to do the same.


That’s why BNY Mellon is attacking fraud from every direction, making significant investments in state-of-the-art prevention technologies that address multiple channels. Two of these technologies are already in the field as part of BNY Mellon’s Fraud Hub platform for U.S. transfer agency clients, while three others are rolling out later this year.


Fraud-prevention Technologies Now in the Field


Two recent additions to Fraud Hub include:

  • SMS Text Alerts. BNY Mellon’s retail web portal now allows shareholders to sign up to receive SMS Text Alerts whenever certain account-related events occur, such as profile changes, transactions, and account maintenance. The alerts not only help identify fraud attempts as they happen, but also give retail customers a greater sense of control and confidence. Most BNY Mellon clients have already implemented this new SMS capability, and we continue to onboard clients on a monthly basis.
  • Call Center Based Multi-Factor Authentication. In addition to offering 2-factor authentication on the web, we recently introduced multifactor authentication technology for call centers, including both full-service and remote facilities. Agents can now issue a token to the mobile device on file for an account, and ask the caller to authenticate the transaction in real time. Authentication is currently invoked for certain fraud-sensitive transactions and events and can be expanded on as required in the future.

Fraud-prevention Technologies Coming Later this Year


The first half of the year will deliver robust additions to Fraud Hub:

  • Voice Biometrics. This year, BNY Mellon will introduce biometrics and artificial intelligence (AI) to passively authenticate callers based on their voiceprint. The technology compares a caller’s voice characteristics—vocal range, talking speed, speech patterns, and so on—against a verified, previously enrolled voice sample. In addition to the audio voiceprint, a conversation print process transcribes the contents of the call and compares it to callers’ typical vocabulary and syntax. Finally, behavioral checks review data collected on the caller’s device, geographic location, and more.

    Voice biometrics can help identify fraudsters, as well as flag calls potentially made under duress. Most importantly, it automates the most annoying part of the authentication processes for shareholders, letting them access their accounts faster without wading through questions about zip codes, maiden names, or account numbers.
  • Enhanced Knowledge-based Authentication. BNY Mellon will introduce knowledge-based authentication technology, which validates identities against outside sources. Soon it will be easier to quickly determine if an address truly belongs to the caller.

    The technology incorporates third-party data and tools from providers like LexisNexis, which features access to data on 400 million people from over 10,000 sources. It looks to see whether personal information like phone numbers, addresses, and other data provided by a caller appear in association with the same individual in other records. It can also combine data from multiple sources to create extremely hard-to-guess challenge questions—such as the color of a vehicle the caller owned in 2010.

Coming in the second half of the year:

  • Adaptive Authentication. Later this year, BNY Mellon will introduce an AI fraud risk scoring capability, which will pull together analytics from multiple channels to provide clear guidance to agents during a call. Anomalies such as unusual device attributes, excessive numbers of transactions, or failed voiceprints will roll up into a single risk score. A high score can trigger stepped-up authentication, a transfer to a fraud analyst or a failed transaction. The risk engine is designed to make agents’ jobs easier by simplifying a wealth of data into a single real-time metric, helping to stop fraud before it happens.

At BNY Mellon, we have long maintained a robust fraud prevention program. Many of our current efforts require review of defense reports and procedures involving manual efforts, especially as fraud attempts increase. By digitizing fraud prevention capabilities using AI and other advanced technologies, we can speed up our response to fraud—and in turn help our clients feel more comfortable digitizing more of their own account processes.


To learn more about the new technologies coming to Fraud Hub, contact Charles Gallant.

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