Business

OCBC looks 
to AI to counter fraud


OCBC Bank is testing ways to use artificial intelligence (AI) to build a profile of customer behaviour - and do so thoroughly enough to detect fraud.

If it proves successful, it could be crucial in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The bank said in a release yesterday that it has worked with financial technology companies BlackSwan Technologies and Silent Eight to try out fintech solutions.

The two use AI for suspected illegal financing, by searching for information on individual profiles, and mapping suspicious transactions to see how they may be linked, to determine if they are fraudulent or illegal.

Mr Alex Ng, OCBC group transaction surveillance head, said: "We felt this 'back office process' of transaction monitoring could use an innovative solution to help automate things and make our investigative research more timely and effective."

The research process is done manually by an internal compliance analyst. With the latest solutions, research that was done on a desktop can be done in a minute, instead of an hour, said OCBC.

When suspicious transactions occur, they are flagged to the compliance team, which searches social media accounts, newspapers and search engines, among other things. This helps them understand a person's banking patterns, who their associates might be and their behaviour.

Such work takes at least an hour, and with Silent Eight, digital scanning is done to put together information in a minute. AI helps filter out irrelevant information such as people with identical names.

BlackSwan Technologies then takes over to analyse the transactions with AI.

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