December 15, 2021
Fraud on a Sunday
The Story of an Advanced Technology Revolution.
3 min read
Fraud detection paves the way for cutting-edge business process automation today.
Amex Fraud Free: Did you try to charge 46.88 USD on card #14004 at DOORDASH?
And good Sunday morning to you too, Amex. Most of us have probably gotten some variation on that type of message: next stop, my email. Sure enough, an email from Doordash in my inbox letting me know that my delicious-sounding Chinese food was on the way to an address in... Flushing, New York. Given that I was home in the Seattle area color me disappointed. After going to Doordash and requesting a new password (I didn't even know I had a Doordash account), I could log in and confirm that, sure enough, someone had ordered food to an address in Flushing. Funnily, in addition to their address in my account, they also updated their phone number and tried to add their Albertson's loyalty number. Amex Fraud Investigators have taken note.
I use the above to illustrate the incredible advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Amex is used to my pretty constant travel; pre-pandemic, it wouldn't have been unusual for me to have taken the red-eye to New York and ordered food on a layover before my next flight. But they knew. More specifically, their fraud bots knew. The era of advanced technology in the form of fraud detection is here. But when we look at back-office operations in most businesses (including banks), we find something entirely different. The time to change that is now.
I recently met with a potential customer to talk about our Digital Workforce solution. They were struggling with a very manual process around the posting of payments (hard checks) to customer accounts. To understand their problems better, we did a walk-through of their processes, over video conference, of course. Excel spreadsheets (several), fed by cutting and pasting from various reports, writing excel equations by hand, manually overwriting information that didn't match... painful! I felt for the people that have to do this process; they clearly knew it wasn't very efficient, but "it's the way we've always done it." We walked through the process for an hour and then had to schedule another 30 min meeting to finish it. The customer employees have to do this DAILY.
Only recently has technology advanced enough to allow for the automation of the above processes. Unlike the "fraud bot" from Amex that is reviewing already digitized information, truly revolutionizing the process challenges my potential customer faces requires the ability to read and interpret documents, analyze the information, prepare the proper inputs to the source system, and finally to update the system of record. We are now in a position to do this, and we're doing it for customers every day.
By utilizing a Digital Workforce, we are able to deploy workers 24/7/365 that are trained to do the same manual process over and over, without fail. These workers perform exactly as programmed, they don't get sick, and they don't need a vacation. Our view is not that these workers should replace your human workforce, but instead can allow your human workers to address issues that require judgment that can't be easily programmed into a digital worker.
The Amex fraud bot is an awesome deployment of this advanced technology and has helped save all of us money; imagine what that same technology can do for your business if deployed across all of the manual processes that exist?
This potential is not some distant dream; the time is now.
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