Article 5 min

Combating the Rising Tide of Fraud – Highlights from the Inaugural Financial Crime Forum

October 10, 2018  

It’s no secret that financial institutions, merchants, eCommerce companies and payment services alike are fighting an uphill battle against financial fraud and money laundering.

While an increasing number of the above are migrating to digital solutions to combat ever-present threats, instances and attempts of nefarious activities continue to escalate. However, the good news is that technology is evolving in leaps and bounds, and an increasing reliance on mobile devices by consumers is providing a valuable security asset.

On September 27, Aite Group hosted it’s first-ever Financial Crime Forum in Charlotte, North Carolina to discuss the latest fraud, anti-money laundering (AML) and authentication trends in an effort to combat this growing problem. Taking place in the wake of Hurricane Florence, the tagline “combatting the rising tide of financial crime” was especially fitting as attendees’ thoughts were with those affected by the devastating storm.

The Event

Led by Aite Group research director Julie Conroy and senior analysts Shirley Inscoe and Tony Kaus, the dynamic, interactive one-day conference played host to a wide range of attendees, speakers and sponsors. Together the trio worked with industry thought-leaders to present the latest research on customer authentication, account takeover, new-account fraud and AML solutions.

The event included speakers from notable global institutions such as FICO, Wells Fargo & Company, BMO Financial, TD Bank and Bank of America, and was centered around four key elements;

  • Networking and exchanging ideas with peers
  • Receiving hot-off-the-press research insights on customer authentication, account takeover and new-account fraud and AML
  • Learning directly from financial crime executives about how technologies such as machine learning, robotic process automation, and digital identity analysis are transforming their detection and investigative capabilities
  • Participating in interactive panel discussions about how to best balance fraud mitigation with the customer experience

Throughout the event, attendees and sponsors also had the opportunity to sit in on interactive panel discussions and engage in short networking breaks.


To kickstart the day, Conroy led a keynote speech on the six macro trends that are currently shaping financial crime mitigation.

It’s become abundantly clear that attacks are increasing not only in volume but in sophistication. This, compiled with the heightened expectations of regulators and an intensely competitive environment is driving banks and financial institutions to reduce friction wherever possible.

Conroy highlighted digitalization, organized and innovative criminals, regulators, digital identities, the use of Big Data and machine learning and robotic process automation as hot topics to keep an eye on.

All settled in for the opening keynote here at #FinCrimeForum. Do you know which six key trends are shaping financial crime mitigation? Stay tuned to find out!

— Trulioo (@trulioo) September 27, 2018

“It’s a never-ending battle between banks and fintechs” Conroy began, “and it feels increasingly like a lop-sided game of chess.”

Conroy noted that while the onus is on banks and financial institutions when it comes to regulatory compliance, often consumers are not helping themselves. Since 2013, 9.7 billion records were stolen by fraudsters, but this was aided by the fact that more than 50 percent of consumers continue to reuse their usernames and passwords.

Other exciting points noted by Conroy included the fact that counterfeit fraud is on the decline, while card-not-present (CNP) and application fraud are on the rise. While it may appear to be doom and gloom, she noted, there are some positives.

“Mobile is becoming the center of the fraud prevention universe [and we’re] seeing a lot of opportunities with technology to get a step ahead, driven by escalating attacks and rising regulatory expectations and increasing volumes.”

Panel Discussions

Following the opening keynote speech, a wide array of speakers then shared their expertise on a range of key topics in the form of engaging panel discussions. Topics covered included:

  • whether or not it’s time for a collaborative approach to assessing fraud risk;
  • the convergence of approaches to combatting financial crime;
  • understanding the past, present and future of synthetic identity fraud;
  • and the art and science behind invisible crime defenses, among others.

First panel of the day done and dusted! Thanks to moderator @ShirleyInscoe and panelists @FraudBird, @BD_Whittington and #BobShiflet for educating us about the art and science of invisible crime defenses.

— Trulioo (@trulioo) September 27, 2018


In between panel sessions, networking was encouraged while 15 sponsors showcased their latest innovations and technologies. Trulioo demonstrated our global identity and business verification solution, GlobalGateway. Providing instant verification for five billion people and over 250 million businesses, we assist our clients in satisfying AML/KYC compliance needs in over 100 countries worldwide.

Key Takeaways

Packed with conversation, discovery and connections, throughout the day panelists touched on many different ways to fight fraud – from robotics and third-party data, to analytics, machine learning and convergence, to name a few. But as the day wore on, the central theme became clear – the only way to effectively fight fraud is through collaboration. Traditional institutions, fintechs and consumers must come together, learn from past mistakes and embrace new technologies in order to come out on top and truly win this battle.

About Aite Group

Aite Group is an independent research and advisory firm focused on business, technology and regulatory issues and their impact on the financial services industry.

With expertise in banking, payments, wealth management, capital markets and insurance, Aite Group’s analysts deliver comprehensive, actionable advice to key market participants in financial services. Headquartered in Boston, Aite Group works with its clients as a partner, advisor, and catalyst, challenging their basic assumptions and ensuring they remain at the forefront of industry trends.