SAN JOSE, CA–Global analytics software provider, FICO, released new research that highlights the key challenges North American fraud and financial crime teams faced amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of senior executives (68 percent) said that remote working had a major impact on maintaining effective fraud and financial crime prevention functions within their organizations, during the past 12 months.

The survey, conducted by independent research firm OMDIA, found that over a third of respondents (38 percent) said COVID-19 lockdowns were a main operational challenge. For instance, managing collaboration between anti-financial crime functions and enabling productivity of staff working completely from home during the pandemic. Especially, as fraud and financial crime departments experienced increased levels of fraud attacks – with almost three-quarters (70 percent) saying the increased fraud attacks had a major impact on their operations.

Additional operational challenges impacting fraud protection functions included:

• Obtaining skilled and experienced staff (38 percent)
• Insufficient Resources (36 percent)
• Customer experience impact of anti-financial crime activities (45 percent)
• Use of multiple systems across operational processes (46 percent)

“The pandemic put stress on numerous industries and functions, including fraud and financial crime, as fraudsters tried to take advantage of new opportunities and changing customer behavior,” said TJ Horan, vice president of product management, at FICO. “As we come to the one-year mark for COVID-19 measures such as remote workforces, these findings illustrate how teams managing fraud are demanding flexibility, centralized decisioning, automation, as well as an integrated platform to drive effectiveness. It is encouraging to see how today’s teams are rapidly evolving to handle the fight against financial crime.”

Throughout the pandemic, one of the biggest demands on fraud and financial crime operations has been the ability to quickly adjust. Senior executives identified a few key areas that they look to continue to improve. For instance, the need for institutions to better identify emerging financial crime challenges (54 percent). Gaining the ability to see full customer-level view when investigating alerts (43 percent). Also 38 percent noted the need to increase the speed in responding to evolving threats. Lastly, 64 percent stated a continued effort to enable work from home staff.

This survey consisted of 110 interviews with senior executives driving, managing, or directly supporting financial crime functions at financial institutions in the U.S., Canada, UK, Brazil, Germany, and the Nordics. The survey included senior executives responsible for fraud management, financial crime compliance, and security and technology. Respondents included executives from both medium-sized and large financial institutions.

About FICO
FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956 and based in Silicon Valley, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions.

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