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How legacy and multiple systems create barriers to effective fraud prevention

1 June 2017

Effective fraud prevention

Guest blog: this blog is written and sponsored by TruNarrative.


Cifas – a TruNarrative partner – recorded over 325,000 internal and external UK fraud cases to their database in 2016. Their recent report Fraudscape, analysing the trends in those cases, showed that identity crimes (identity fraud and facility takeover) continue to be the biggest threat – they represented 60 per cent of the recorded fraud.

In today’s fraud environment, organisations are using a range of systems and processes to detect fraudulent behaviour and prove an individual’s identity – so why aren’t the figures coming down?

This struggle can be due to one or a combination of reasons:

  • The constraints of legacy systems (old or outdated technology that lacks ability to adapt to the needs of a modern, digital world);
  • Multiple customer channels with differing requirements;
  • Organisational structure and culture;
  • Misuse or over reliance of techniques such as machine learning;
  • Fraud and identity prevention systems not sharing intelligence between internal systems or across sectors, meaning frauds can be missed and false positives created.

The problem with legacy systems

Legacy systems in particular can cause major headaches for organisations. Many are reluctant to update their systems, as doing so can be both expensive and time consuming. This creates challenges as they try to adapt to new fraud trends and the ever-changing digital world we live in – 88% of identity frauds in 2016 were Internet enabled.

As legacy systems struggle to deal with developments in technology, organisations’ effectiveness at knowing the real customers from the fraudsters diminishes. They lose vital data and can’t implement innovative technology to combat fraud trends. Not only does this create inefficient auto-decisioning, but when a case needs to be reviewed, a disparate view of the ‘case’ often means that investigators and analysts have multiple views of the customer risk. You may miss a fraud risk, or it may take longer to review cases – potentially delaying legitimate customer journeys.

Multiple channels with individual risks

When you need to implement your fraud and identity systems across many different channels, it creates complexities with data sharing between systems, and the management of multiple systems. Organisations must be able to service customers via different channels, with each channel carrying its own fraud and identity risks. This often means that different solutions must be deployed to mitigate these risks. For example, fraud and identity verification solutions like ‘device intelligence’ and ‘behavioural analytics’ – used to identify customers completing an application online – aren’t also going to mitigate the risk of an application completed face-to-face.

Facing organisational issues

Technological issues aren’t the only barrier to real, fundamental change in this area. There are also cultural and organisational barriers to effective change; when front-line teams in digital and fraud don’t communicate effectively with governance and policy teams, it is hard to realise a digital vision.

Even more challenging is that, even when everyone in a large organisation is aligned, policy rule changes can take months to be implemented, meaning these businesses get left behind in the search for optimum customer journey management.

A multi-channel, unified solution to fraud risk

Identity fraud has now reached the highest levels ever recorded. Yet, the number of solutions available that complete the full customer journey, across multiple channels, without the complexity and cost of having to access other solutions is limited.

The TruNarrative solution breaks down these barriers to achieve a more unified platform across multiple applications and channels. We use machine learning, proven traditional methods and human intuition to speed up the response to fraud patterns.

The intelligence generated by third party services is brought together in a single flow with the insight from TruNarrative to create an overall risk score, known as the Unified Score. By seeing everything in one place you are much more likely to spot inconsistencies and keep up with the dynamic, fast-moving fraudsters.

Posted by: Nick White

Nick White is Head Fraud Analyst at TruNarrative.


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Posted by: Nick White

Nick White is Head Fraud Analyst at TruNarrative.