Award-winning fraud surveillance system helps largest bank in Singapore recover millions of dollars
SAS helps monitor customers’ transactions and alerts in real time.
US$6 million recovered in first year
OCBC Bank works with SAS to proactively detect and prevent fraud, resulting in improved customer experience and operational outcomes
The COVID-19 pandemic fueled a digital banking boom, and scammers have been quick to take advantage. In Singapore, banking-related scams have surged, leaving customers vulnerable to phishing attacks and other forms of fraud. To fight this new wave of fraud and help protect its customers, OCBC Bank, the oldest bank in Singapore, partnered with SAS to develop a fraud surveillance system.
OCBC Bank uses SAS to create a combination of flexible data, network analytics and cutting-edge surveillance techniques to monitor customer activities and transactions. With more than 470 branches and offices in 19 countries and regions, OCBC Bank is working to proactively identify fraud, alert customers and improve operational outcomes. The bank uses SAS to create a combination of flexible data, network analytics and cutting-edge surveillance techniques to monitor customer activities and transactions.
The platform that SAS has deployed provides us with very important insights in terms of our customer transaction data. By analyzing the customer data, we can determine whether some of the transactions are perhaps more suspicious than a legitimate transaction that a customer would want to make. Francisco John Celio Head of Group Corporate Security OCBC Bank
Real-time monitoring leads to faster response and millions recovered
When it comes to fraud, the bank’s goal is accurately determining whether a transaction conducted by a customer is what the customer wanted. The fraud surveillance system assists in the detection, investigation and analysis of fraud using multiple analytic techniques including predictive modeling, text mining and network link analysis to proactively identify unknown patterns. This holistic approach enables OCBC Bank to monitor customers’ transactions and alerts in real time to identify potential fraud. The bank monitors multiple channels, including ATM, CASA, online banking, mobile banking, wire-transfers and corporate transactions.
“The platform that SAS has deployed provides us with very important insights in terms of our customer transaction data,” says Francisco John Celio, Head of Group Corporate Security at OCBC Bank. “By analyzing the customer data, we can determine whether some of the transactions are perhaps more suspicious than a legitimate transaction that a customer would want to make.”
The results are impressive. The fraud surveillance system played a significant role in the recovery of approximately S$8 million (US$6 million) worth of fraudulent transactions in the first year of use in Singapore, where it was first launched.
OCBC Bank – Facts & Figures
bank was founded
countries and regions served
Fighting fraud by increasing awareness
While the bank does not hold liability for transactions conducted by customers on their digital channels, it has invested in the technology to help prevent customers from falling prey to fraudsters and scammers. In 2020, OCBC Bank reported that its anti-fraud program prevented more than US$7.4 million from falling into the hands of fraudsters. As a result, the bank has received 27 awards from the Singapore Police Force in recognition of its multifaceted fraud prevention efforts
The bank has also expanded the monitoring scope and capabilities of anti-fraud measures, revamped its fraud education program to strengthen fraud awareness among its staff, and created a public whistle-blowing program. Proactive fraud prevention also remains a core focus, concentrating on vulnerable customer segments.
With the increased volume of online banking during the pandemic, OCBC Bank saw the number of customer accounts opened digitally increase by more than 160% in just one year.
Delivering fraud prevention innovations to more countries
OCBC Bank has long been at the forefront of technological innovation and was the first Singapore bank to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to combat financial crime.
For their efforts in proactive fraud detection and prevention, SAS and OCBC Bank were awarded Branch Innovation of the Year – Singapore and Online Banking Initiative of the Year – Singapore at the Asian Banking and Finance Retail Banking Awards 2021.
Throughout 2021, OCBC Bank’s Operational Risk team continued to extend its real-time fraud surveillance coverage to branches in Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam.
“I think for the third-party fraud, there will be more developments in the near future in our system,” Celio concludes. “We will continue to further enhance and refine our detection of suspicious transactions conducted on customers’ accounts.”