Risk & Fraud

Aite Group Report Examines Best Practices for Workplace Distancing in Financial Services Industry


Chances are, due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, your credit union has had to take unprecedented action to move some of your office operations and staff to work from home. Fraud and AML operations have historically not included a remote workforce in the financial services industry, and many businesses have had to scramble to facilitate this in the wake of the global pandemic, according to a new Aite Group report. Meanwhile, coronavirus-related scams continue to rise.

To form the basis of their 20-page report, Workplace Distancing: Adapting Fraud and AML Operations to COVID-19, Aite Group interviewed 13 fraud and AML executives at North American banks, fintech lenders and issuing processors, including PSCU’s SVP and chief risk officer and president, TriVerity, Jack Lynch. The report examines best practices and lessons learned as the financial services industry adjusts to the need for a largely remote workforce, while exploring evolving risk vectors as bad actors adjust their tactics to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some recommendations from the report for credit unions as they adjust their operations to the new normal:

Prepare for fraud attacks on a variety of fronts. Fraudsters are currently focusing on application fraud attacks, along with a plethora of phishing and mule recruitment efforts. However, expect digital channel fraud and CNP attacks to mount, as bad actors capitalize on relaxed risk controls and a wealth of available data to fuel their attacks.

Tools that can effectively assess the risk associated with a new or returning credit union member in a largely frictionless manner are essential. The control framework will also require that credit unions have the ability to take action, quickly respond to emergent fraud trends and introduce the appropriate action in an automated fashion. (PSCU employs a multi-layered approach to combat fraud for its Owner credit unions, utilizing a number of technologies and best practices, including its proprietary Linked Analysis. Learn more here).

Enable your workforce for the marathon, not the sprint. A remote or socially distanced workforce is likely to be the new reality for the near future. Ensure that your technology is equipped to support this and that your credit union’s culture is supportive of this new normal.

Enable (and protect) self-service. As members accelerate their migration to digital channels, the importance of easy and secure self-service is more important than ever.

Revisit your BCP. Scientists have been predicting this pandemic for years, but many businesses were not prepared for a shelter-in-place requirement of this magnitude. Examine your BCP plan and incorporate the lessons learned.

Look to the future. The previously normal state of working will not be the new normal once this pandemic is behind us. Be open to new ways to deploy, empower and motivate your workforce.

To learn more about Aite Group, visit aitegroup.com.