AFP 2019 Day 2: Fraud, Fraud and More Fraud

Fraud and Financial Crime


Germaine Lang

Oct 23, 2019

Overheard on the shuttle to the AFP 2019 convention center in Boston, “Just last week I was consulting with a customer who was a victim of a business email compromise attack. It was the second time I was in that situation with a customer in recent months. It’s so difficult because the first instinct is always to find someone to blame, and when it’s money that’s been rerouted in a banking transaction, it’s usually the bank that gets targeted first. We do our best to educate our customers about the risks but it seems that they don’t really understand the risk or it doesn’t really sink in until experience a loss first-hand. This customer thought that FDIC insurance would cover the loss, further illustrating the information gap.” This was from a banking treasurer relating her challenges when dealing with customers exposed to fraudulent attacks resulting in financial loss.

This conversation reinforced one of the prevailing themes of the show, that fraudulent attacks continue to be a thorn in sides of payment professionals and that education about fraud continues to be an urgent priority.

In “Fighting Fraud with Better Tools and Smarter People: A Cybersecurity Panel Discussion”, a session moderated by Bank of America’s Mary Rosendahl (Director, Global Digital Channels Security, Fraud Education & Risk Management), she stressed over and over again the importance of educating employees and customers about the very real risks of payment fraud.

With a panel of practitioners sharing their experiences of internal and external fraudulent attacks (Amanda Boston, Payments and Treasury Operations Manager, Bottomline; Dwight Seeley, VP Treasury, Change Healthcare; and Kristen Michaud, MD, Treasury Operations, GE), it was a powerful session packed full of intrigue – millions of missing dollars, FBI encounters, CEO impersonators and insurance misconceptions – which seemed more like the makings of a Hollywood movie script than an AFP session. Two of the biggest takeaways were about the importance of education and understanding what controls need to be in place in order to be compliant with cyber insurance policies. The latter proved extremely relevant when the majority of a packed audience acknowledged that they did not know what was in their policies.

Fraud prevention is top of mind for today’s payments professionals and AFP 2019 provided ample opportunity for attendees to soak up the latest tips and tricks to stay ahead of today’s fraudsters.

Stay-tuned to SmartPayments for upcoming expanded recaps on this session and more.

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Germaine Lang

Germaine Lang is the Managing Editor of SmartPayments with a strong creative and technical writing background across many industries. She also works to engage customers and relate their experiences with vendor products and services, positioning them as innovative thought leaders.
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