Securing BFSI: Strategies to Eradicate Identity Fraud

5/5 (2)

5/5 (2)

Despite financial institutions’ unwavering efforts to safeguard their customers, scammers continually evolve to exploit advancements in technology. For example, the number of scams and cybercrimes reported to the police in Singapore increased by a staggering 49.6% to 50,376 at an estimated cost of USD 482M in 2023. GenAI represents the latest challenge to the industry, providing fraudsters with new avenues for deception.

Ecosystm research shows that BFSI organisations in Asia Pacific are spending more on technologies to authenticate customer identity and prevent fraud, than they are in their Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.

The Evolution of the Threat Landscape in BFSI

Synthetic Identity Fraud. This involves the creation of fictitious identities by combining real and fake information, distinct from traditional identity theft where personal data is stolen. These synthetic identities are then exploited to open fraudulent accounts, obtain credit, or engage in financial crimes, often evading detection due to their lack of association with real individuals. The Deloitte Centre for Financial Services predicts that synthetic identity fraud will result in USD 23B in losses by 2030. Synthetic fraud is posing significant challenges for financial institutions and law enforcement agencies, especially with the emergence of advanced technologies like GenAI being used to produce realistic documents blending genuine and false information, undermining Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols.

AI-Enhanced Phishing. Ecosystm research reveals that in Asia Pacific, 71% of customer interactions in BFSI occur across multiple digital channels, including mobile apps, emails, messaging, web chats, and conversational AI. In fact, 57% of organisations plan to further improve customer self-service capabilities to meet the demand for flexible and convenient service delivery. The proliferation of digital channels brings with it an increased risk of phishing attacks.

While these organisations continue to educate their customers on how to secure their accounts in a digital world, GenAI poses an escalating threat here as well. Phishing schemes will employ widely available LLMs to generate convincing text and even images. For many potential victims, misspellings and strangely worded appeals are the only hint that an email from their bank is not what it seems. The maturing of deepfake technology will also make it possible for malicious agents to create personalised voice and video attacks.

Identity Fraud Detection and Prevention

Although fraudsters are exploiting every new vulnerability, financial organisations also have new tools to protect their customers. Organisations should build a layered defence to prevent increasingly sophisticated attempts at fraud.

  • Behavioural analytics. Using machine learning, financial organisations can differentiate between standard activities and suspicious behaviour at the account level. Data that can be analysed includes purchase patterns, unusual transaction values, VPN use, browser choice, log-in times, and impossible travel. Anomalies can be flagged, and additional security measures initiated to stem the attack.
  • Passive authentication. Accounts can be protected even before password or biometric authentication by analysing additional data, such as phone number and IP address. This approach can be enhanced by comparing databases populated with the details of suspicious actors.
  • SIM swap detection. SMS-based MFA is vulnerable to SIM swap attacks where a customer’s phone number is transferred to the fraudster’s own device. This can be prevented by using an authenticator app rather than SMS. Alternatively, SIM swap history can be detected before sending one-time passwords (OTPs).
  • Breached password detection. Although customers are strongly discouraged to reuse passwords across sites, some inevitably will. By employing a service that maintains a database of credentials leaked during third-party breaches, it is possible to compare with active customer passwords and initiate a reset.
  • Stronger biometrics. Phone-based fingerprint recognition has helped financial organisations safeguard against fraud and simplify the authentication experience. Advances in biometrics continue with recognition for faces, retina, iris, palm print, and voice making multimodal biometric protection possible. Liveness detection will grow in importance to combat against AI-generated content.
  • Step-up validation. Authentication requirements can be differentiated according to risk level. Lower risk activities, such as balance check or internal transfer, may only require minimal authentication while higher risk ones, like international or cryptocurrency transactions may require a step up in validation. When anomalous behaviour is detected, even greater levels of security can be initiated.


  1. Reduce friction. While it may be tempting to implement heavy handed approaches to prevent fraud, it is also important to minimise friction in the authentication system. Frustrated users may abandon services or find risky ways to circumvent security. An effective layered defence should act in the background to prevent attackers getting close.
  2. AI Phishing Awareness. Even the savviest of customers could fall prey to advanced phishing attacks that are using GenAI. Social engineering at scale becomes increasingly more possible with each advance in AI. Monitor emerging global phishing activities and remind customers to be ever vigilant of more polished and personalised phishing attempts.
  3. Deploy an authenticator app. Consider shifting away from OTP SMS as an MFA method and implement either an authenticator app or one embedded in the financial app instead.
  4. Integrate authentication with fraud analytics. Select an authentication provider that can integrate its offering with analytics to identify fraud or unusual behaviour during account creation, log in, and transactions. The two systems should work in tandem.
  5. Take a zero-trust approach. Protecting both customers and employees is critical, particularly in the hybrid work era. Implement zero trust tools to prevent employees from falling victim to malicious attacks and minimising damage if they do.
The Resilient Enterprise
Driving Growth: 5 Ways to Empower Sales & Support Teams in BFSI

5/5 (2)

5/5 (2)

Technological innovation is dramatically changing how organisations interact with modern consumers in the rapidly evolving banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry. The growing dependence on digital communication tools and platforms lies at the core of this transformation. These tools have become vital for BFSI organisations to meet the dynamic needs of today’s customers, enabling agile, responsive Sales & Support teams that can use real-time data to sustain customer engagement, ensure data security, comply with regulations, and streamline operations.

Customer Engagement Challenges in BFSI Organisations

Security Concerns. Customers in the BFSI industry are increasingly concerned about the security of their financial transactions and Personal Identifiable Information (PII). With the rise of cyber threats, customers expect robust security measures to protect their accounts and sensitive information. BFSI organisations need to continually invest in cybersecurity infrastructure and technologies to reassure customers and maintain their trust.

Customer Expectations. In the competitive landscape of the BFSI industry, customer retention and attraction are critical to sustaining profitability. Organisations must prioritise an agile approach that adapts swiftly to market changes. Central to this strategy is the delivery of personalised experiences aligned with individual preferences and needs, driven by advancements in digitalisation. To achieve this, BFSI organisations have to increase investments in AI-driven solutions to gain deep insights into customer behaviour, enabling them to accurately anticipate and meet evolving needs.

Regulatory Compliance. The industry operates in a highly regulated environment with strict compliance requirements imposed by various regulatory bodies. Ensuring compliance with constantly evolving regulations such as GDPR, PSD2, Dodd-Frank, etc., poses a significant challenge for organisations. To complicate the landscape further, institutions with cross-border operations need to consider the laws in different countries. Compliance efforts often result in additional operational complexities and costs, which can impact the overall customer experience if not managed effectively.

Digital Transformation. Rapid technological advancements and changing customer preferences are driving BFSI organisations to undergo digital transformation initiatives. However, legacy systems and processes hinder their ability to innovate and adapt to digital trends quickly. Transitioning to modern, agile architectures while ensuring uninterrupted services and minimal disruption to customers is a complex undertaking for many BFSI organisations.

Customer Education and Communication. Financial products and services can be complex, and customers often require guidance to make informed decisions. Sales & Support teams in BFSI organisations struggle to effectively educate their customers about the features, benefits, and risks associated with various products. Clear and transparent communication regarding fees, terms, and conditions is essential for building trust and maintaining customer satisfaction. Balancing regulatory requirements with the need for transparent communication can be challenging.

5 Ways to Empower Sales & Support Teams in BFSI

BFSI organisations in Asia Pacific often overlook technology enablement for the empowerment of their Sales & Support and other customer engagement teams. Key measures to empower these teams include upskilling for role flexibility and offering competitive remuneration for better employee retention.

Key measures to empower Customer Engagement Teams in Asia Pacific BFSI Organisations

Organisations should prioritise upgrading Sales & Support tools and solutions to address the team’s key pain points.

#1 Boost Customer Engagement with Omnichannel Support

BFSI organisations need to work on a suite of API-driven solutions to create a comprehensive omnichannel presence. This enables engagement with customers via their preferred channels, such as SMS, email, voice, chat, or video. Such flexibility enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty by ensuring personalised and convenient interactions. This includes capabilities such as the ability to deploy messaging and voice services to dispatch timely account activity alerts, secure transactions with two-factor authentication, and deliver customised financial advice through chatbots or direct communications.

#2 Streamline Customer Service with AI and Virtual Assistants

Integrating AI and virtual assistants allows BFSI companies to automate standard inquiries and transactions, freeing Sales & Support teams to tackle more sophisticated customer needs. These AI tools can interpret and process natural language, facilitating conversational interactions with automated services. This boosts efficiency and shortens response times, elevating the customer engagement experience. Also, consistently integrating these virtual assistants across various channels ensures a uniform customer experience – and brand image.

#3 Enhance Security Measures and Compliance Standards

Adhering to stringent security and compliance requirements is essential for BFSI organisations. A secure platform complies with critical global and country-level standards and regulations. The voice and video communication services must include comprehensive encryption, protecting all customer interactions. There is also a need to have a suite of tools for monitoring and auditing communications to meet compliance requirements, allowing BFSI organisations to protect sensitive data while providing secure communication options.

#4 Leverage Insights for Personalised Customer Interactions

BFSI organisations must focus on aggregating, harmonising, and scrutinising customer interactions across various channels. This holistic view of customer behaviour allows for more targeted and personalised services, enhancing customer engagement and loyalty. By leveraging insights into customers’ interaction histories, preferences, and financial objectives, companies can customise their outreach and recommendations, improving upselling, cross-selling, and retention strategies.

#5 Increase Operational Efficiency with Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud-based communication solutions offer BFSI organisations the scalability and flexibility needed to respond swiftly to market shifts and customer demands. This adaptability is vital for fostering growth in a dynamic industry. A customisable solution supports organisations in refining their operations, from automating workflows to integrating CRM systems, enabling Sales & Support teams to operate more smoothly and effectively. Cloud technology helps reduce operational expenses, elevate service quality, and spur innovation.

Digital communication and collaboration tools have the power to revolutionise BFSI, enhancing engagement, security, and efficiency. Through APIs, AI, and cloud, organisations can meet evolving market needs, driving growth and innovation. Embracing these solutions ensures competitiveness and agility in a changing landscape.

The Experience Economy