Consultant, Software Firm Link Up to Help Banks Detect Money Laundering

By Moyer, Liz | American Banker, March 10, 1997 | Go to article overview

Consultant, Software Firm Link Up to Help Banks Detect Money Laundering


Moyer, Liz, American Banker


Decision Strategies Inc. of New York is joining forces with a Dutch software developer, Inter Access Risk Management, to help banks fight fraud, including money laundering.

By combining Decision Strategies' security consulting expertise with Inter Access' software, called Syfact, the companies hope to give U.S. financial institutions a way to cut into the $290 million they reported lost to money laundering last year.

"The vision is to make banks better able to identify money launderers, rather than just looking into their eyes," said Richard W. Harms, director of strategic technology at Decision Strategies.

Financial fraud in general often is hard for banks to detect because many sort transaction information into a variety of computer "silos," which make suspect patterns of activity difficult to notice.

"It's getting harder for banks to know their customers," Mr. Harms said. "You could have someone go around to 25 different ATMs in one day, and he could get away with fraud if he knew what he was doing. Banks need to have systems that would detect that pattern immediately."

Syfact creates a central data base for a bank's daily transactions. Using algorithms, the system links data and events that a bank security officer might consider unrelated. It then highlights unusual "footprints" that may indicate fraud.

Typical footprints include rises in transactions from areas known to be prone to crime and an increased frequency of transfers to the same person.

Syfact also can detect whether an account holder is using aliases and whether a person is depositing or withdrawing from multiple accounts in different postal zones. …

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Consultant, Software Firm Link Up to Help Banks Detect Money Laundering
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