Any fraudulent behavior carried out through digital technology, such as the Internet or mobile devices, is referred to as “cyber crime.” To deceive consumers into disclosing personal or financial information or to steal money straight from bank accounts, cybercriminals employ a range of techniques.
The menace has become so proliferated and sophisticated that Nigeria has already lost N5.5 trillion to fraud and cybercrimes in 10 years, according to Deloitte. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) estimates that Nigeria loses about $500 million a year to cybercrime.
However, with the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) cybercrime could be mitigated and brought to a minimum.
Recently, ThetaRay organized a fintech event in Lagos, a gathering that had in attendance AML, risk, and compliance officers, leaders, and managers at banks and fintechs that want to utilize AI to increase efficiency and efficacy at their companies.
Shani Golov, Regional Director, Africa, at ThetaRay, discussed the various ways Artificial Intelligence detects and prevents financial crimes such as money laundering and other criminal activity. Other experts like Obi Emetarom, CEO, Zone, and Ibijoke Oyewole, Fintech Consultant, VigiPay, also shared their expertise and knowledge about using AI to prevent financial crimes.
In an interview with TechEconomy, Shani explained that AI has the capability to detect and mitigate the unknown. “Our solution is very sophisticated. It’s dramatically reducing false positive alerts, given the ability to detect unknown cases and the lack of time to investigate. And that actually means that you do less and get more.”
AI Solutions – SONAR
ThetaRay primarily offers AI-driven transaction monitoring technology known as Sonar to help banks and fintechs grow and extend business prospects through dependable and secure international payments.
ThetaRay’s AML solution, SONAR, uses proprietary artificial intuition machine learning methodology to analyze dozens of risk indicators associated with financial crimes. “So, our solution is actually for monitoring transactions and also for sanction screening.”
This risk-based AI approach paints a clear picture for compliance teams and enables them to detect abnormal activity within large sets of data and to effectively calculate and pinpoint transactions indicating suspicious activities.
As a result, SONAR can deliver 95% of investigation-worthy alerts. ThetaRay’s process also provides insights on customer identity where KYC information is lacking, creating risk profiles for non-customers and transparency across complex paths.
Explaining in detail how Sonar works, she explained that the solution has the capability to learn the normal behavior of clients and detect any abnormal behavior. Shani added, “You don’t need to predefine any rule. The system has the liberty to simply detect any behavior that is not in correlation to normality.”
ThetaRay has strategic partnerships with companies like Zone, VigiPay, etc. Both payment operators partnered with ThetaRay to protect their businesses against money laundering, sanctions violations, and other risks.
For VigiPay, the agreement will see ThetaRay implement its SONAR AML solution to shield VigiPay’s services through cloud-based transaction monitoring to detect early signs of fraud activity.
VigiPay believes the partnership will unlock sustainable growth by ensuring regulatory compliance and consumer safety as the company continues to expand the volume and value of its processed transactions.
ThetaRay AI technology is instilling a new standard of trust into the growing world of online payments, enabling fintechs’ rapid revenue growth by opening doors to business with new financial partners worldwide.
Responding to questions on the partnership with Zone, a payment infrastructure company running on blockchain technology, Shani said, “Yes, there is an ongoing partnership, and Zone seems to be the first customer we engaged with, if I’m not wrong, and as you know, they do have a blockchain platform.
She said Zone enables financial services through its blockchain platform. “And we are there to support their payment, to be trusted to be very safe, and to make sure they are not involved in any illegitimate activity.”
Nigeria’s National Blockchain Policy
The Nigerian government last week approved a new national blockchain policy aimed at institutionalizing blockchain technology in the country’s economy and security sectors.
Blockchain technology makes it possible to develop decentralized applications and new business models that will improve transactional transparency, supply chain security, and record-keeping efficiency across different sectors.
Reacting to this development, Shani said, “I think we can see this happening all over the world. So as I mentioned, regulators are now putting more focus on fintechs, specifically blockchain and digital assets, which are not regulated at all.
“We will start to see tomorrow that more and more regulators will come with announcements like we saw yesterday from the government, and we are there to support them. We also work with governments in Africa. So, I think we’re very familiar with this.”