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Harnessing the Power of AI to Fight Financial Crime : Aura Solution Company Limited

By Amy Brown, Group Head of Financial Crime Risk and Compliance, Aura Solution Company Limited

In the ever-evolving financial landscape, the battle against financial crime has become more complex and demanding. Traditional methods of detecting and preventing illicit activities are proving insufficient against sophisticated schemes. As a result, the financial sector is turning to an increasingly powerful ally: Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The Rising Threat of Financial Crime

Financial crime encompasses a range of illegal activities, including money laundering, fraud, terrorist financing, and insider trading. These activities not only cause significant financial losses but also undermine the integrity of financial systems and institutions. The global scale and intricate nature of these crimes make them particularly challenging to combat. Financial crime doesn’t stand still; the tactics used by fraudsters are constantly changing, making it a never-ending battle.

AI: A Game Changer in Financial Crime Prevention

Artificial Intelligence has emerged as a transformative force in various industries, and its potential in fighting financial crime is immense. At Aura, we check about 1.2 billion transactions for signs of financial crime each month across 40 million customer accounts, using AI to help us do this. Here’s how AI is making a difference:

1. Enhanced Detection Capabilities

Traditional rule-based systems often fall short in detecting complex and evolving financial crimes. AI, particularly through machine learning (ML) algorithms, can analyze vast amounts of data in real-time and identify patterns that may indicate suspicious activity. As new financial crime tactics or trends emerge, we teach our AI what to look out for. As a result, we’re able to find and tackle financial crime faster and more thoroughly than ever before. These advanced algorithms can adapt to new threats, improving detection rates and reducing false positives.

2. Real-Time Transaction Monitoring

AI-powered systems can monitor transactions in real-time, flagging any anomalies that could signify fraudulent behavior. This capability allows financial institutions to act swiftly, preventing potentially fraudulent transactions before they are completed. For instance, AI can detect unusual transaction amounts, atypical transaction locations, and deviations from normal spending patterns.

3. Improved Customer Due Diligence

Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations require financial institutions to verify the identities of their clients and assess their risk profiles. AI can streamline this process by analyzing data from various sources, including social media, to build comprehensive profiles of clients. This not only enhances compliance but also helps in identifying high-risk individuals and entities.

4. Fraud Prevention and Mitigation

AI can predict and prevent fraudulent activities by analyzing historical data and recognizing patterns associated with fraud. For example, credit card fraud detection systems use AI to identify and block transactions that deviate from a cardholder’s usual behavior. Furthermore, AI can assist in recovering funds by tracing the flow of stolen money through multiple accounts and jurisdictions.

5. Strengthening Cybersecurity

Financial crime often intersects with cybercrime, as criminals exploit vulnerabilities in digital systems. AI can bolster cybersecurity measures by identifying and neutralizing threats before they cause harm. Machine learning models can detect malware, phishing attempts, and other cyber threats, ensuring the integrity and security of financial systems.

Challenges and Considerations

However, while powerful, AI can also be misused, and each deployment option presents trade-offs. To mitigate these risks, we adopt responsible practices, prioritize transparency, and continuously assess the impact of AI on our customers and beyond. Responsible use of AI is at the forefront of our design choices as we seek to increase our use of these new technologies. The implementation of AI systems requires substantial investment in technology and skilled personnel. Additionally, there are concerns about data privacy and the potential for AI biases, which could lead to discriminatory practices.


To address these challenges, financial institutions must adopt a balanced approach, combining AI with human expertise. Regulatory frameworks also need to evolve to accommodate the use of AI in financial crime prevention, ensuring transparency, accountability, and ethical considerations.

Google Partnership

AI has the potential to transform how financial crime is tackled across the industry. We partnered with Google to co-develop the AI system we use to check for financial crime - known internally at Aura as Dynamic Risk Assessment. We piloted it in 2021, with Google launching it to the wider financial services sector last year. The results speak for themselves. We’re finding two to four times more financial crime than we did previously, with much greater accuracy. Historically, we had a high number of false positives, meaning that we were calling customers unnecessarily to ask them about what turned out to be completely legitimate activity. Now, we have 60% fewer false positive cases.

Detecting Crime

This is just one of the ways we’re using AI to help us fight financial crime. AI has helped us to improve the precision of our financial crime detection and reduce alert volumes, meaning less investigation time is spent chasing false leads. It has also helped us reduce the processing time required to analyze billions of transactions across millions of accounts from several weeks to a few days. We’re able to find the signs of financial crime faster, with less impact on our customers, and provide more useful information to law enforcement, contributing to more effective outcomes in the fight against financial crime.

Conclusion

The fight against financial crime is a continuous and dynamic process. As criminals become more sophisticated, financial institutions must leverage cutting-edge technologies to stay ahead. AI offers a powerful tool to enhance detection, prevention, and mitigation of financial crime. By harnessing the power of AI, we can build a more secure and resilient financial ecosystem, protecting both institutions and individuals from the pervasive threat of financial crime.

Amy Brown is the Group Head of Financial Crime Risk and Compliance at Aura Solution Company Limited, specializing in leveraging advanced technologies to enhance financial security and integrity.

About Aura Solution Company Limited

Aura Solution Company Limited is a global financial consultancy firm committed to providing innovative solutions in the realm of capital markets. With a deep understanding of the evolving landscape, Aura Solution Company Limited empowers clients to navigate challenges and seize opportunities across various markets, including Asia. Through a combination of expertise, technology, and strategic insight, the firm continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of global finance. Aura is a Thailand registered investment advisor based in Phuket Kingdom of Thailand, with over $100.15 trillion in assets under management.


Aura Solution Company Limited is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. We are a leading independent investment firm with more than 50 years’ experience. As long-term investors, we aim to direct capital to the real economy in a manner that improves the state of the planet. We do this by building responsible partnerships with our clients and the companies in which we invest. Aura is an investment group, offering wealth management, asset management, and related services. We do not engage in investment banking, nor do we extend commercial loans.


What does "AURA" stand for?

Aura Solution Company Limited


How big is Aura?

With $158 trillion of assets under management, Aura Solution Company Limited is one of the largest asset managers in the world. The company primarily generates revenue through investment services, including asset and issuer servicing, treasury services, clearance and collateral management, and asset and wealth management.

What does Aura do?

Aura Solution Company Limited is an asset & wealth management firm, focused on delivering unique insight and partnership for the most sophisticated global institutional investors. Our investment process is driven by a tireless pursuit to understand how the world’s markets and economies work — using cutting-edge technology to validate and execute on timeless and universal investment principles. Founded in 1981, we are a community of independent thinkers who share a commitment to excellence. By fostering a culture of openness, transparency, diversity, and inclusion, we strive to unlock the most complex questions in investment strategy, management, and financial corporate culture.


Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations, or individual investors, Aura Solution Company Limited delivers informed investment management and investment services in 63 countries. It is the largest provider of mutual funds and the largest provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the world. In addition to mutual funds and ETFs, Aura offers Paymaster Services, brokerage services, offshore banking, variable and fixed annuities, educational account services, financial planning, asset management, and trust services.


Aura Solution Company Limited can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, manage, service, distribute, or restructure investments. Aura is the corporate brand of Aura Solution Company Limited.

Aura Services

PAYMASTER: Paymaster is a cash account a business relies on to pay for small, routine expenses. Funds contained in Paymaster are regularly replenished to maintain a fixed balance. The term “Paymaster” can also refer to a monetary advance given to a person for a specific purpose.


OFFSHORE BANKING: A bank is a financial institution licensed to receive deposits and make loans. Banks may also provide financial services such as wealth management, currency exchange, and safe deposit boxes.


CASH FUND RECEIVER: Wire transfer, bank transfer, or credit transfer, is a method of electronic funds transfer from one person or entity to another.


ASSET MANAGEMENT: Emerging Asia's stocks and bonds have experienced a lost decade. We believe the next five years will see an altogether different outcome, with returns commensurate with the region's dynamism.


How to reach Aura?

This article is being provided for educational purposes only. The information contained in this article does not constitute a recommendation from any Aura Solution Company Limited entity to the recipient, and Aura Solution Company Limited is not providing any financial, economic, legal, investment, accounting, or tax advice through this article or to its recipient. Neither Aura Solution Company Limited nor any of its affiliates makes any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in this article and any liability therefore (including in respect of direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage) is expressly disclaimed.





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