Tech to tackle fraud 

Tech to tackle fraud 

Every year, an estimated R2.2 billion is lost to cybercrime in South Africa. Reports suggest that there are 577 cyberattacks per hour in South Africa, 80% of which exploit the human element.

Ryan Mer, CEO at eftsure Africa – a software as a service platform that protects organisations against fraud and error before payments are made – says payment fraud is an ongoing and evolving reality in every industry across the globe. “Outdated manual processes leave loopholes for human error and are a favoured point of entry for fraudsters. Managing and mitigating these risks is a huge challenge for any business,” he notes. “The environment becomes even more complicated for larger organisations, as information for thousands of new and existing payees are processed annually.”

Workforce Holdings and its group of companies with 134 branches across South Africa faced challenges in managing cybersecurity amid multiple layers of manual processes. According to Diane Wright, Workforce national project manager, the company needed a secure portal to transact with its vendors. “We also required a solution that could eliminate internal changes to vendor banking details and improve efficiencies and general onboarding processes, as the company’s systems were paperwork intensive and time-consuming with no real fraud prevention,” she explains.

Wright adds that implementing an automated payee solution has been a resounding success: “We have been able to eliminate all fraud up to this point. It has placed the onus on the vendor to provide correct information, preventing third-party intervention and enabling us to make payments timeously and correctly. The portal also allows us to verify the validity of new vendors and there is excellent turnaround time on verifications. We can verify banking details as a payment is being done, which prevents fraudulent changes – which is a helpful double verification.”

Mer adds that while robust risk management policies, data management controls, and staff training can all go a long way towards minimising insider threats, they are often not enough. “Today’s organisation needs the extra layer of protection against financial fraud, which is only possible by automating manual controls, placing less reliance on the manual and human factor. This gives those responsible for releasing payments the confidence that processes and controls are in place and working effectively,” he explains.

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