In our latest reader-submitted Q&A, Osman Khurshid describes the financial crime challenges brought about by the increase in personal data online
What is your full job title?
Head of Client Success
How long have you worked in the industry?
I have worked in the fraud and financial crime prevention industry for seven years.
How long have you worked in your current role?
I have been in my current role for 10 months.
How did you get into your current role?
This role is the culmination of all my previous experiences at Synectics. I joined the company as a business analyst within the product management team working with clients to understand their fraud and financial crime strategies. My focus was on how we could enhance our existing capabilities to address these new challenges. An example of this was working with a building society to enhance their transactional monitoring capabilities to comply with the ML (Money Laundering) directives.
In my time as business analyst some key challenges became apparent alongside changes in consumer behaviour. Organisations were looking to improve operational efficiency while reducing fraud impairment - and all whilst not slowing down the customer experience. Balancing these seemingly contradictory requirements was where I came in.
I started exploring Machine Learning and the power it could bring to these challenges. During my time in role, I closely collaborated with some of the UK’s largest Insurers and financial Institutions, applying our technology against their pain points. Following successful trials, we brought to life Precision - our Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning platform - with me as its Product Manager.
I worked with organisations to embed our technology and drive real-world business benefits, such as reducing the cases required to work by 50% while finding 30% more fraud.
This inevitably led to me working with organisations across multiple industries on more sophisticated problems. Issues such as how we could help the vehicle rental industry overcome fraud challenges and how organisations could provide an exceptional customer journey through embedding real-time checks across their product lifecycle.
I truly believe that this experience and understanding helped me move to my current role as Head of Client Success. I have always been able to fully empathise with customer challenges, as well as having a focus on how we ensure they obtain value through their fraud prevention capabilities, ultimately making them more profitable.
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day starts with catching up with the news, reading articles about our clients, the technology industry and any news related to fraud and financial crime.
I’ll then proactively look at MI reports that relate to the performance of our clients. I’m usually looking for anomalies, answering simple questions like: are we seeing the standard fraud rates or are we seeing standard usage from a holistic level across our membership? If I identify anything that looks unusual, I’ll work with my team of client success managers to delve deeper. We love a good mystery, and most importantly solving it.
Typically, I have at least two key engagements with different clients each day. We discuss their challenges and targets, update on our joint initiatives and most importantly for me we agree how both organisations remain aligned and continue to combat fraud and financial crime against emerging threats. It is very much a partnership approach, and slightly different for each of our clients.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
Working with key stakeholders at Synectics and the industry to bring Precision, our predictive analytics tool, to life. This allowed us to help organisations overcome some significant fraud challenges like mortgage, motor claim, gadget claim and commercial banking fraud.
What is the most challenging thing about your role?
I strongly believe with challenge comes opportunity. Balancing the speed of adoption/change with technology constraints can be quite challenging, especially when we know from experience how a capability or change can help an organisation improve their onboarding experience whilst protecting their customers.
Fraud is ever-evolving and the fraudsters continue to be one step ahead and are using some complex technology as part of their fraud methodologies. We, therefore, have to ensure that we are always working with our clients to minimise any barriers to them moving at pace. However, we do empathise that the correct internal governance within organisations needs to take place even though on occasions this can slow down the pace of change.
What part of your role do you enjoy the most?
The sheer variety. As part of this role, I have the ability to work with multiple individuals within various sectors. I am grateful to be in a position where the team and I can work with clients to overcome real-world challenges. When we enable them to overcome fraud challenges and launch new product lines – that’s really rewarding.
We also get to think about the future and innovation. This role isn’t just about looking at an organisations’ needs and challenges today, but also what the long-term strategy looks like and how we execute it.
How do you see your role/industry changing in the next few years?
In my role, I see an increased emphasis on being agile and data driven. I am fortunate that I have access to a huge amount of data which allows me to obtain insights on fraud trends and patterns which are emerging. The data allows us to better understand how fraud capabilities are being used and the effectiveness of them. We share this learning with our members and this cross-industry collaboration is set to increase, as we join forces against common enemies.
Consumer behaviours have changed dramatically in the last twelve months, and many of the challenges now faced by organisations can be directly linked to these changes.
For example, shopping has moved online. Social media is heavily relied upon to keep in communication with family and friends. This increased shift online means there is more data publicly available than ever before, providing increased opportunities for identity theft. In addition, as individuals consume more services via digital channels this growing group of digital consumers is susceptible to scams and recruitment into committing scams.
To help combat this rise in threats we’ll also see more public and private sector collaboration. It has become apparent that more collaboration is required between the private and public sector. The issue of fraud will continue to increase against market dynamics so we will have to outpace this.
Some things however will remain a constant, customer centricity will be absolutely critical and ensuring that wherever decisions are being made, that customer value is at the heart.
We will continue to focus on providing a collaborative environment for interested parties to unite in the fight against financial crime and fraud.
Would you recommend working in this role, please give your reasons?
For those who have fraud and financial crime prevention, as well as working collaboratively in a B2B environment, as a passion I would 100% recommend the role. You are part of something bigger. The role gives you the opportunity to work with a variety of organisations from the global giants to FinTech start-ups. All embarking on exciting journeys with new products and services.
It’s a great way to meet people and create strong relationships: in this role I have met (be it virtually at the moment) individuals who share the same passion and have their vision of what future challenges look like and how we can work collaboratively to overcome them.
The industry of fraud & financial crime is constantly evolving requiring action to be taken, making the job as a supplier of fraud prevention capabilities very exciting.
When you’ve worked with an organisation to overcome significant challenges, such as reducing the time to pay out on claims from two months to hours, or stopped a fraud ring and prevented over £800,000 in fraud in one day, it makes it a very satisfying job to have.
Do you work in a field tackling financial crime? Don’t miss the chance to feature in one of GRC World Forums’ regular job focus Q&As.
We are looking for people who work in AML/CTF, fraud detection, threat intelligence and related legal and regulatory fields across a range of industries to tell us about their everyday job.
Just fill in a short Q&A and submit a photograph to be considered for inclusion. We want to feature people of all levels of seniority.
If you want to take part, email Carl Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org