TransUnion’s New Big Data Solution Helps SA Companies Fight Fraud and Corruption

Global risk information provider TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) has launched a new solution that will help South African companies use big data to reduce their losses from fraud and corruption.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the South African market, the Lifestyle Assessment solution uses advanced analytics that draw on a range of data sources linked to employees and suppliers to identify the tell-tale signs of fraud and corruption and mitigate – and in many cases, prevent – economic crimes.

Speaking at the launch, Keith Wardell, director of fraud and identity at TransUnion, said fraud and corruption are significant threats to the people and businesses of South Africa, which has one of the highest rates of economic crime in the world. According to PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2018, 77% of South African organisations have experienced economic crime, 28% higher than the global average of 49%.

“Most companies only identify fraud and corruption after it has already taken place, and then often have to spend significantly more than the original loss amount on investigations and other remedial activity – not to mention the damage to their reputations,” said Wardell.

The cost of economic crime to companies can be crippling. 35% of respondents in the PwC survey said they had lost more than R1.2 million, while 1% said their losses through fraud and corruption were greater than R1.2 billion.

Lifestyle Assessment uses big data to flag signs of fraud in two key areas: employees and procurement. This includes picking up signs of financial distress for employees, any potential conflicts of interest, sudden changes in asset ownership (including property and vehicles), and potential collusion and conflicts of interest between employees and suppliers.

This offers immediate benefits to organisations, said Wardell, including the ability to reduce their losses through fraud and corruption; reduce the cost of managing and investigating fraud; prevent reputational risk by reducing fraudulent activity in the business; and continuously monitor and identify hotspots in the organisation.

“By using big data analytics, companies can pick up unusual activities and behavioural patterns, and locate suspicious transactions, that help them focus anti-fraud and anti-corruption activity and mitigate the risks early,” said Wardell.

For more information on our Lifestyle Assessment solution, click here