IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Visa's AI technology thwarts $714m fraud in Australia
Tue, 13th Feb 2024

The global digital payments giant, Visa, has announced that its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based fraud solution has successfully prevented fraud totalling $714m in Australia within just a year. This significant protection of local businesses is more than double the amount of fraud Visa blocked the previous year, highlighting the crucial part played by Visa's AI-fuelled security provisions as wrongful activities progressively intensify.

Visa's ground-breaking AI-based initiative, known as Visa Advanced Authorisation (VAA), has proven instrumental in thwarting considerable fraudulent activity. It has been essential in fortifying Australia's financial institutions against fraud attempts that could have caused serious disruption to businesses in the region over the previous 12 months.

In the modern environment where advanced technologies like Generative AI are becoming common, there has been a marked surge in phishing schemes across the globe. Additionally, increased instances of enumeration and ransomware attacks have been observed. The rising consumer demand for instantaneous payments has spurred an environment where criminals eagerly target account-based real-time fraud and sophisticated social engineering scams.

Visa's exceptional tech solutions for risk and fraud management derive from their innovative use of neural network-based models, inspired by the human brain. These AI models are utilised across over 100 products and services, including VAA. They can examine more than 500 risk attributes in roughly a millisecond, delivering a real-time risk score for all transactions processed on VisaNet.

Joe Cunningham, the Head of Risk for Visa Asia Pacific, emphasised on the import of innovation keeping up with security. He said, "Preventing more than $700 million in fraud is an incredible testament to Visa's AI-powered security capabilities, yet is also a sobering reminder that security has to keep pace with innovation. As new ways to buy, sell and move money become popular with consumers and businesses, they become equally popular with fraudsters seeking to exploit any vulnerabilities in the system."

Cunningham also articulated the challenge in maintaining a balance between the expediency of near-instant payment and the necessity for security, particularly due to the rising popularity of real-time payments both within Australia and the wider Asia Pacific region. He further noted, "We're finding that a little friction in the system to help assess risk can be a good thing."

This year, Visa aims to introduce its real-time payment fraud prevention service in Australia. This will enable financial institutions to scrutinise transactions in real time and provide swift risk assessments. Visa's real-time payment fraud prevention provides an analysis feed for multi-financial institution risk that is specifically tailored for instantaneous payments. It adopt deep learning artificial intelligence models that are continuously improved to help financial institutions identify potential scam behaviours in real time, which when used in conjunction with APIs can provide real-time transaction scores that can be integrated with existing risk and fraud management tools and processes.