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Treasury Management

How the digitisation of treasury can prevent fraud

April 17, 2024

Nowadays, digitalisation has become a fundamental aspect for all companies, regardless of their size, as it allows them to optimise their processes, improve efficiency and reduce costs. And one of the areas that has benefited most and best from this new digital paradigm is undoubtedly treasury.

But what many people may not know is that digitalisation is also an ally in detecting and preventing fraud, especially at the financial level. And this, in a society where cyber-attacks are increasingly frequent, is a necessity for any company, rather than an added value.

That is why, below, we will explain how the digitisation of treasury can be a good ally to prevent fraud and how to develop it in your day-to-day work.

What is the digitisation of treasury?

The digitisation of treasury is a process aimed at automating and simplifying a company's financial processes, especially in all aspects of cash management. This transformation makes it possible to efficiently manage everything to do with liquidity management and payments, eliminating manual processes that could previously be prone to errors and, of course, reducing fraud.

But this transformation could not be complete without giving importance to cybersecurity and fraud prevention. Fortunately, company leaders are increasingly aware of this need. According to PwC's Digital Trust Survey 2022, over the past year, 70% of companies have increased their investments in cybersecurity, compared to 55% in 2021, mainly due to the fear of a cyber attack.

Advantages of digitisation when it comes to avoiding fraud

One of the main advantages of digitisation is that it helps to reduce and prevent fraud in the management of this important area, for the following reasons:

  • Prevention of financial fraud: digitisation of treasury helps prevent financial fraud through the combined handling of big data and the use of AI. AI can process large amounts of financial information and detect suspicious patterns of behaviour. In addition, real-time analysis of financial data allows treasury teams to detect any irregularities early, giving them time to act before further losses occur.
  • Identifying anomalies in a company's financial behaviour and detecting suspicious transactions, especially with regard to its payments: big data management allows companies to process large amounts of financial information in real time. This makes it possible to identify anomalies in a company's financial behaviour, as well as to detect suspicious transactions.
  • Early detection of any financial irregularities: digitisation of treasury enables companies to detect financial irregularities early. This can help reduce the risk of significant financial losses and prevent financial fraud.
  • Monitoring financial transactions and detecting any unusual activity: AI solutions can be used to monitor financial transactions and detect any unusual activity. This can help companies identify fraudulent activities at an early stage.
  • Provides preventive measures to avoid the occurrence of financial fraud: AI solutions can provide preventive measures to avoid the occurrence of financial fraud. For example, AI solutions can provide real-time risk analysis to identify financial risks before they occur.

How digital treasury prevents fraud

The digitisation of treasury has become a very useful tool for preventing financial fraud. To do so, it uses a series of techniques and procedures that are highly topical and that undoubtedly have very interesting applications in the field of fraud prevention.

Big data management

Big data is a term that refers to the management and handling of large and complex volumes of data that are generated through different sources, such as social media activity, e-commerce, geolocation or the Internet of Things (IoT), among others. This data is characterised by its sheer volume, velocity and variety, making it difficult to manage and analyse using traditional data management tools.

Tools that make use of big data provide and analyse large amounts of valuable information that can be used to improve business decision making, especially in terms of fraud detection.

Thanks to the ability to analyse large volumes of information in real time, suspicious patterns and behaviours can be detected to anticipate potential fraud. In addition, if fraud has already taken place, big data also allows the source of the problem to be identified quickly so that appropriate decisions can be made.

The use of AI

Artificial intelligence has become one of the great technological revolutions of the 21st century. Tools such as ChatGPT or MidJourney have made work easier for many people than we had ever imagined and, at the same time, have almost replaced or complemented some professions.

AI can help identify unusual patterns of behaviour and take preventive measures before financial fraud occurs.  It does this by using machine learning algorithms that learn from patterns in historical data in order to predict future behaviour and detect potential fraud.

For example, AI can analyse a company's spending patterns and quickly compare them with industry data to detect any unusual transactions or out-of-the-ordinary spending. It can also continuously monitor financial transactions and alert treasury teams when unusual activity is detected.

In addition, AI can use real-time risk analytics to identify financial risks before major losses occur, providing preventative measures to avoid the occurrence of financial fraud.

Blockchain

The blockchain is a technology that enables the secure and transparent recording and verification of financial transactions. Each transaction is validated and recorded in a decentralised network of computers, and the information is stored immutably, meaning that once a transaction has been recorded, it cannot be changed or manipulated.

Its most popular use is undoubtedly Bitcoin, but its applications go far beyond this, in areas ranging from healthcare and education to, of course, the financial and treasury sector.

But the blockchain is also a very useful and interesting tool for preventing fraud in cash management. For example, companies can use the blockchain to track and verify the history of financial transactions and ensure that information is kept secure and tamper-free.

In addition, the blockchain can also provide greater transparency in financial transactions, which can help prevent fraud and treasury errors. The technology can also provide a higher level of security by protecting financial transactions with encryption and authentication algorithms, which can make it more difficult to manipulate financial data.

Cybersecurity tools

Nowadays, the digitalisation of a company cannot be understood without a more or less significant investment in cybersecurity. In fact, many of the most common cyber-attacks could have been prevented with a more decisive investment in this important IT area.

Cybersecurity tools are essential to prevent fraud in treasury management, as they protect companies' IT systems and financial data from cyber-attacks.

There are a number of cybersecurity tools that can help prevent cash management fraud. Some of the most important are:

   I. Anti-virus and anti-malware software: these tools detect and remove malicious software that can compromise the security of computer systems and financial data.

   II. Firewalls: Firewalls are security systems that block unauthorised access to computer systems and financial data, preventing potential cyber-attacks.

   III. Intrusion detection systems, which detect possible attempts of unauthorised access to IT systems and financial data, and take preventive measures to avoid fraud.

   IV. Two-factor authentication, which is a security measure that requires the user to provide two      different forms of identification (such as a password and a code sent by text message) to access IT systems and financial data.

   V. Constant monitoring: Constant monitoring of IT systems and financial data is essential to detect     potential threats early and take preventive measures.

Conclusions

Digitising treasury prevents financial fraud by using advanced technology, such as big data and AI. By automating processes and improving efficiency in financial management, companies can reduce the risk of human error and detect financial fraud early. Digitising treasury is a cost-effective investment that can save time and resources, as well as improve the efficiency of companies' financial management.

Tomas
Gil
CTO @ Embat
Tomás, with a background in telecommunications engineering, began his career in bank connectivity when he took on the role of CTO at Fintonic Latam, before joining Embat.

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