Corporate banking fraud is on the rise. In fact, in 2018, 70 % of French companies reported a fraudulent or attempted fraudulent act. Behind this increase in corporate fraud is an increase in the sophistication and resourcefulness of those committing the fraud. As current security technology has failed to keep up with this evolution, more money is being stolen. One possible solution is My SiS-id, a platform aimed at preventing corporate payments fraud by pooling bank identities and cost control. Using a unique combination of a supplier’s IBAN and company identification number, the My SiS-id solution creates a constantly updated repository of bank contact details. This repository is then secured via blockchain technology. “My SiS-id is a highly secure, global platform that ensures all payments are made to the right recipient, while simultaneously keeping the issuer’s banking identity safe online,” explains Rémi Demont, SiS-ID co-founder and CEO and coordinator of the EU-funded COBAFRA (Combatting Banking Fraud with SiS-id: A unique solution for preventing corporate payments fraud using AI and blockchain) project. “During the COBAFRA project, we conducted a feasibility study, the results of which allowed us to fine-tune the platform and define our market expectations.”
Evaluating market potential
Working in close collaboration with contacts within their own network (i.e. French banking clients, treasury networks, etc.), researchers first identified eight countries exhibiting the most urgent need for fraud prevention solutions. These were Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Next, researchers evaluated the My SiS-id’s market potential for each country using such criteria as: context of fraud, role and responsibilities of market stakeholders, and need for a simpler, cost-effective solution. To assess the costs related to deploying the solution in a particular country, researchers looked at available funding, technology and talent. According to Demont, the feasibility study, which was carried out over a period of 6 months, showed that corporate banking fraud has become increasingly common not only within countries, but also between countries and even across continents. Specifically, researchers found that crime networks are using this attack strategy because of its attractive cost-benefit ratio and because it is subject to relatively weak regulatory and legal constraints. “Despite the urgency of the threat, the market remains alarmingly unaware of the scope of corporate banking fraud – which strengthens our conviction that there is a viable market for our collaborative platform,” explains Demont.
A clear vision for deployment
Backed by the results of the feasibility study, the SiS-ID business development team has successfully secured 10 new clients – including 7 of the project’s 13 partners. The feasibility study allowed SiS-ID to quantify the scalability of the model and identify the countries with the greatest market need. According to Demont, the company now has a clear vision for deploying the platform: “Our objective was to create a solution that provides European companies with first-step assurance that their electronic payments are being sent to the right recipient. Based on the COBAFRA project, we are confident that My SiS-id is that solution.” SiS-ID is currently deploying the platform in countries using the IBAN standard and expects to be live in 70 countries by the beginning of 2020.
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