People and technology working together on fraud’s frontlines

Employee intuition, process oversight and innovation are critical people skills

Historically, automating tasks involved removing the people from processes. Today, digital transformation considers the human factor to be essential to systems design. Nowhere is this more vital than in fighting fraud. Key to success requires understanding the relationship between people and technology and developing systems and processes to enable people to supervise automated tasks.

When automation alienates 

While automation can streamline and simplify, it also often changes the tasks at hand. What was routine for employees can become unfamiliar or even more complex. For example, file encryption can add new steps. Shifting from in-person to online meetings introduces new processes. Technology typically changes how people fit into their environment, and this can be disruptive. 

Trust but verify

When it comes to fraud detection, every second counts. Technology is a key tool in fast detection. However, sometimes we blindly trust technology. If something doesn’t look right, we may overly rely on what machines tell us is happening while ignoring our common sense.  

It’s important to trust but verify your technology. Human intuition is a key skill in early fraud detection and in critical thinking that can help to prevent fraud.  

When introducing automation to fight fraud, the human element becomes more, not less important. People must remain a critical part of digital transformation. Even companies that invest in artificial intelligence should not lose sight of the value of human intelligence.

Add sensemaking to your fraud detection arsenal

Intuitive skills can help us to understand connections between information, circumstances, and our actions so that we can recognize situations, detect problems, and understand how to adapt and respond. This cognitive process is known as sensemaking. 

If you are increasing your reliance on automation to detect fraud, human sensemaking becomes an important counterbalance. If you can’t afford to invest in technology, and your people remain your only front-line fraud defense, sensemaking is a particularly valuable skill. 

Train employee intuition

Making sense takes common sense. However, intuition can be an especially powerful resource when trained. How do you train your people in sensemaking?

  • Allow employees to trust but verify technology as part of their daily routine. Develop procedures and protocols that support this approach, and train people to follow them.
  • Put checks and balances in place, such as reviewing key reports regularly.
  • Build controls into your technology.  For example, include a human override or kill switch that pauses an automated process from advancing without approval.
  • Cultivate employees not only as sensers but as innovators. It’s important to rely on employees not only to sense when something is wrong but to suggest better procedures. Establish a culture where employees feel comfortable to speak up when they find a better way of doing things, not only for detecting fraud but for preventing it. Training and educational opportunities support this kind of environment.

People are a key factor in fraud detection. Digital transformation aimed at fighting fraud should be designed with human oversight in mind. As part of this, it’s important to cultivate the ability for employees to sense when something is not right and to act accordingly.