With the onset of Covid-19, businesses and individuals have needed to navigate unprecedented difficulties and change. The resulting disruption is being taken advantage of by would-be fraudsters, who are using the pandemic to perpetrate fraud and scams.
Technology and data have key roles to play in improving the detection of fraudulent activity, such as through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect suspicious payments behaviour.
To help accelerate the innovation needed to counter Covid-related fraud, and in line with OpenCorporates’ public benefit mission to drive global corporate transparency through the availability and use of open company data, we are proud to have been collaborating with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial regulatory body, as part of a virtual DataSprint event.
The DataSprint event was hosted following the recent announcement of a digital sandbox pilot, which aims to provide enhanced support to firms tackling challenges caused by the pandemic.
The digital sandbox, which is a strategic partnership between the FCA and the City of London Corporation, aims to develop and launch a digital testing environment – to provide innovative firms with access to high-quality datasets that enable them to test and validate technology solutions.
In this early pilot stage, the digital sandbox will support large financial institutions and start-ups looking to play a key role in the economic recovery from coronavirus through supplying relevant datasets and expertise in the areas of:
- Detecting and preventing fraud and scams
- Supporting the financial resilience of vulnerable consumers
- Improving access to finance for SMEs financially affected by the pandemic
The DataSprint part of this was hosted by the FCA between 20 July and 10 August. It brought together data scientists and subject matter experts to collaborate on developing privacy-compliant, high-quality financial datasets related to the above use cases.
As part of this, OpenCorporates provided access to its data on UK companies, including more than 12 million companies and 42 million company officers in the UK. The data was provided as bulk data and via our API – on a public benefit basis.
Access to this fundamental dataset enabled the FCA, and a range of other firms participating in the DataSprint event, to explore anti-fraud use cases including:
- How can financial services firms more efficiently and effectively use advanced analytics to analyse and detect payments or transactions which are fraudulent, or between mules?
- How can technology be better deployed to detect patterns or other indicators of consumer behaviour which may indicate a fraud or scam is taking place?
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