German-based software giant, SAP released a fraud analytics application to the African market at a financial services event in Johannesburg this week.
According to SAP, the big data revolution is forcing organisations to improve their governance, risk and compliance (GRC) efforts, with speedy detection of potential fraud essential. The company believes the tool – SAP Fraud Management Analytic Application – is well positioned to address increasing fraud-related business challenges in Africa, a region that struggles with a negative image in terms of fraud and corruption.
“A lot of the developments that are part of this offering were the ideas of our partners. We are constantly looking at our customers’ needs and reviewing our offerings accordingly,” said Chris Johnston, director of SAP’s GRC Centre of Excellence in EMEA.
“This application utilises SAP’s high-speed HANA software, which allows us to analyse large amounts of information in near real time and provide this information to decision-makers as quickly as possible,” he noted, adding that predictive analytics is an essential part of this offering.
For Merlin Knott, director of business analytics at SAP Africa, the value of this real-time analysis can be seen in an example from an African insurance company. In the past, said Knott, the company would take as much as six months to investigate possible fraud cases, which drastically reduced the company’s chances of recovering that money.“This application allows users to run various scenarios in real time. And the system will run sophisticated analysis on priority data, which cuts down the time taken to detect fraud to just two weeks,” noted Knott. “From a customer’s perspective, being able to manage possible fraud cases in real time offers incredible value.”
Johnston pointed out that organisations are able to create their own detailed, granular rules depending on their unique requirements. These will determine how the fraud is detected, he said. “The idea that users can tweak the rules allows each organisation to develop their own fraud detection strategy. We can just push a button and the data based on the changed or recalibrated rules will be available,” Johnston said, pointing out that this flexibility helps organisations better guard themselves against fraud risks.
The speed of this offering is especially valuable in an African context, said Knott. “A lot of the work we are doing in Africa is with very small, innovative companies and customers who need to be very quick because they can’t afford to invest the time and money without seeing productivity returns,” he added.
“Smarter companies are more nimble, which is essential in the battle against fraud.”
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