Skip to content

Digital solutions to fight financial crime

James Mirfin
James Mirfin
Global Head of Digital Identity and Financial Crime Propositions

The digital revolution has enhanced many aspects of our lives, and yet this technology also enables financial criminals to defraud individuals, countries and societies. A Refinitiv expert talk analyzed different aspects of the revolution, and explains how digital onboarding and digital identity solutions offer banks and financial institutions a chance to fight back against criminals.


  1. A Refinitiv expert talk looked at how financial criminals are exploiting the capabilities of emerging technology to further their illegal activities.
  2. During the COVID-19 crisis the situation has been exacerbated. Financial criminals have been able to exploit increased opportunities caused by the fear, uncertainty and desperation in society during the pandemic.
  3. Qual-ID offers a unique combination of elements to deliver a holistic digital identity and screening solution that boosts compliance team efficiency, controls costs, and promotes a positive client experience.

For more data-driven insights in your Inbox, subscribe to the Refinitiv Perspectives weekly newsletter.

As digital evolution continues to grow in a number of industries, tech-savvy consumers increasingly expect the same 24/7/365 digital experience they receive in digital retail to be present in other areas of their lives, such as retail banking and wealth management.

Connectivity, convenience and increased consumer engagement rank among the most appealing benefits of digitization. However, there is a pressing need for banks and financial institutions (FIs) to protect their customers from highly sophisticated financial criminals who can harness digital capabilities to defraud both companies and individuals.

Read the expert talk: Digital solutions to fight against financial crime

1% of criminal proceeds generated in the EU are confiscated bv aurhorities

COVID-19 and financial crime

The FBI provides various examples relating to how criminals are using COVID-19 to defraud individuals, including posing as government employees in order to extract personal information for illegal purposes.

And work-from-home fraud, in which victims are asked to send or move money, effectively becoming money mules and enabling criminals.

Refinitiv’s own research confirms that financial crime remains pervasive. Our 2019 report, ‘Innovation and the fight against financial crime’, found that over two-thirds (72 percent) of respondents were aware of financial crime taking place in their global operations during the 12 months preceding the survey.

Refinitiv white paper statistic. Digital solutions to fight against financial crime

Digital evolution will continue to gather momentum. In fact, digital commerce is expected to grow globally at more than a 20 percent CAGR by 2022, reaching nearly US$5.8 trillion in value.

Alongside this growth, sophisticated criminals will continue to exploit emerging technology to further their illicit activity.

It is therefore imperative that banks and FIs harness the power of the best available technology and solutions to prevent financial crime and protect their customers.

Digital identity solutions offer an immediate opportunity for success in this critical area.

James Mirfin quote. Digital solutions to fight against financial crime

The growth of digital solutions

Many banks and FIs are juggling fierce competition, tightening margins, and the over-arching need to ensure a positive client experience, while also mitigating security threats such as large scale data breaches, phishing and social engineering attacks. All of which have made it easier for fraudsters to assume the identities of legitimate account owners via account takeover fraud.

The COVID-19 crisis has only compounded this scenario, serving to increase opportunities for financial criminals to exploit raised levels of fear, uncertainty and desperation.

Forward-thinking banks and FIs are therefore accelerating their digital transformation programs to mitigate the higher levels of risk anticipated during and after the pandemic.

Access our On-Demand webinar: Future State of Digital Banking: Implications for Financial Crime Threat Post COVID-19

In particular, we expect a significant uptick in the use of digital onboarding and digital identity solutions, which deliver diverse benefits including: Faster turnaround times; improved accuracy; better security; enhanced operational efficiency; cost savings; and a more favorable customer experience.

Watch: Refinitiv Qual-ID is a unique digital identity solution

A holistic digital identity and screening solution

Refinitiv’s digital identification and verification solution, Qual-ID has been built specifically to address many of the challenges faced by FIs.

Qual-ID offers a unique combination of elements to deliver a holistic digital identity and screening solution that boosts compliance team efficiency, controls costs, and promotes a positive client experience.

The solution leverages our market-leading World-Check Risk Intelligence Database of accurate and reliable information from reputable sources, including watch lists, government records, and media searches.

World-Check Risk Intelligence. Digital solutions to fight against financial crime

The incorporation of World-Check capabilities into Qual-ID means that customers can verify identity against trusted sources, proof legal documents, and screen for regulatory and financial risk — all in one transaction, via one API.

As digital evolution continues along its exponential path, banks and FIs have a real and tangible opportunity to embrace digital transformation, and to harness the power of the latest tools and solutions to optimize their efforts in the ongoing fight against financial crime.

Read the expert talk: Digital solutions to fight against financial crime