Last month, ACH Alert attended the AFP 2019 Annual Conference in Boston, an event that always brings out the industry’s best and brightest in finance and treasury services to explore the emerging technologies, trends, solutions and products driving the profession.
This conference is the perfect opportunity to connect and collaborate with peers about the challenges facing today’s treasury professionals, especially since treasurers are likely to be held responsible in the occurrence of payments fraud. In fact, PWC reports that 55 percent of treasurers indicate they have an oversight role for payment fraud risk within their organization, among other responsibilities.
ACH Alert’s Teresa Coone, EVP Operations, and Caroline Capdeboscq, Business Development Specialist, were two team members manning the booth, ready to connect with attendees looking for answers to their treasury management woes. We checked in to learn about the top takeaways from AFP 2019.
What seemed to be a primary concern among attendees this year?
According to many of the attendees, the prevention of fraud continues to be one of their top priorities. Financial institutions are looking for ways to get ahead of fraudsters as they get more daring and creative in their attempts to steal information, including email compromise with wires, which was mentioned several times. Bearing this in mind, the capabilities of voice biometrics seemed to spark interest in those that are familiar with the dangers of, or even worse, have lost money due to instances of wire fraud.
What other issues were brought to your attention?
ACH monitoring of both incoming and outgoing transactions was a big topic as well. Many financial institutions have experienced fraud and are looking to close as many doors as possible. Those visiting our booth seemed intrigued by the possibility of implementing products that put much of the responsibility and liability into the hands of the customer or member.
Fraud prevention is obviously top of mind, so what questions did you repeatedly hear from attendees seeking guidance on this problem?
We had several questions about payee positive pay from attendees hoping to combat check fraud. Additionally, almost all the financial institutions that were interested in check positive pay wanted payee analysis. It appears that there was a lot of interest in these tools from attendees with a high volume of check positive pay clients that require sophisticated account reconciliation services.
Any other observations from those visiting the booth?
We spoke with several credit unions that are looking to add fraud prevention tools so they can provide necessary services to attract more corporate members. It’s clear that credit unions want to compete with the banks that have dominated the treasury management market up to this point, and protecting their members will require next-level fraud tools that enlist their help to derail suspicious activity.
Who did you see most at your booth?
This conference has both corporate and financial institution attendees. However, we spoke to a lot of corporate attendees who are concerned with fraud and were gathering information to take back to share with their financial institutions.
Were there any familiar faces to stop by the booth?
Yes! Although we connected with many potential clients seeking fraud prevention services, we also had the opportunity to speak with existing customers, customers in implementation, and even customers that are in the midst of the sales process. It provided a chance to get applicable feedback and hear firsthand just how much customers benefit from ACH Alert’s services.
It’s obvious that treasury and finance professionals are looking for solutions to strengthen existing security protocols. Many financial institutions are using products that are 30 or more years old and are finding it hard to attract, retain and train employees to use those systems. After spending just a few days at AFP, we can conclude that being able to offer a scalable and consistent user experience through a single point of access is extremely important to financial institutions – and these professionals are on the hunt for services to transform fraud prevention.
And that’s a wrap on AFP 2019! If you didn’t get a chance to stop by our booth, no worries – you can find everything you need to know about improving treasury management services to help your organization streamline processes in our recent whitepaper, "Transform Treasury Management with Actionable Fraud Prevention Solutions."