South Africa’s Nedbank Uses FICO Technology to Stop Financial Crime

Enterprise-wide Risk Intelligence Centre analyses data from across multiple systems to prevent fraud, money laundering and other financial crime; Nedbank wins a FICO Decisions Award for applying AI, Machine Learning and Optimization to financial crime risk management.



  • Nedbank uses FICO technology to build a Risk Intelligence Centre to enable an integrated financial crime risk management framework

  • The Risk Intelligence Centre identified a crime syndicate during the testing phase while initial production data was still being loaded

  • Nedbank has won a 2024 FICO Decisions Award for AI, Machine Learning & Optimization

Global analytics software leader FICO today announced that Nedbank, one of South Africa’s largest banks, created an integrated financial crime risk management framework that uses FICO technology as part of the strategy to stop fraud, money laundering and other financial crime. Nedbank partnered with FICO to create the Risk Intelligence Centre (RIC), which consolidates relationships between entities and various financial crime risk factors into one comprehensive view. Nedbank has won a 2024 FICO® Decisions Award for applying AI, Machine Learning and optimization to financial crime risk management.

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“Nedbank’s strategic collaboration with FICO reflects a dedication to staying ahead of financial crime threats, ensuring the safety of customer assets and maintaining the highest standards of integrity,” said Riana Horn, Risk Intelligence Centre, Nedbank.

Nedbank created an integrated financial crime risk management framework that not only enhances the prevention of financial crimes but also addresses related reputational and credit risks more holistically. Nedbank partnered with FICO to create the RIC, which consolidates data from multiple systems and decisions from different committees, streamlining processes such as offboarding relationships or closing accounts due to financial crime, and making this critical information available across the entire bank.

Partnering with FICO for Enterprise Financial Crime Risk Management

“We needed the right technology that could consolidate all relationships with an entity and integrate known financial crime risk factors into a unified view,” Horn said. “Our collaboration with FICO is reshaping the landscape of our financial crime risk management, providing a comprehensive and interconnected approach to safeguard against multifaceted threats.”

FICO technology powers the RIC’s consolidated repository through decision services, an application studio, and the FICO® Identity Resolution Engine. The decision service harmonizes all known risk information to make informed decisions. The RIC was designed to enhance existing decision engines and detection systems, spanning client compliance, credit affordability, suspicious transaction monitoring, transactional fraud detection, employment and supplier vetting, among others.

“A critical requirement was the establishment of robust identity resolution capabilities that can ingest data from internal and external sources,” Horn added. “That is the pivotal role played by the FICO Identity Resolution Engine. It enables the creation of a singular entity view, the clustering of links between individuals and organizations, and the identification of relationships with Nedbank. It will empower us to explore further degrees of separation between potential criminal groups and other accounts, staff, suppliers, etc. — these data separations allow financial crime to thrive. The sophisticated capabilities of FICO technology position us to proactively address and mitigate these risks.

“The RIC’s key advantage lies in its flexible design capability, allowing us to incorporate new data without necessitating a redesign of our core system architecture. This allows us to ingest data dispersed across legacy and target architecture without any major changes being needed,” said Horn. “The collaborative synergy between FICO Platform and our evolving cloud architecture will enable a seamless migration of the decision service to FICO Platform in the next phase, preserving data integrity and reinforcing our commitment to proactive financial crime prevention.”

“Through the Risk Intelligence Centre, Nedbank positions itself at the forefront of innovation in financial crime risk management, reinforcing its commitment to safeguarding its clients’ interests in an ever-evolving financial landscape,” said Nikhil Behl, chief marketing officer at FICO. “We are proud to be part of Nedbank’s innovation in tackling financial crime and protecting its customers and its reputation.”

“Nedbank’s approach to financial crime risk management truly stands out, showcasing a deep understanding of the interconnected nature of risks across diverse relationships,” said Andrew Birmingham, editor, Mi3 and one of the FICO Decisions Awards judges. “The establishment of robust identity resolution capabilities enabled a view of the clustering of links between individuals and organizations critical to finding nefarious activity. We were also particularly impressed by the innovative thinking that went into breaking down the siloed structures typical of banking operations.”

About the FICO Decisions Awards

The FICO Decisions Awards recognize organizations that are achieving remarkable success using FICO solutions. A panel of independent judges with deep industry expertise evaluates nominations based on measurable improvement in key metrics; demonstrated use of best practices; project scale, depth and breadth; and innovative uses of technology. The 2024 judges are:

  • Andrew Birmingham, editor, Mi3

  • Eric Kavanagh, CEO Bloor Group and host, InsideAnalysis

  • Elizabeth Lumley, deputy editor, The Banker

  • Paul Mah, senior editor, CDO Trends

  • Laura Martins, editor, IT Forum

  • Paul Robinson, VP credit management at Canadian Tire Bank (Previous Winner)

  • Shiv Sehgal, EVP audience analytics at RSG Media (Previous Winner)

  • Nick Vitchev, director at Chartis

The winners of the FICO Decisions Awards will be spotlighted at FICO® World 2024, April 15 – April 18, 2024 in San Diego, California.

About Nedbank Group

Nedbank Group is a bank holding company listed on the JSE, with a market capitalisation of R109 billion at 31 December 2022. Nedbank is one of Africa’s largest banking groups, with operations in South Africa, Namibia, Eswatini, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe, and offshore in the Isle of Man and Jersey. It also has representative offices in other Africa countries, including Kenya, and has key global financial centres to provide international banking services for SA-based multinational and high-net-worth clients in London, Toronto, and Dubai. The group is a diversified financial services provider, offering a wide range of wholesale and retail banking services, as well as insurance, asset management and wealth management solutions.

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About FICO

FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 200 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, health care, retail and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 100 countries do everything from protecting 2.6 billion payment cards from fraud, to improving financial inclusion, to increasing supply chain resiliency. The FICO® Score, used by 90% of top US lenders, is the standard measure of consumer credit risk in the US and has been made available in over 40 other countries, improving risk management, credit access and transparency.

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FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

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Wendy Harrison/Parm Heer/Matthew Enderby
0208 977 9132

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