There is a technological arms race going on in the anti-fraud space. Would-be fraudsters are constantly deploying new tools and devising new schemes to part people from their money. Anti-fraud professionals fight back with new technologies and new strategies to foil the opposition.

For nonprofits, the key question is defining their strategy for defeating fraud and other threats to their organization. What anti-fraud tools provide benefits that outweigh the costs? A recent survey by ACFE titled Anti-Fraud Technology Benchmarking Report provides some answers.

Here is an excerpt from a report published in ACFE Insights:

According to the report, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning as part of organizations’ anti-fraud programs is expected to almost triple over the next two years. Of the organizations surveyed, 26% currently use biometrics as part of their anti- fraud programs, with another 16% expected to deploy biometrics as part of their programs by 2021. But, what other emerging technologies can we expect to see implemented in the future?

While data analytics remains a popular tactic for preventing and detecting fraud and is thoroughly discussed in the report, there are numerous other types of cutting-edge technologies that can be used to improve an organization’s ability to effectively and efficiently combat fraud. This includes technology like case management, digital forensics, robotics, blockchain and online-evidence capturing.

We asked survey respondents about their organizations’ current and expected use of several emerging technologies as part of their anti-fraud initiatives. The most common of these technologies currently being used to fight fraud is biometrics (e.g., fingerprint, facial or keystroke recognition). Both blockchain/distributed ledger technology and robotics, including robotic process automation, are currently used less frequently than biometrics (9% of organizations for both categories), but a similar proportion of organizations expect to implement these technologies in the next two years. The technology least likely to be adopted as part of anti-fraud programs is virtual or augmented reality; only 6% of organizations currently use this technology, and nearly two-thirds of the organizations in our study do not expect to employ virtual or augmented reality as part of their anti-fraud initiatives.

While technological advancements can bring many benefits, adopting new technology often comes with challenges and potential barriers to success; anti-fraud technology is no different. We asked survey respondents how significant several common issues are when attempting to adopt new anti-fraud technology at their organizations. The survey showed that budget and financial concerns are the biggest obstacle for many organizations, with 80% noting this factor to be a major or moderate challenge. Other common challenges include limitations in staffing and in-house skill sets (73%), concerns about poor data quality or integration issues (70%) and a lack of perceived return on investment (69%).