ACFCS Featured Member: For Bottomline’s Dalit Amitai, Fighting Fraud and Bolstering Compliance Defenses Is a Comprehensive Effort to Better Leverage Technology, Empower Teams and Thwart Creative Criminals – CFCS

by Brian Monroe
[email protected]
September 9, 2022

Dalit Amitai knows that criminals, whether they are hackers, scammers or money launderers, are endlessly creative. – always looking for a way to breach systems, steal from clients, or clean tainted funds through an institution.

The reason she’s so well versed in their schemes and scams: She’s dedicated nearly 30 years of her career to stopping them.

Amitai has deep experience in banking, technology and systems engineering, development and implementation.

While he first started his career in IT defending against massive digital attacks and hacker incursions, he has expanded into the areas of fraud and financial crime risk management more broadly. an in-demand undercurrent as more scams have become cyber-enabled and paid for in cryptocurrencies.

That experience propelled Amitai to her current role as vice president of global operations and services, fraud and financial crimes at Bottomline Technologies.

Headquartered in Portsmouth, NH, the company offers advanced fraud detection, behavioral analytics, and regulatory compliance solutions.

The company, with offices in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific, also provides corporations and banks with a variety of systems and technology for domestic and international payments, efficient cash management, automated workflows for processing payment and review of invoices.

In recent years, fraud, the spiritual sister of the anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program, has increased for a number of reasons.

With identity theft rampant and fraudsters adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, it has become even more critical for financial institutions to better detect and stop fraud, to better protect themselves and their customers.

Such a ploy is also and will be more in line with the US Treasury’s recently released national financial crime enforcement priorities.

Priorities released last year by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) include many of the top tactics by which organized criminal groups, fraud syndicates and cyber fraudsters generated illicit funding.

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The widely watched and highly anticipated AML priorities are the first concrete update to implement the US Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), the most significant update to the country’s financial crimes framework since the USA Patriot Act. of 2001.

FinCEN’s stated AML priorities are:

  • corruption;
  • cybercrime, including relevant cybersecurity and virtual currency considerations;
  • financing of national and international terrorism;
  • fraud;
  • activity of transnational criminal organizations;
  • activity of drug trafficking organizations;
  • human trafficking and human smuggling; Y
  • proliferation financing

In addition to fraud being a top priority for the US government, the schemes have skyrocketed for many reasons, fueled in part by fear, loneliness, and anxiety living through two years of a global pandemic.

Criminals of that era have become more adept at using love as a weapon in romance scams.

They have played on financial desperation, or greed and avarice, in the human heart with foreign lottery schemes.

Massive hacks against businesses and governments around the world have made it easier than ever for criminals to unearth this mound of digital identities and create clones they control.

Banks have also had to reorganize and retrain their AML and fraud teams to better understand and more quickly realize the interconnection between certain fraudulent activities and, subsequently, money laundering.

For example, in too many romance, lottery or other related scams, once a person’s bank account is emptied, the scammers then further victimize the person by turning them into a money mule.

That’s one of the important lessons Amitai has learned and it’s a secret to his success: Even in the biggest software project, it’s not just about technology, it’s about people.

In every project, there are stakeholders, at the bank, who face pressure from bank inspectors to be more effective and results-oriented, and there are also real people, bank customers, who could fall victim to fraudsters.

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“Accept that there is a life to the project and that customer engagements are a journey,” he said. “Always be a good listener and be respectful to everyone you work with. Be humble in every situation.”

No one knows everything and everyone can change and grow, at any stage of their career.

That philosophy is what fueled Amitai’s desire to jump into the fraud space.

It’s an area where she feels she can be “fully in” and make the most of a diverse set of skills, guiding the institution’s technology upgrades from start to finish, from idea to implementation, from testing to fine-tuning. and, finally, the launch: better detection and prevention of fraudsters. of hurting a bank or its customers.

The need for banks to upgrade their AML and anti-fraud systems to more advanced technologies, including things like artificial intelligence, automation, and machine learning, has coincided with a stronger focus on data analytics and even moving data to cloud storage.

This means that, perhaps more than ever before, the software and systems used by banks have evolved from a one-off exercise to software as a service, meaning these technology companies are more partners than just vendors.

“The transition to the cloud has seen the industry move from selling software as a vendor to providing software as a service, including code progression, model validation, security, and audit certifications,” Amitai said.

Even though he has built a reputation for attention to detail on complex system implementations, Amitai can also step back and see the big picture, fueling his feedback loop of purpose and passion.

– “It’s gratifying to know that we can help protect our clients from bad actors: ‘We stop the bad guys,’” he said. –

Amitai was kind enough to share some of his knowledge and skills in our latest ACFCS Featured Member:

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