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Featurespace Founder Talks The Future of Financial Crime & Deep Learning

by Maija Ehlinger

We’ve seen the entrepreneurial spirit take off across the Southeast as founders have created new technologies in the wake of the pandemic.

But that spirit has also sparked more online crime, said Featurespace’s Dave Excell.  “We’ve seen criminals being entrepreneurial in terms of using COVID to perpetrate scams and identify vulnerable populations where they can continue to commit their fraud,” Excel told Hypepotamus. 

Excell started Featurespace back in 2005 in the United Kingdom, and ultimately set up shop in Atlanta’s ‘Transaction Alley.’ 

His company works on enterprise financial crime solutions for banks, financial institutions, and payment processors. For the team, machine learning and deep learning are set to play an important part in the future of fighting financial crimes, which cost upwards of $42 billion in 2020 alone. 


Machine Learning in the evolving FinTech space  

Featurespace is applying machine learning to FinTech through the launch of its Automated Deep Behavioral Networks, in order to “identify activity frequently associated with fraud and financial crime,” said Excell. 

Excell said part of this is benchmarking against ‘good behavior’ to further understand when a transaction might be suspicious or worth investigating. Featurespace’s platform is designed to help contextualize and predict transaction behavior. 

Of course, spending behavior and activities have changed drastically over the course of the last year, meaning that financial crime solutions have had to find new ways to predict and model online payment options. “What we’ve been able to do with our technology is that we were automatically able to deal with [COVID changes]. So within a week of the national lockdown that we had here in the US, our model was back to performing at the same level of what they were pre COVID.” 

For Excell, COVID has reshaped how both individuals and businesses are thinking about financial crimes. “[Organizations] should be thinking about what are the tools and technologies that they put in place to be able to identify that behavior. And that’s where Featurespace really comes in…to identify those types of patterns and make sure that genuine customers aren’t inconvenienced, and were able to stop the criminal.”

Featurespace, Excell added, can help identify scams before any money leaves a consumer’s account.  For the card and payment industry, it can help improve risk score certainty and real-time understanding of payment types. 

Automated Deep Behavioral Networks will be available through Featurespace’s ARIC Risk Hub.

The Featurespace team is over 300 team members spread across the UK and the US.


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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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