Business ecommerce firm Tradeshift has linked up with fraud protection specialist SiS-ID to integrate a blockchain-based app on its platform to reduce payments fraud.
The My SiS-ID app authenticates and secures banking payment details by gathering account information from suppliers and storing it on a private, incorruptible Hyperledger-based blockchain to create a shared ledger of verified bank data. My SiS-ID uses technologies such as artificial intelligence to cross-check every transaction against this shared ledger, providing the user – in this case Tradeshift’s customers – with a real-time risk score they can use to determine whether or not to proceed with a payment.
SiS-ID, a French-based technology firm, began building its system on the IBM Cloud in 2016. It provides an API that can be integrated into existing accounting and payment systems, allowing payments to be automatically verified. The system runs an 18-stage checking process before providing the risk score and sends alerts if unusual behavior is detected.
By automating the verification process on transactions for Tradeshift customers, it is hoped that the tool will reduce the amount of time, by up to 80%, finance decision-makers spend ensuring the right recipient is receiving payments and that the identity of a supplier has not been duplicated. Users of the app are protected by insurance which covers them if any transaction processed via the platform is revealed to be fraudulent afterward.
“There are plenty of ways you can alter payments information, you have seen the example of fraud by presidents across the world. Fraud can be committed internally or by the supplier itself. By integrating SiS-ID, it will enable us to flag up potential fraud activity much quicker,” Bruno Laborie, senior director at Tradeshift, tells GTR.
Laurent Sarrat, co-founder and managing director of SiS-ID, explains: “Fake provider fraud is difficult to guard against, because there are so many ways to do it. A fraudster might simply phone or email the victim, pretend to represent the supplier, and claim that their bank account details need to be updated. Or when invoices are being scanned into the system, they could paste their bank account number onto the invoice. Or they could even hack into the company’s ERP system and change the details there.”
SiS-ID estimates close to 50% of corporate fraud attempts involve tricking companies into diverting payments into a different bank account, instead of paying their suppliers. Third-party risk is moving higher up on corporates’ agendas, as suppliers are not being vetted correctly, opening up the risk of both external and internal fraud (failing to properly vet suppliers on purpose).
Laborie says the key to this new partnership is combatting corporate fraud, and by partnering with SiS-ID, Tradeshift’s customers will be able to get real-time notifications of unusual payments activity.
This development follows Tradeshift linking up with Qedit, a privacy-enhancing technology solutions provider last month, to develop zero knowledge proofs (ZKPs) for trade finance transactions. A relatively new concept, ZKP technology uses cryptographic methods that enable a person or company to prove an aspect of a transaction on blockchain, without revealing any specific information about the transaction. For example, if a financier needs to know that a certain number of units has been shipped, ZKPs can verify this without revealing the exact number of units.
Tradeshift has been testing blockchain technology with a number of partnerships, including carrying out a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain with fintech company Monerium, using Monerium’s e-money for settlement., and a potential team up on the cards announced by we.trade.