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ACFE report says generative AI and biometrics key to fighting fraud, now and in future

Use of AI and machine learning expected to triple in next two years
ACFE report says generative AI and biometrics key to fighting fraud, now and in future

It could not be put more plainly: “in 2024, using technology as part of an anti-fraud program is a necessity.” So says the 2024 Anti-Fraud Technology Benchmarking Report, newly released by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in partnership with SAS. Recent attention paid to generative AI has often cast it as a threat: enabler of sophisticated biometric fraud, crippler of free and fair elections, toxic solvent of reality. But the 2024 benchmarking report shows that a huge majority of anti-fraud professionals see AI in a different light: as an integral part of their future operations.

According to the report, which draws on survey data from 1,187 ACFE members, 83 percent of organizations expect to implement generative AI in their anti-fraud programs over the next two years. That means use of GenAI and machine learning is expected to triple in that time – and that interest is the highest it has been since the ACFE survey began.

Furthermore, the use of biometrics and robotics in anti-fraud measures is on the rise; biometrics have seen a 14 percent spike, from 26 percent of organizations implementing uses in 2019, up to 40 percent in 2024. “The emerging technology currently used by the most organizations is physical biometrics, which is used to identify individuals based on physical attributes such as fingerprints and facial or vocal features,” reads the report. Two in five organizations – or 40 percent – currently use physical biometrics as part of their anti-fraud program, and another 17 percent expect to adopt the technology in the next two years.

Data analysis and threat detection are among the top priorities driving technological uptake of biometrics, AI and other digital identity tools. “Automated red flags, machine learning, and predictive analytics can be useful these days due to the high volume of cyberattacks and the increased use of technology by criminals,” says an anonymous survey respondent.

Much more interest in biometrics for fraud prevention

While only 20 percent of organizations use behavioral biometrics, that number is still a stark contrast to what respondents say about other evolving technologies like blockchain and mixed reality. “More than half of respondents,” says the report, “indicated that they do not expect their organizations to ever use blockchain/distributed ledger technology or virtual/augmented reality as part of their anti-fraud programs.”

While much in the report is familiar territory – organizational silos, budget restrictions, increasing security risks – the prevalence of AI is new, reflecting how quickly it has become a top-level priority for many to address. However, the report hits a mild cautionary note in pointing out that accuracy matters, and that “85 percent of organizations consider the accuracy of the results achieved by generative AI as a very important or important factor in this decision.” Staffing also matters: 77 percent of organizations still consider in-house skills related to the technology an important or very important factor in determining whether to implement it.

SAS, which co-sponsored the report, offers a complementary online data dashboard, providing in-depth interactive analysis of anti-fraud trends across industries and regions.

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