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COR.IQ Article

Connecting for Common Good: How Symcor Enabled Financial Institutions to Accelerate Fraud Detection During COVID-19

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Archana Joshi April 01, 2021
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Millions of Canadians faced financial uncertainty as the global outbreak of COVID-19 disrupted everyday life and business. To support them through the economic challenges of the COVID pandemic, the federal government introduced several relief measures such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

As in the past with other government benefits, financial institutions (FIs) were entrusted to disburse relief payments to Canadian households and businesses. The nationwide scale and urgency of the task created the pressing need for a fraud-risk assessment system that could enable FIs to signal instances of fraud and verify Government-issued cheques with speed and accuracy.

Fraud is increasingly committed using sophisticated and rapidly-changing tactics. FIs processing government-issued relief cheques required a proactive solution to ensure funds from these critical payments were disbursed without delay, while allowing their teams an early window to take appropriate counter-steps against suspected fraud.

A Robust History of Addressing Industry Needs with Shared Solutions

Rigorous fraud reporting mechanisms can sometimes cause friction in the customer experience. FIs in Canada looked to Symcor to provide a solution that would enhance the speed and efficiency of fraud detection and yet maintain optimal customer experiences.

For 25 years, Symcor has been a trusted provider of secure solutions to support the digital transformations of Canada’s largest institutions. Symcor’s unique expertise and infrastructure provide a scalable foundation to align network participants and address their common needs, while reducing the cost and complexity of their business processes.

Within days of receiving the request, Symcor built, tested, and operationalized a new set of fraud indicators to alert FIs to high-risk cheque deposits received under the CEWS and CERB programs.

This solution was powered by Symcor’s COR.IQ service that leverages its network data ecosystem to flag suspicious activity. Combining a modular architecture with advanced data analytics, COR.IQ generates actionable fraud insights that network participants can use with confidence to manage their fraud risk.

A Dedicated Fraud Indicator for Government Relief Cheques

For a comprehensive and rigorous assessment of fraud-risk, Symcor partnered with the Government of Canada to power the CEWS-CERB fraud indicators to flag suspected fraudulent activity such as altered, counterfeit, and duplicate deposits across the network.

The CEWS-CERB fraud indicators were derived from Symcor’s Cheque Fraud Solution (CFS), which is a holistic fraud detection engine that can signal against multiple types of fraud. Optimized to adapt to rapidly evolving fraud patterns, the CFS suite of fraud indicators offer FIs one of the most comprehensive solutions to identify suspected fraudulent activity.

CFS alerts FIs to duplicate deposits, alterations, counterfeits, and kiting schemes by analyzing patterns in chequing transactions to spot anomalies. CFS focuses on the review of fraud indicators, enabling outcomes with increased accuracy and low false positives.

Symcor’s fraud management solutions are grounded in best-in-class security protocols and a strong data governance framework that performs in compliance with Canadian privacy laws. Powered by a fraud-fighting consortium and rooted in a foundation of security and trust, COR.IQ continues to evolve its suite of solutions to address other areas of fraud prevention, such as identify theft, account take-over, and origination fraud.

During the ongoing COVID pandemic and beyond, as fraud threats emerge and evolve, COR.IQ remains committed to connecting for the common good and enabling a stronger future for Canadian businesses.


Looking for a trusted partner to fight fraud and safeguard customer experiences? Harness the power of collaboration and advanced technologies to accelerate fraud detection with Symcor's COR.IQ.

Archana headshot

Archana Joshi

Product Manager

A Product Manager in Symcor’s Strategy and Innovation group, Archana Joshi is responsible for the planning and execution of Symcor’s fraud fighting products that are powered by its COR.IQ platform. A founding team member on the COR.IQ platform, she has since built and released multiple products focusing on modern solutions for fraud detection and prevention. A Certified Agile Product Professional, Archana brings unique experience in marketing analytics with global retailers and a keen interest in technology that has helped her develop and scale multiple enterprise data analytics products. Archana holds an MBA in Marketing from Ohio University, Ohio, U.S. A Classical vocalist, trained in East Indian music, her other passion is discovering new destinations on adventurous road trips.

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