Product People Enables Cross-Functional Team to Effectively Address Real-Time Fraudulent Banking Activity

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The Client: European Unicorn Bank

A fintech pioneer founded in 2013, this banking unicorn rapidly emerged as a prominent player in the global banking and financial services landscape with 8 million customers. The company is at the forefront of the digital banking revolution, offering a range of innovative financial products and services to customers worldwide.

Since its founding, it has rapidly expanded its presence and customer base, with operations spanning across Europe, the United States, and other international markets.

To date, the company has raised close to US$ 1.8 billion from some of the world's most renowned investors.

The Mission: Interim Product Manager in Fraud Prevention

We joined the Financial Crime Prevention team, which focused on sanctions, fraud prevention, money laundering & terrorism financing. With just one product manager overseeing all of the initiatives, additional help was needed to meet the company’s ambitious objectives. Given the recent restructuring, product management support became even more crucial to achieving set goals.

We were specifically allocated to focus on fraud prevention, where we were tasked with developing conditional programming algorithms aimed at boosting fraud detection and reducing manual investigation. This was particularly crucial as the company aimed to optimize resources amidst cost-cutting measures.

The company wanted to be innovative and surpass industry standards in its fraud prevention. To achieve this goal, we needed to drive priority initiatives and improve how the team worked with major stakeholders, including dedicated regulatory and fraud experts. Our mission was to deliver tangible results, positioning the company as a leader in combating fraudulent banking activities.

Our Main Quest: Enhancing Fraud Prevention Performance to Reduce Manual Costs

Launch: Onboarded Very Fast

We immediately jumped into the Fraud Prevention team and completely took over all of the responsibilities from the previous product manager. Although we faced some difficulties with getting accounts quickly, we were still able to progress on the highest priority initiatives, run all scrum ceremonies with the tech team, and write tickets for upcoming developments. We also used this opportunity to re-examine the ways of working with the newly restructured team and find low-effort, high-impact ways to streamline collaboration.

First Deliverables and Results

  1. Within the first 4 weeks, we were able to wrap up discovery and release an MVP version of a critical fraud prevention measure.
  2. Mapped workflow between tech, product, and stakeholders from discovery to delivery.
  3. Designed and implemented an improved workflow, including a clear job description for a dedicated product manager, based on feedback collected during our introduction calls with the team.
  4. Updated and expanded Confluence documentation with what we learned during kick-off to help onboard future PMs in the domain.

Enhanced Fraud Alert Detection

Our objective was to enhance fraud detection capabilities through a new initiative, leveraging a segmented approach to ensure rapid value delivery and measurable success.

What was done:

  • Conducted a comprehensive discovery process with key stakeholders, including fraud experts, to identify essential patterns and inputs necessary for effective fraud detection.
  • Sliced the product into four distinct versions, enabling faster testing and a clear definition of expected outcomes and timelines for each iteration.
  • Successfully released the second version, the most impactful at the time within a three month period. This resulted in a 30% increase in fraud detection, streamlining the discontinuation of an outdated initiative with a high false-positive rate, ultimately resulting in fewer alerts and a reduced overall false-positive rate.
  • Discussed and aligned with other teams on dependencies for upcoming versions, establishing clear timelines for future releases and ensuring smooth integration with existing systems.

Optimized Fraud Alert System Performance

The previous rules in place failed to identify missed fraud alerts, which impacted service reliability and fraud detection goals. A high number of false positive alerts required manual investigation and high demand on the service team, thus needing to be reduced.

What was done:

  • Initiated and conducted a comprehensive discovery process in collaboration with key stakeholders to uncover root causes.
  • Conducted detailed discussions with the technical team to identify four main problems contributing to missed alerts.
  • Mapped all involved teams, estimated efforts, and prioritized high-impact, low-effort fixes on with the technical team.
  • Achieved a reduction of over 50% in missed alerts within the first week and an 85% improvement after 4 weeks.
  • Implemented strategies and new rules to reduce false positive alerts, contributing to a decrease in manual investigation costs.
  • Collaborated with the team to define critical metrics and establish SLAs reflecting stakeholder expectations for service performance.

Structured Alignments With Fraud Experts and Other Stakeholders

Due to the nature of fraud prevention, there were constant changes that needed to be quickly addressed. Additionally, there was a recent restructuring so that the ways of working between tech, product, and fraud experts had not yet been streamlined. This resulted in miscommunication and inefficient processes as the team dealt with ambiguous requirements, unclear priorities, and delays in development.

What was done:

  • Implemented a structured approach for a prioritized backlog based on ICE scores.
  • Regularly shared the prioritized backlog and roadmap with all stakeholders to align on the team’s focus and progress towards set goals.
  • Instituted regular sync-ups between fraud experts, product, and the tech team to facilitate quick communication, share knowledge, and make informed decisions.
  • Implemented best practices to improve agile development, including new Jira ticket templates with all the required information from stakeholders to enhance visibility and clarity regarding priorities, impact, and implementation timelines.
  • Established dedicated communication channels with stakeholders to provide transparency on task prioritization and resource allocation, fostering a better understanding of the team's role amidst competing company-level initiatives.

Our Side Quests

  • Onboarded the newly hired product manager to transfer our collected knowledge and help her jump in quickly; this included a detailed handover document, scheduled deep-dive meetings to provide comprehensive context, and open sessions to support her through ad-hoc challenges.
  • Transitioned to another team in Financial Crime Prevention to continue supporting the company with our gathered knowledge and product expertise (leading to even faster onboarding).
  • Conducted training sessions with the product team on best practices for various topics, including running successful workshops.

Mission Achievements: Delivered Outcomes

💡 Reduced missed fraud alerts by over 50% within the first week and by 85% improvement thereafter by addressing underperformance in internal systems.
💡 Decreased the number of total fraud alerts by more than 50% while increasing detection rates by more than 30%, resulting in notable savings in manual investigation costs.
💡 Enhanced collaboration and efficiency among team members, leading to streamlined processes and improved fraud detection capabilities.
💡 Onboarded new PM & then transitioned to another team in the company to offer further product support

In the Client's Own Words

The mission lasted for 6 Months from September 2023 to March 2024. These are the reviews we received from our key stakeholders:

Staci joined our team as a Senior Product Manager and quickly made a difference in just four months, especially in one of [redacted company name]’s most challenging areas, Financial Crime Prevention. She quickly understood how our team works, what we do, and what our stakeholders need. She did a great job of sorting out these needs and adding them to our plans with detailed documentation. Her way of communicating is really effective, including with engineers. Although I had the opportunity to work with her for only a short period, her contributions were substantial and highly valuable.
Staci came into the team and was an excellent addition as [her] positiveness, product knowledge, stakeholder management skills and orientation to details was what we were looking to help us keep moving forward in the right direction and helping improve many areas where we need it strong support. She managed to quickly understand the domain, identify improvement areas and guide the team towards the company goals. I fully recommend work with her.
I had the pleasure of working closely with with Juan Pablo for one of his mission as a Product Manager where he served as a pivotal member of our team. He consistently impressed me with his working attitude, strategic thinking and innovative problem-solving skills. It was simple for him to translate complex ideas into actionable plan by quickly understanding our user needs, biggest gaps we had as a Product team and exceptional analytical skills. Among his greatest strenghts I would highlight his collaborative approach, as he fostered a culture of open communication and cross-functional teamwork, bringing together engineers and stakeholders to align on project goals and priorities. I will be extremely happy if I get the opportunity to work again with him and I'm 100% sure he will have plenty of success stories as a Product Manager.

In the Client's Own Words

Space Crew of this Mission

Associate Management Consultant
Senior Product Management Consultant
VP/Director/Head of Product

For Clients: When to Hire Us

You can hire us as an Interim/Freelance Product Manager or Product Owner

It takes, on average, three to nine months to find the right Product Manager to hire as a full-time employee. In the meantime, someone needs to fill in the void: drive cross-functional initiatives, decide what is worth building, and help the development team deliver the best outcomes.
If you're looking for a great Product Manager / Product Owner to join your team ASAP, Product People is a good plug-and-play solution to bridge the gap.