Businessman points at floating money

Service helps agencies pinpoint sources of improper payments

Fiserv has launched a payment accuracy and fraud solution to reduce improper payments for federal agencies. Fiserv’s solution joins the growing number of agencies and vendors working to reduce the overall loss of cash associated with improper disbursement and recovery of funds.

Reducing (or even eliminating) improper payments has always been a government priority, but even more so when budgets are tight and program scrutiny relentless. In 2009 President Obama signed an executive order to reduce improper payments, which includes payments that are made in the wrong amount, to the wrong entity, or for the wrong purpose.  By the end of fiscal 2012, federal agencies reported governmentwide improper payments of $108 billion for the year, at a rate of 4.35 percent — a decrease from the high-water mark of 5.42 percent reported in fiscal 2009, according to PaymentAccuracy.gov.

While online payments technology has reduced costs for agencies and increased convenience for the public, it has also fueled the growth of more sophisticated fraud, making security, authentication and risk prevention paramount.

Fiserv, a provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry, helps agencies pinpoint root causes and areas in the payment cycle where improper payments can be detected and prevented, the company said. The diagnostic service includes hands-on process observation, mapping, data collection and analysis for identifying, mitigating and eliminating the majority of improper payments, the company said in a release.

The use of analytics to spot fraud is growing and can be a good investment for government IT shops. Officials in Michigan, for example, turned to SAS Analytics power the state’s Enterprise Fraud Detection System. The Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector Authority is using LexisNexis identity management software to verify the residency information of people participating in the exchange.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA from West Chester University and an MA in English from the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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