If you’ve ever trawled through bank statements trying to throw light on a mysterious transaction, you’ll know how frustrating it can be. Even searching online, you usually see a “bare bones” transaction line item with a merchant identity that’s often different to a retail trading name. If you use paper records you might be searching for a transaction months after it occurred only to find it has faded beyond usefulness or only contains limited information.

Help is at hand in the shape of a clever piece of Australian-developed software that could dramatically reduce National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) fraud, and save hundreds of millions of dollars from our national social services budget.

The technology is called Digital Transaction Intelligence and connects retail sales line items to online banking services, creating rich, informative and actionable data. DTI can give customers detailed purchase information and digital receipts, via their secure banking app, email, SMS and in real time. Imagine if the same rich information was made available to a participant or their carer when a service was supplied as part of the NDIS? 

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission chief Michael Phelan has warned as much as $6 billion of NDIA funding might be being misused annually, including by organised crime syndicates.

In August last year, NDIS Minister Bill Shorten announced the formation of a multi-agency task force to tackle the problem. Minister Shorten suggested “ghosting”, where fraudulent providers create fake NDIS clients and issue invoices for undelivered services, is one issue. Another concern he raised was invoices being “padded” by contractors with participants being charged more for services than were delivered because the NDIA is a government agency. In his National Press Club address in April, the Minister revealed that the Task Force has 38 investigations underway, involving more than $300 million in payments.

Digital Transaction Intelligence offers a simple way of flagging, or even stopping, a significant number of fake or inflated transactions – at the point of payment. Importantly, the technology handles anonymised data so it can only be seen by enabled organisations. With customer permission, DTI will flag unusual transactions with them or, in the instance of an NDIS participant, with the NDIA.  It can be set up to instantly block fake service providers, helping address the Minister’s ghosting concerns.

DTI is “platform agnostic” meaning it can be integrated into almost any transaction system and does not compete with any service providers. The technology also complies with Australian Government security and privacy regulations and standards.

Empowering NDIS participants by giving them or their carers real time information at the point of service can only be a good thing. Not only could it save billions of taxpayer dollars, but it could give people with a disability more control over their own lives.

About the Author

Brad McKendry is a Canberra-based Account General Manager for DXC Technology.

Public Sector

Run better, serve better and protect better. Our services and solutions tackle your most urgent issues rapidly and effectively.