Feedzai CEO Nuno Sebastiao was recently interviewed by Emily Chang for Bloomberg Technology. The following transcript has been edited for clarity. Plus, watch the video below.

What kind of fraud activity is Feedzai seeing heading into 2021?

We saw impressive increases in fraud numbers in Q1 this year compared with Q4 last year. The amount of online fraud scams increased by 250%. Impersonation scams – when someone is pretending to be you to gain access to your financial services systems or to your credit cards –  rose over 600%. It’s been rampant. 

This was already happening before the pandemic. But with the acceleration to digital that was forced upon us, especially in the financial services area, it really blew up. That really increased demand for these types of fraud solutions. 

The unemployment system was plagued by $63 billion in fraud as unemployment was doled out to millions of Americans amidst the pandemic. How does your technology help?

We work with classified systems and high-security systems to make sure money flows and gets to intended consumers. It not only needs to get done in an efficient way but a safe way as well.  We work with organizations to make sure whenever they wire money, such as PPP loans or unemployment checks, it lands in the hands of people who deserve it; we make sure it’s not stolen by cybercriminals. 

We do this at scale, not just in the U.S. but in many regions throughout the globe.

Any plans for Feedzai to go public?

The same way KKR chose us as we’re becoming a leader in this space, we chose them because their vision is aligned with ours. They pick leaders in the different spaces, and they understand where we want to go. 

Our vision is to ensure we become the platform for financial crime risk management across all consumer touchpoints. From the moment you open an account to the moment you’re transacting. Up to 5% of the money that flows into financial services systems is used for money laundering. We make sure that doesn’t happen. They’ve realized that we can become that player, and they’re aligned with our growth. 

My intention is to do this as an independent company. If that’s as an IPO, or another mechanism, we will see. But clearly, they’re betting on us winning this market the same way we’re executing to that. 

Fraudsters rejoiced at the rapid shift to digital banking and eCommerce witnessed in 2020. Case in point, account takeover (ATO) attacks rose by a shocking 650%. Download Feedzai’s Financial Crime Report – Q1 2021 to learn how the pandemic impacted different global regions, plus the top five fraud trends and how to fight back.