Project Hertha: identifying financial crime patterns while preserving user privacy within a real-time payment system

Last updated 8 April 2024

Protecting payment systems from financial crime, while upholding user privacy, is an important challenge in delivering the future of payments. Project Aurora, concluded in May 2023, found that advanced analytics and behavioural-based analysis are more effective in detecting financial crime (such as money laundering) than the prevailing rules-based and siloed approach..

Building on the findings from Project Aurora, BIS Innovation Hub's Project Hertha will explore how network analytics could help identify financial crime patterns, whilst utilising a minimum set of data points. The project is a collaboration between the Innovation Hub's London Centre and the Bank of England.

To achieve this, the project will map current and emerging financial crime typologies in real-time payment systems, drawing upon lessons from instant payment systems and digital asset networks. It will also build a synthetic dataset to test how the typologies could be identified accurately while reducing false positives.

The project takes its name from the pioneering British scientist, prolific inventor, and suffragette Hertha Ayrton. In 1904, she became the first woman to read a paper before the Royal Society. Two years later, her work on the electric arc and sand ripples won the Hughes Medal for outstanding contributions to physical sciences.