Can Strong Fraud Protection Bring in More Customers?

According to several surveys, it has become evident that strong fraud protection is the first thing in banking customers’ minds.

In this world of growing fraud, it’s no surprise that customers want some sense of security. The banking and financial services landscape has grown at an exceptional pace in the last decade. Fraudsters have taken complete advantage of these untested changes. Resulting in higher-than-ever fraud records every year.

In the UK, trade bodies have asked to consider fraud levels a national threat. Financial services businesses have increased their investment in fraud prevention and ID authentication solutions.

What Customers Want From Banking Institutions?

Since the start of the growth of digital banking, customers want strong authentication above everything else. It has become the primary deciding factor when it comes to choosing a financial service provider.

In EMEA countries, great fraud protection is the number one factor when choosing financial services. 

Here’s a breakdown of the percentage of people in each country who put security above everything else:

  • Germany – 36%
  • South Africa – 34%
  • Sweden – 32%
  • UK – 36%

Incredible level of fraud protection as a priority has been growing for customers. Businesses that have failed reputation around fraud protection tend to be less attractive to customers. 

With the growing number of people wanting great fraud protection, a business that can make it happen will gain a competitive advantage.

Fraud Attacks and Highlights in Media

Media coverage of the number of growing attacks in recent years has made customers more aware of security. Around 1 in 4, customers believe that their identities could have been stolen and used by fraudsters to open fake accounts.

The increased coverage by the media has helped customers understand the necessity of protecting their identities and protecting themselves from fraud. One in two customers even understand the importance of protecting their identity to help prevent money laundering.

Friction is a Problem

Security checks by financial institutions have increased globally. Each country has its own regulatory body that set the rules and guides for security checks. In the last 5 years, customers have seen significant growth in online ID checks when signing up online and making purchases. 

One in four South Africans has stopped or reduced their use of credit cards for online transactions because of the time-consuming checks. In the UK and Germany, the number is around 1 out of every 5 people. 

This is not to say that consumers want fraud protection methods to be eliminated from the process. It is clear that customers want a secure service provider but they don’t want the transaction to be so full of friction that it takes hours or days. 

Fast onboarding and ease of use are the biggest drivers of the digital banking industry. Almost half of all consumers across the UK, Germany, and Sweden want quick onboarding times. 

While customers want stronger and more effective fraud control and prevention methods, they also want a quick process.

Growing Number of Authentication Methods

Only a couple of years ago, biometric checks were considered an uncertain method of authentication. Today, biometric authentication is the preferred method of authentication. 

Fingerprint verification ranks the highest when it comes to authentication methods. South Africans out of all the countries showed the highest preference for fingerprint authentication. Face scans and iris scans are also ranked among the other top 5 customer authentication methods.

Authentication using passcodes (One time passwords sent through banking apps or SMS messages) is still a highly ranked feature. The use of usernames and passwords is falling drastically, but they’re still an important part of multi-factor authentication.

This also suggests that there’s a growing suite of authentication methods allowing consumers to access their accounts and transact online. 


Consumers have a huge number of expectations of their financial service providers and the level of fraud protection they provide. Organizations have to strike a balance between alternative providers and completely frictionless experiences. 

Consumers are also aware of how relentless fraudsters are and they expect to be protected. As long as the friction is ideal for the circumstances and the level of risk is high, customers will be fine with additional verification checks. 

The key for providers is to understand that ID verification isn’t just about preventing fraud. It is also part of an organizational process. Great fraud protection provides consumers with a competitive advantage and it should play a major role.


Proactive Customer Communication

In the digital age, banks face the constant challenge of effectively communicating with their customers to prevent and manage fraud incidents. The results of a recent global consumer fraud survey highlight the need for proactive, personalized customer communication to detect and prevent fraud, as well as to efficiently resolve fraud cases.

However, meeting customer expectations in this area is not a simple task, as dissatisfaction with a bank’s response to fraud management can lead to customer churn.

Power of Proactive Communication

To demonstrate care for their customers’ financial well-being, banks must find ways to be proactive in their communication. One of the most effective ways to show this care is by actively working to detect, prevent, and notify customers about potential fraud incidents. 

While fraud detection measures strive to minimize false positives, there will always be cases that appear to be fraudulent but are not.

Consider a scenario where a customer makes an unusual purchase, such as expensive diamond earrings. Since this transaction deviates from the customer’s typical spending pattern and involves an unfamiliar merchant, it may trigger a fraud alert.

In such cases, proactive customer communication is essential. A quick, automated SMS message from the bank can allow the customer to verify the purchase and avoid any potential embarrassment at the checkout. 

When executed correctly, this communication reinforces a sense of protection for the customer. However, if the communication is incorrect or mishandled, it can result in a negative experience that requires significant resources to rectify and may damage the customer’s relationship with the bank.

Consumer Preferences for Communication Channels

Globally, customers prefer digital channels for communication, such as text messaging, emails, bank apps, and third-party messaging services, over traditional analog methods like phone calls. 

According to a survey, nearly 80% of customers worldwide prefer digital channels for payment verification. Text messaging is the most favored method, with 43% of customers preferring it, followed by 17% who prefer email.

However, it’s important to note that payment verification preferences vary across countries. In the United States, 64% of customers prefer text messages for verification, while only 2% prefer third-party messaging apps. 

In Brazil, the preferences are more diverse, with 28% preferring text messages, 30% favoring bank apps, and 12% opting for third-party messaging apps. 

Thailand stands out from the global group, as 41% of respondents in the country prefer phone calls for payment verification.

In regions like the European Union, customer verification methods are driven by regulatory requirements. Strong customer authentication dictates that many payments must be authenticated using two out of three methods:

  • Inherence (biometrics)
  • Possession (e.g., mobile phone)
  • Knowledge (e.g., password)

This approach is being adopted globally with the introduction of 3-D Secure 2 for card payments.

With such diversity in communication preferences, banks face the challenge of effectively reaching out to customers through their preferred channels.

Addressing Gaps in Contact Information

Accurate customer contact information is vital for proactive customer communication. However, many banks struggle with outdated or inaccurate contact details. 

According to the survey, 22% of credit card customers worldwide report that their card provider does not have their correct mobile number. Similarly, 18% of debit card customers report inaccurate mobile numbers, and 28% report inaccurate home addresses.

The impact of inaccurate contact information goes beyond basic communication issues. Mobile numbers are increasingly linked to user security and anti-fraud controls.

In the UK, almost 20% of customers report that their bank does not have their correct mobile phone number. This becomes problematic if the bank relies on sending one-time passcodes via SMS for payment authentication. 

In many cases, the requirements of PSD2 Strong Customer Authentication prevent issuers from bypassing these checks. As a result, banks must find alternative methods to authenticate payments for customers with mismatched contact details, or the payment will fail.

Considering that there are over 50 million adults with a bank account in the UK, and 70% of them also have a credit card, it is estimated that more than 10 million individuals may have discrepancies between their actual mobile numbers and the numbers their card providers have on record for communication, authentication, and identity verification purposes.

The Cost of Negative Experiences

When banks struggle to contact and engage customers effectively, they face significant repercussions. The survey reveals that 83% of customers worldwide will either complain to their bank (56%) or switch banks (27%) if they are unsatisfied with the bank’s response to a fraud event.

According to the Bank Administration Institute (BAI), banks can spend up to $10 per contact in their call centers. Any increase in contact center volume leads to escalating costs for banks, not to mention the risk of losing customers to competitors. 

Proactive and personalized communications are crucial for maintaining stability and fostering growth.

Meeting Customer Expectations

To summarize, consumers prefer digital channels for communication, and banks must bridge the gap in contact information to provide proactive customer communication. Failure to do so can result in increased contact center costs, a decline in brand equity, and customer attrition.

Finance Fraud

What is Transaction Fraud and How to Prevent Transaction Fraud?

Today, people can use business services globally. Digital transactions allow consumers to connect with brands all over the world and take advantage of eCommerce opportunities.

Building trust in digital commodities is ideal for your business to succeed. Businesses don’t know who exactly they’re transacting with. So, transacting online requires verifying identities and preventing online transaction fraud.

Apart from customer onboarding, businesses have to continue to protect themselves from transaction fraud. Businesses should be able to identify suspicious activities or anomalies intelligently and generate accurate and timely feedback on the transactions.

In this guide, we’ll cover what is transaction fraud and how to detect transaction fraud.

What is Transaction Fraud?

Transaction fraud is a major risk for any business that does business online. The most common types of transactional fraud include identity fraud, fake payment methods, or the use of fake information by a fraudster. 

Transaction fraud committed by organized criminals leads to legit customers being victimized. Individuals that commit transaction fraud seek to abuse the business policies and chargeback policies. 

According to reports, criminals stole more than £609.8 million through authorized and unauthorized transaction fraud.

The biggest problem is that the situation is continuing to get worse.

Types of Transaction Fraud

1. Authorized Fraud

This type of transaction fraud tricks a customer into making a payment. The methods to conduct this type of fraud include:

  • Purchase scams
  • Investment scams
  • Romance and advance fee scams
  • Invoice fraud
  • CEO fraud and impersonation

These frauds rely on social engineering, fake phone calls, text messages, emails, etc. to trick customers into making a payment.

2. Authorized Push Payment (APP) Fraud

Authorized push payment (APP) fraud type of fraud is similar to authorized payment fraud. Fraudsters trick customers into sending payments into an account controlled by a criminal. Fraudsters could act as a government department, debt collection agency, or someone else to get payments.

3. Unauthorized Fraud

Another type of money transfer fraud involves payments that happen without the victim’s knowledge. This type of fraud is also known as account takeover fraud or ATO.

Fraudsters use several techniques to make this type of fraud happen:

  • Phishing emails
  • Fake call centers
  • Device compromise 
  • SIM swap
  • Malware and ID spoofing

4. Account Takeover Fraud

Account takeover fraud is a type of ID theft and a very common type of transaction fraud. Fraudsters can’t take over an account without stealing users’ personal information such as account credentials, security question answers, and other account data.

5. Card Not Present Fraud

CNP is also referred to as ‘remote purchase fraud’, this type of card payment fraud makes unauthorized use of stolen or leaked card details. Most of the information is obtained through data breaches, phishing emails, or purchases on the dark web.

6. Lost or Stolen Card

As the name suggests, this type of fraud happens whenever a user loses their card or it gets stolen. Fraudsters use a card without the user’s permission and usually without the user’s knowledge. 

7. Chargeback Fraud

Chargeback fraud or credit card dispute fraud is an intentional attempt by a cardholder to make an illegitimate chargeback to the card after an online purchase. 

Customers who do chargeback fraud intentionally tend to use these reasons most commonly:

  • The charge on the card is not recognized by the user.
  • The product or service hasn’t been received.
  • The product was damaged, defective, or didn’t match the description.
  • The card was stolen or used without consent.

Strategies to Prevent Transaction Fraud

  1. Verify Customers at Onboarding

The best way to beat fraud is to verify customers during onboarding. The best practice in transaction fraud prevention is to recognize risk during the earliest stages of building a relationship with a customer.

Use online document solutions to onboard customers from all over the globe. Keep track of every small activity that a customer does and flag anything that looks suspicious or out of character.

  1. Take a Risk-Based Approach

Risk assessment is more crucial for businesses than what people think. A risk-based approach to transactions helps in effective and efficient transaction monitoring.

A risk-based approach doesn’t need to cover all scenarios and it should be sufficient to understand each product or service and sales channel. When you segment customers, products, and services in this way, a business can carry out custom-made transaction monitoring.

  1. Refine the Process

You can expect to detect and prevent fraud with any run-of-the-mill process. The entire fraud detection process should be a combination of customizable workflows, adaptive rules, strict rules, CDD and EDD methods, and so much more.

Without combining multiple techniques into a single workflow, it’s almost impossible to detect new-age fraud. There’s no single “perfect fraud detection” solution out there. So as a business, you have to combine multiple solutions to ensure your business and customers are safe from fraud.

Every single component should provide some kind of value. Successful fraud detection and prevention should happen at every step, not just one step.


5 Ways to Fight First Party & Synthetic Identity Fraud

Synthetic fraud and first-party fraud is becoming a major challenge. Both first-party fraud and synthetic fraud are hard to detect. In this guide, we’ll dive deeper into how banks and telecom organizations can identify these types of fraud without adding friction to the process of real customers.

The biggest problem with first-party fraud is figuring out real customers from fake ones. Making the onboarding process too difficult can discourage genuine customers from signing up. Banks and telecom have to make the process easier to encourage business. At the same time, they need to prevent fake customers from signing up.

Without properly analyzing these fabricated customers, businesses are at a higher risk of onboarding fraudsters. Here are the top 5 ways for businesses to fight first-party fraud and synthetic identity fraud.

Tips to Fight First Party & Synthetic Identity Fraud

Here are some ways businesses can employ to fight first-party fraud and synthetic fraud. 

1. Learn the Difference Between Bad Debt and Intentional Bad Debt

Businesses need to be aware of the differences between intentional and unintentional bad debt or fraud. With the right type of analytics, basic patterns of intentionality can become easy to spot. These include linked accounts that people used to pay fake bills for each other or to mimic payroll deposits.

2. Learn to Characterize Fraud

This is where a lot of businesses fail. To prevent fraud, first businesses must learn to correctly characterize fraud. Fraudsters try to showcase fraudulent activities as bad debts. 

Characterizing fraud will help you identify patterns and common methods that fraudsters use. Knowledge of common methods can then be passed on to the employees.

3. Define Rules

If your organization doesn’t have a set of pre-defined rules for fraud prevention, you’ll always face challenges against fraud.

A business should always have some pre-defined rules. Moreover, there should be a model to perform link analysis, this helps in examining data for known patterns. 

Some of the most common signs of fraud include phone numbers, names, email addresses, and other identifiers that fraudsters use to apply for loans, and other forms of debt over and over again.

Fraudsters use the same information repeatedly to convert a fake ID into a legit-looking one with some financial history.

4. Enhance Sign-Up Process

Knowing that you know common signs and tricks used by fraudsters, you can implement methods to improve your onboarding process. You can monitor the links between applications. 

As fraudsters use the same information over and over again, you can look for declined applications due to credit risk, or new applications where very little information is provided. 

Make it hard for fraudsters to use an identity they’ve created to sign-up. At the same time, ensure that the onboarding process isn’t too complicated for the ordinary user.

5. Tag Suspicious Activities

There will be times when you won’t be able to figure out if the account is fraudulent or not due to a lack of evidence. Instead of outright rejecting/accepting the application, you should tag the account as suspicious.

This is a part of enhanced due diligence (EDD). Once the account is opened and credit is provided, make sure to closely monitor the account for any suspicious or “out of behavior” activities.

You can look for sudden changes in the account information (Name, address, banking information, etc). This is one of the most common ways to detect fraudulent activities.

Conclusion – Be Proactive While Fighting Fraud

Fraudsters are always on the move, looking for new ways to exploit financial institutions, so it makes sense to be proactive. Organizations have to be extra vigilant and need to provide the level of customer experience that has become standard.

It’s high time to combine fraud prevention methods and user-friendly customer onboarding techniques to come up with a seamless experience.