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Financial Institutions & the Risk of Real-Time Payments

by Samantha Kalany
financial transfer

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Whether it’s paying your roommate for your portion of the rent or splitting the dinner bill amongst your friends, person to person payments are a popping trend. P2P payments are replacing both cash and checks at the checkout counter and simplifying the transactional experience. Financial Institutions have been working to combat non-secure customer experiences and ensure payments are fast, easy and most importantly, safe. The rise of these payments and transfers has risen and predicts a 200% growth rate from 2015-2020. As fast and easy as these P2P payments are posted to be, there are plenty of risks to be aware of.

1. Registration Fraud

financial institutionsKnowing the person behind the phone screen is more important than you’d think. It’s very easy for spammers and hackers to fake identities. Financial Institutions need to strengthen controls and identity authentication checks before consumers can even initiate a payment. Stemming off of that, this is where we see account takeovers take place. ATO fraud occurs when someone impersonates a user and either comprises their account or steals funds directly from their pockets. This is widely known as the largest form of fraud committed in the nation. Though this is nothing new, there is always an added sense of urgency with real-time payments, due to the funds’ availability. This further proves the need for identification-authentication measures to protect customers’ accounts and keep fraudsters out!

2. Mobile Threats

Although many swear that mobile is more secure than online, there are several threads to mobile transactions that we forget to recognize.

Phone Number Ports
Spoofed Calls
SIM Card Swaps
Infectious Mobile Malware

The scary vibe of it all is that there is malware out there that detects one-time passwords and forwards those to fraudsters. In turn those individuals are hacking users’ accounts and stealing their funds. In conclusion, these threats can allow a fraudster to pose as a legitimate customer and annihilate fraud-prevention tactics.

3. Consumer Understanding

An error on the consumer side of things comes in with a lack of understanding how these real-time payments work. Consumer education is a highlighted must, as the world of fraud continues spinning around us. This can help with confusion and even misdirected payments. Paying from third-party sites to an unknown user for a product or service is obviously not recommended, so that’s why education can benefit users, because how many of them know that?  In this fraud-infested climate, it’s important to prepare for the worst, but not fear every moving thing. Be smart. Financial Institutions are always doing their best to monitor and evaluate their fraud protection strategies, to make sure there are no gaps or emerging threats. consumer understanding

Mobile network operator data (MNO) can be leveraged to cross-check customers’ information, through their mobile carriers. This can alert financial institutions as to whether a phone number or device has been ported to an account. Additionally, financial institutions can access the technology to bind a customer’s device through a unique identifier that can be recognized for future logins. If the identifier is not recognized, financial institutions can go about taking advanced authentication tactics to identify the potential fraudster. Device intelligence can also be integrated into a financial institution’s digital security suite to help identify the health of a device and if any malware or threats exist.

Real-time payments are going to continue picking up momentum, as time goes on. It’s so important to trust your financial institutions and their fraud prevention/protection strategies, to protect yourself from being negatively impacted by a fraudster or losing all of your funds to a masked identity.

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