The pandemic has accelerated digitalization and created new banking habits everywhere. A world where cash was once king has quickly disappeared. In the U.S., mobile banking grew by over 50% during the first half of 2020. As people strive to avoid contact, digital payments have become mainstream - even for micropayments, such as paying for coffee or bus fares.
Contactless payment volumes have soared, card transaction limits have been lifted and these are likely to increase further. Few would doubt that the payments market has changed forever, but it is useful to remember that the pandemic has really accelerated what was happening already. For example, cash use in the UK had already declined by 59% between 2008 and 2019 and alternative payments overtook cash as the frequently used payment method in 2017. So, although cash use will continue, fewer people are reliant on it: only three in 10 transactions are cash and this is forecast to drop to one in 10 by 2028
As the number of faceless transactions increases, there may be short-term support issues, and the number of cardholder disputes is likely to increase for some time to come. Unsurprisingly, crime levels have also increased, which is a challenge for all parties. Here we explore why and consider what can be done about it.
Taking Advantage of Chaos
Since the start of the pandemic, payments fraud has escalated. Criminals have more opportunities to conduct fraud across all channels, particularly in card-not-present transactions. Bad actors have taken full advantage of the chaos and confusion, turning the pandemic to their own advantage. A recent survey of ecommerce retailers found card-not- present fraud rates increased by up to 10% at the beginning of the pandemic.
With an increased number of employees working remotely, internal fraud and data protection is a key concern. When people work remotely it becomes easier to copy sensitive data and there is an increased of unauthorized access to data by other household members. In many cases, computers are also connected to other devices, such as IoT, which can introduce new attack vectors.
New Crime Patterns
Criminals have changed their behaviour too. As the world moves to instant payments, cybercriminals have turned away from traditional fraud to focus on emerging forms of payment and new users. Covid has also boosted “click and collect” sales for retailers and fraudsters have seized this opportunity to hijack card details or take over accounts (ATO).
INTERPOL has reported a wave of financial fraud linked to Covid, including telephone fraud, where criminals pose as hospitals who claim that a relative of the victim has fallen sick with the virus and request payments for medical treatment. Phishing attacks have also increased, with many emails claiming to be from national or global health authorities, with the aim of tricking victims to provide personal credentials or payment details, or to open an attachment containing malware. The overall message is clear: fraudsters regard the pandemic as a major opportunity and will exploit fear and uncertainty at every opportunity. But Covid has brought some additional concerns.
The key take-aways
How Digital payments fraud is increasing in both volume and sophistication
How Covid-19 has generated opportunities for criminals in specific jurisdictions
Financial Crime – Inevitable or Avoidable?
How modern technologies, such as AI & ML, will be crucial in "Managing Fraud as Part of Digital Transformation"
This webinar is in partnership with
FIS is a leading provider of technology solutions for merchants, banks and capital markets firms globally. Our employees are dedicated to advancing the way the world pays, banks and invests by applying our scale, deep expertise and data-driven insights. We help our clients use technology in innovative ways to solve business-critical challenges and deliver superior experiences for their customers. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, FIS is a Fortune 500 company and is a member of Standard & Poor’s 500® Index.