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Covid 19 and the effects on Fraud Prevention - Part 1

2020 has been a challenging for many reasons – the global situation has changed the face many industries – perhaps forever. For many years, the payments industry has spoken about the replacement of cash as a means of payment. Indeed, the National Audit Office in the UK states that only 3 in every 10 transactions are now cash and had projected that it would be down to 1 in every 10 transactions by 2028.

I would expect that that projection has changed somewhat now – as virtually overnight we moved almost exclusively to non-cash transactions – with retailers preferring card transactions (with the card schemes increasing the maximum contactless payment threshold) and consumers performing more shopping on online. The Royal Mint has announced in the last week that some of the lower denomination sterling coins will not need to be minted for a decade as there is excess supply.

But also, we have seen a change in working habits. Globally as an industry the financial sector has moved to a work environment heavily biased to working from home. The same is true as well for Retail, Local Government and service sectors, amongst others. And that also brings its own challenges – as we adapt to a home-based role where our staff are working in line with internal Risk policies and procedures that may not have been designed with that environment in mind.

With that sea change in consumer behaviour (driven in part by the lockdowns applied by governments globally), what impact has that had on the fraud threat landscape? And does it differ from region to region?

And with significant numbers of staff working from home – what is the impact to monitoring their activity, educating them on fraud threats and protecting your customers.

Over the course of the series I will explore these areas in more detail and how to mitigate against both new and old threats. In particular:

Consumers are having to adapt to channels that are new to them. Fraudsters are aware of this and exploiting vulnerable persons

Employees are working in a new environment – and are outside of the immediate control of their line manager and remote from the support of their peers

Payment monitoring becomes more relevant as consumers move away from Cash based transactions.

Ultimately the new normal has changed very quickly from the historic behaviour of consumers and staff. While change is embraced by Fraudsters and organised crime alike as they can capitalise on the confusion caused as we adapt to a new way of spending and working. 


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Keith Stanton

Keith Stanton

International Product Manager (Fraud & Risk)


Member since

07 Aug 2015



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

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