At this time of year, many of us will be out getting gifts for loved ones and buying in food to host families and friends for the Christmas period
Spending always spikes in the holiday time and in the digital age it’s never been easier to part with your money, with the tap of a card or speedily entering your bank details online.
But it’s also easy to forget how quickly we can part with our financial information at the same time. Recent research by Lloyds Bank suggests that supply chain issues this year and people’s shopping habits could leave them more vulnerable to fraud. They
found that shortages of in-demand gifts mean almost two thirds (63%) of people in the UK are now taking more risks when shopping in the lead up to Christmas.
While it is crucial that consumers recognise the tell-tale signs of fraud, the financial industry also needs to always stay one step ahead. According to UK Finance, despite the industry preventing £1.4 billion of unauthorised fraud in 2021, criminals still
cost consumers £1.3 billion in authorised and unauthorised fraud.
This is a particular problem for the UK, which was declared the card fraud capital of Europe by the Social Market Foundation, with the most victims per 1,000 people and the highest losses.
It’s no surprise that CRIF’s own research found that people in the UK re now the most apprehensive in Europe around sharing their financial information with their bank, on the grounds that it could expose them to greater chance of fraud. Over two-thirds
(67%) of UK consumers felt this way, well ahead of Italy (58%) and France (56%) which were the next highest.
This is worrying – not only in terms of fraud risk but also in relation to people’s attitudes towards their financial providers. Rather than seeing them as institutions to put their trust in with their data, they are treated with scepticism by a majority
of people in the UK. And it’s not just fraud – when sharing financial information with their bank, people worry whether it would be kept secure. Again, concern in the UK is the highest in Europe.
While people quite rightly want to keep their financial information safe, it’s clear through innovations like open banking that sharing specific financial information securely can bring numerous benefits to consumers. Through such innovations, financial
providers can better understand their customers’ financial health and ensure the services and products they provide are relevant. As we all adapt to the rising cost of living, this type of tailored service is more crucial than ever.
And yet fears around fraud and security are holding people back and stifling the potential of providers to better service their customers. Banks and other players in the financial sector now need to make a concerted effort to restore this faith in their
services and make clear that modern banking is safe and secure.
One pressing way in which providers must act is by taking action to remove as well as halt those who looking to prey on their customers from ever being accepted onto their platforms. It’s areas like this where partnerships between major players – like banks
and insurers - and those in the fintech sector can really shine; combining experience and reach with a nimble and innovative approach.
For financial providers in the UK, including banks and alternative lenders, CRIF offers a fully secure, digital onboarding process, helping providers to optimise their first contact with a new customer, make the process as smooth and engaging as possible,
while ensuring though advanced data and analytics that those they are accepting onto their system are legitimate customers.
CRIF has also been supporting the UK insurance market for over 25 years, while helping the industry combat fraud. Through utilising data, artificial intelligence, proprietary machine learning techniques, and analytics we’ve been helping organisations to
identify fraudulent connections. Our system assigns a fraud risk score in real-time, helping insurance companies to significantly speed up their ability to identify a high volume of information and mitigate fraud attempts.
There is never a good time to be a victim of fraud but being caught out during a major festive holiday only adds to the pain. Only by working together to clamp down on these threats and utilising the latest solutions and technology to help protect their
customers can providers restore confidence in the service and ensure more people have a fraud-free holiday.