Losses to authorised push payments fraud topped card fraud for the first time in H1 2021, acccording to new figures from UK Finance.
In previous years the largest fraud losses have been unauthorised frauds mainly committed using payment cards.
This year, however, criminals focused their activity on APP fraud, in which a customer is tricked into authorising a payment to an account controlled by a criminal.
As a result, UK Finance recorded a 71% increase in APP fraud during the first half of 2021 and, for the first time, the amount of money stolen through APP fraud overtook card fraud losses. All told, authorised push payment (APP) fraud losses in the first half stood at £355.3 million, compared to £261.7 million in losses from card crime.
The issue has become a political football, with campaigning groups calling on the Payment Systems Regulator to ensure banks do more to protect victims and provide them with fair reimbursement.
UK Finance is calling on the Government to step in with a co-ordinated plan using the recently passed Online Safety Bil, to address the issue, which it describes as a "national security threat".
Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, says: "The banking and finance industry invests billions in advanced systems to try and stop fraud happening in the first place, but criminals are exploiting weaknesses outside of banks’ control to trick customers into making payments directly to them.
“Criminals continue to target customers with a variety of scams, often via online platforms, and it is only through coordinated action that we will be able to really make progress in addressing the problem."