Riskiest Payments Should Be Slowed To Stop Fraud, Nationwide Says
The clearance of payments considered risky should be slowed down to tackle the “epidemic” of fraud, said Nationwide’s director of economic crime.
Stuart Skinner said there should be more “friction” in the payments system to prevent money from falling into the hands of fraudsters.
The move would require an overhaul of the UK’s payments system, designed for the convenience of customers.
His comments come as Nationwide launches a new fraud control hotline.
The construction company said it has seen fraud increase overall in line with the industry average. The last digits, released last week, revealed that total fraud losses increased by 30% in the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2020.
Fraudsters steal an average of over £ 4million per day in the UK.
Fraud committed when individuals are tricked into handing over money and personal information has increased 71% from the first six months of last year. Less than half of the money lost in these cases was repaid by the banks.
This is called authorized push payment fraud and often happens when people transfer money to the account of a scammer posing as someone from a trusted organization, from a bank or the police.
Mr Skinner said that instead of allowing all payments to be processed and enter the payee’s account often within minutes, the relatively few transfers that seem riskier should be checked at a slower speed. .
Nationwide is launching a new scam checking service for its customers on Monday.
The construction company has set up a new 24-hour hotline for customers who want to know if they are at risk of being defrauded.
The goal is to make sure people stop and check with an expert before making a payment. If customers are given the green light but the transfer later turns out to be a scam, the Nationwide has said it will guarantee a refund.
If someone ignores the advice and is subsequently the victim of fraud, any chance of a refund will be judged – as is normally the case – by agreed industry standards. This means that they are not guaranteed to get their money back although there is some leeway for vulnerable people.
Joe Garner, CEO of Nationwide, said: “Success is not just about ensuring that victims are reimbursed, but also about preventing these crimes from happening in the first place. “
Jenny Ross, editor-in-chief of Which? Money said: “Fraud can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on victims, so it is positive to see Nationwide trying to take steps to prevent its customers from falling victim to wire transfer scams.
“However, the onus is still on consumers to spot a possible scam and we know that criminals use very sophisticated tactics to deceive victims and make sure they don’t contact or even trust their bank. do not know what additional protection this new service offers and how effective it will be. “
The efforts of the banking industry and the police to stop the rising tide of fraud will soon come under the microscope, with ministers promising an overhaul of the fight against fraud.