Fraudulent transactions in the financial industry have been increasing as customer behavior continues to shift towards a digital-first mindset. According to a report by PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020, “respondents reported losses of a whopping $42 billion over the past 24 months.”
What’s more, it seems that fraudsters are profiting. According to a report by Javelin Strategy and Research, “People lost nearly $2 billion to fraud in 2019, an increase of $293 million from 2018. Imposter scams were the most reported and accounted for $667 million in losses. Indications are that the surge in digital commerce after Covid lockdowns were imposed has pushed cybercrime even higher.”
This is especially worrisome in the age of open banking and open finance. While people have come to expect a sophisticated and simple digital experience from their financial apps, the more data that is openly shared, the greater the risk of fraud.
A Rock and A Hard Place:
People want easy access to all their financial data, but that makes financial institutions’ job that much trickier. However, when customers are losing billions to fraud, it’s imperative banks, credit unions and fintechs focus on fraud mitigation.
As fintechs and other organizations continue to increase data sharing in order to provide better customer experiences, data security has taken a central role in ensuring that peoples’ information is kept safe all along the different touch points in the customer’s digital financial journey.
How Understanding Your Data Helps Combat Fraud
Consumer financial data is extremely valuable, so needless to say, hackers will continue to find and develop more intelligent methods for accessing it. At the same time, data sharing is critical for fintechs to be able to compete effectively in the evolving financial ecosystem.
With in-person shopping experiences at a steady decline, and mobile and online e-commerce transactions on a steady rise, fintechs and financial institutions need to find a secure way to deliver on their customers’ demands while minimizing risk.
This is exactly where data enhancement comes in. What data enhancement means in simple terms is a way to understand and make sense of the transactional data flowing into your organization. The quicker you can understand transactions, the faster you can identify and act on anything that seems out of place.
There are three ways to keep customer data secure: empower your customers with the right tools, make your data easily understandable, and work with vendors who have the highest security standards when it comes to data sharing.
1. Empower Your Customers With The Right Tools
One way to help reduce fraud or perceived fraud is by giving people tools that make it easy for them to see what’s going on with their finances. If your customers can’t understand their financial transactions, they’re more likely to miss what could be potential fraud. By enhancing your data with a legible and interpretable transaction feed, people can tell if any transactions seem suspicious at a glance.
MX can help you augment data with categories, merchant logos, and location, so your customers can quickly see where charges were made. If a location or merchant is unrecognizable, customers can quickly block the transaction from going through, reducing fraudulent charges instantly.
Another way to empower your customers is with intelligent, AI-driven insights. By proactively surfacing easily understandable transactions such as subscriptions and recurring charges that might otherwise go unnoticed, people can quickly see if anything is out of place.
2. Make Your Data Easily Understandable
Similarly to powering your customer-facing tools with enhanced data, you can do the same with your internal tools. With MX Data Enhancement, you can easily analyze spending patterns and purchasing behavior, helping you spot outliers in customers’ transactional activity.
For example, if one of your customers never purchases anything at a certain store, then all the sudden there are various charges from that location, you can flag that behavior as suspicious and verify it with the account holder before charges go through.
Keep An Eye Out:
Small things add up. Just keeping in touch with the customer to double-check one-off purchases can save everyone in the long term.
Another example is that you can use enhanced data to quickly see if a customer had two purchases at two separate locations within a short period of time, you can then call or send a message and have them verify which purchase is accurate. Not only does enhanced data help you limit suspicious activities before allowing them to be processed, but it also reduces support calls, and helps you protect your customers proactively.
3. Work With Vendors With High Security Standards
Lastly, one of the best ways to reduce fraud is by working with trusted partners who have proven and tested security standards. As open banking and finance continue to gain ground, the vetting process will become even more critical to the security of your data.
At MX, not only do we have the most advanced and intelligent data enhancement capabilities — with more field categorizations (from account types, merchant logos, location data, and much more) and highest data cleansing and categorization in the market — we’re also the prefered partner for more than 200M+ users and 2,000 financial institutions and fintech companies when it comes to our security standards.
Our processes and standards have been thoroughly vetted time and time again as we add more relationships to our portfolio. And that’s why many of the top financial institutions and fintechs trust us with their data — because we take security seriously.