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Report highlights cost of financial crime compliance in North America

Financial crime compliance costs have increased for 99% of financial institutions in the US and Canada, with the total cost reaching US$61 billion across both countries.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions released the findings of its latest True Cost of Financial Crime Compliance Study – U.S. and Canada study, which was conducted by Forrester Consulting, 

Mid and large-sized financial institutions (holding more than $10 billion in assets) must reduce costs while complying with regulations, with 44% identifying the escalation of financial crime regulations and regulatory expectations as the primary factor driving increases in compliance costs.

Financial institutions of all sizes are concentrating on cost reduction, with 70% giving priority to cutting costs in the next 12 months.

The challenge of keeping up with the complex sanctions environment is intensifying, leading financial institutions to confront a growing screening workload. At 83% of mid and large-sized organizations and 87% of small organizations (holding less than $10 billion in assets), the number of screening alerts has increased.

Key findings from the study:

  • Technology costs are driving increases in expenses for financial institutions, emphasizing the substantial investment required to meet stringent compliance requirements. Specifically, 79% of organizations noticed rises in technology costs related to compliance/know-your-customer (KYC) software in the past 12 months, while technology costs associated with networks, systems and remote work have increased at 75% of businesses.
  • Seventy-eight percent of small financial institutions witnessed higher increases in compliance costs related to labor compared to their mid and large-sized counterparts (63%). Conversely, mid and large-sized financial institutions were more likely to experience higher cost escalations for technology, particularly in compliance with KYC software (82%) and external costs associated with outsourcing (79%).
  • Cryptocurrencies, digital payments and AI technologies are now also emerging as tools for illicit activities. Organizations are grappling with the impact of these sophisticated criminal methodologies within an already complex regulatory landscape. When asked about the types of financial crime they had observed significant increases of more than 20% in the past 12 months, 22% of companies identified financial crime involving cryptocurrencies, while 22% reported heightened use of AI.

“As the cost of financial crime compliance rises for organizations across the U.S. and Canada, organizations must take a strategic approach to financial crime compliance,” said Matt Michaud, Global Head of Financial Crime Compliance at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “Skilled in-house compliance teams play a crucial role, but businesses should be actively seeking ways to reduce labor costs while simultaneously improving compliance efficiency. Organizations also need to actively counter cybercriminals exploiting artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies and digital channels. Financial institutions must proactively equip themselves with comprehensive data sets, advanced AI/ML-based compliance models and robust analytics within their financial crime compliance solutions to swiftly identify new crime patterns.”

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Mastercard x Worldpay collab seeks to reduce merchant chargebacks

Mastercard and Worldpay have formed a new partnership they claim will help merchants to resolve transaction disputes faster and with fewer chargebacks.

Chargebacks – a request for a refund triggered when a consumer disputes a transaction on their account – are a growing issue: industry-wide chargeback volumes are expected to reach 337 million by 2026, a 42% increase from 2023 levels.

Through the partnership, Worldpay, a global payment technology and solutions company, will offer Mastercard’s Ethoca Alerts to its 1 million merchants worldwide. The service provides an early warning system that helps prevent a dispute from becoming a chargeback and reduce potential financial losses due to fraud.

Ethoca Alerts, by Mastercard, works across all payment brands and delivers insights that merchants can use to stop the fulfilment of goods and services. Merchants do not need to change their existing infrastructure or processes to take advantage of Ethoca Alerts. 

The collaboration will also help improve authorization rates for merchants, enabling more of the $2.3tn total transactions Worldpay processes to be completed successfully thanks to fewer erroneously declined transactions.

Johan Gerber, Executive Vice President, Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard said: “With ecommerce thriving, we’re working to make transactions as safe and as seamless as possible for all parties. This partnership with Worldpay extends our powerful technology to even more merchants around the world, reducing fraud. By working together, we will advance our shared goal of building trust and powering the global digital economy.”

Gabriel de Montessus, Executive Vice President, Global Enterprise at Worldpay said “We’re pleased to bring this solution to the market in partnership with Mastercard to deliver more value and innovation to our clients. Creating more accessible, more flexible and more seamless ways to reduce fraud, while accelerating commerce and protect consumers and merchants is what drives us at Worldpay.”

Between 2022-23 Ethoca Alerts enabled the prevention of $1.6bn in fraud due to chargebacks, helping to protect retailers from fraudulent claims.

FINANCIAL CRIME PROTECTION MONTH: How banks and merchants are leveraging the latest technologies

The UK’s retail finance landscape is witnessing a technological revolution. While this brings convenience and innovation, it also creates new avenues for financial crime. Thankfully, cutting-edge solutions are emerging to equip banks and merchants with robust defences against fraudsters. Here’s an exploration of key recent and future trends in financial crime prevention, based on input from attendees at the Fraud Prevention Summit…

Recent Trends:

  • Machine Learning (ML) and AI for Anomaly Detection: Advanced analytics powered by ML and AI are becoming a cornerstone of financial crime prevention. These systems can analyse vast amounts of transaction data in real-time, identifying suspicious patterns and potential fraud attempts that human analysts might miss.
  • Network Analysis and Link Discovery: Financial institutions are leveraging network analysis tools to map connections between accounts, entities, and transactions. This helps identify potential fraud rings, money laundering networks, and other complex criminal schemes.
  • Enhanced Customer Authentication: Moving beyond static passwords, multi-factor authentication (MFA) is gaining traction. MFA utilizes additional verification steps, like one-time passwords (OTPs) or biometric verification, to bolster security.
  • Regulatory Focus on Open Banking: Open Banking regulations are driving innovation in fraud prevention. Banks can utilize third-party services to access customer account information with consent, allowing for more robust verification and fraud risk assessment.

Future Trends:

  • Biometric Authentication Beyond Mobile Wallets: Fingerprints, facial recognition, and iris scans could become more common for online and in-person transactions. This eliminates the need for passwords and offers a higher level of security.
  • Behavioural Biometrics: This emerging technology analyses a customer’s typing speed, mouse movement, and other behavioural patterns during online transactions. Deviations from a customer’s baseline behaviour could indicate a potential fraud attempt.
  • Shift towards Predictive Analytics: ML advancements will enable solutions to predict and prevent fraud before it occurs. By analyzing historical data and behavioural patterns, systems can identify high-risk transactions and flag them for further scrutiny.
  • Artificial Intelligence for Case Management: AI can automate aspects of fraud investigation, freeing up human analysts to focus on complex cases. This can streamline the investigation process and lead to faster resolution of fraudulent activity.
  • Collaboration through Consortiums and Information Sharing: Financial institutions and law enforcement agencies are increasingly collaborating through consortiums to share information on emerging fraud trends and develop joint strategies.

Benefits for Banks and Merchants:

Implementing these trends offers significant benefits:

  • Reduced Financial Losses: Effective financial crime prevention solutions can significantly reduce losses from fraudulent transactions.
  • Enhanced Customer Protection: Robust security measures reassure customers about the safety of their financial information, fostering trust and loyalty.
  • Improved Regulatory Compliance: Financial institutions need to comply with regulations like Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML). Advanced solutions help meet these requirements.
  • Increased Operational Efficiency: Automating fraud detection and investigation can free up staff time and streamline operations.
  • Competitive Advantage: Providing a secure and trustworthy financial environment can give banks and merchants a competitive edge in attracting and retaining customers.

Financial crime in the UK retail sector is a constant threat, but technological advancements offer powerful tools for prevention. By embracing these trends – from AI-powered analytics to potential biometric authentication – banks and merchants can create a more secure and robust financial ecosystem. This empowers them to protect their customers, maintain financial stability, and thrive in the digital age.

Are you searching for Financial Crime Prevention solutions for your organisation? The Fraud Prevention Summit can help!

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‘One million attacks on global financial sector in 120 days’

BlackBerry’s latest Global Threat Intelligence Report has revealed threat actors focusing efforts on targeting high-value data held by the global financial sector, with one million attacks logged over the 120 day period.

This “death by a million cuts” is revealed to be using mainly commodity malware, which indicates a large number of independent actors targeting the industry in pursuit of financial gain. Critical infrastructure attacks, including those targeting government, financial, healthcare and communications industries, altogether accounted for 62 percent of industry-related attacks over the report period, September to December 2023. 

The BlackBerry Threat Research and Intelligence team registered a 27 percent uptick in novel malware to 3.7 new malicious samples per minute prevented by its AI-powered cybersecurity solutions, compared to 2.9 per minute in the previous reporting period. Overall, BlackBerry claims its cybersecurity solutions stopped 31 attacks every minute, a 19 percent increase on the last reporting period. 

“We’re consistently seeing increased volumes of attack in highly lucrative industries using novel malware,” said Ismael Valenzuela, Vice President of Threat Research and Intelligence at BlackBerry. “Novel malware typically indicates specific motivations from threat actors towards particular attack targets with intent to evade defences, which are often based on static signatures. We’ve reached a pivotal point where traditional detection methods alone are not enough to combat this increasingly complex problem. AI is already being weaponised by malicious entities, so it must equally be the dominant tool for detection and defence.” 

Highlights from the latest BlackBerry Global Threat Intelligence Report include: 

  • 62 percent of industry-related attacks targeted critical industries: Digitization and the prospect of debilitating national infrastructure attracted notorious gangs and Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) groups who attempt to exploit security misconfigurations and vulnerabilities for varying motives. 
  • Commercial enterprises also under attack: 33 percent of all threats targeted commercial enterprises (including retail, manufacturing, automotive and professional services), with the majority (53 percent) of those deploying information-stealing (Infostealer) malware with the aim of accessing highly sensitive data.  
  • Rapid weaponization of CVEs by Threat Actors: Ransomware gangs observed taking advantage of new Zero Day vulnerabilities and mass mobilizing against potentially vulnerable targets, with zero-day exploits motivating profiteer groups.  

Based on its data analysis, the BlackBerry Threat Intelligence and Research team predicts that 2024 will bring an increase in attacks targeting critical infrastructure and other profitable segments. VPN appliances will likely remain desirable targets for nation-state-level threat actors and it is anticipated that there will be a continued increase in supply chain cyberattacks targeting hardware and software vulnerabilities. Further, APAC will likely see an increase in attacks from China and North Korea, particularly financially-motivated attacks. 

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Alt payments now preferred over cash and cards for e-commerce in China

Alternative payment methods such as mobile and digital wallets dominate the e-commerce space in China, displacing cash and cards as the most preferred payment method, with a 67.3% market share in 2023.

GlobalData’s E-Commerce Analytics reveals that Chinese e-commerce market is expected to register a 11.9% growth in 2024 to reach CNY17 trillion ($2.4 trillion), as consumers increasingly shift from offline to online purchases. The market is set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9% between 2024 and 2028 to reach CNY25.7 trillion ($3.6 trillion) in 2028.

Poornima Chinta, Senior Banking and Payments Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Chinese e-commerce market, the largest in the world, experienced sustained growth over the past few years driven by rising internet and smartphone penetration, availability of secure online payment systems, and increasing number of online shoppers.”

To boost e-commerce sales, the government is also taking various initiatives. In August 2023, nine Chinese government departments, including the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), introduced a three-year plan to develop and promote e-commerce even in rural areas. The plan includes several aspects such as improving internet and payment infrastructure as well as developing required logistic facilities.

Coming to payment tool preference, alternative payment solutions dominate e-commerce in China with a combined market share of 67.3% in 2023, according to the GlobalData’s 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey. This is a trend that is prevalent in many Asian markets.

Alipay and WeChat Pay, with more than one billion worldwide users each, are the most popular alternative payment methods, which have gained prominence due to their simplicity, speed, and convenience. International brands such as Samsung Pay and Apple Pay are also available in the market.

Alternative payments are followed by bank transfers and payment cards. Cards account for a 14.9% share of e-commerce transaction value in 2023. Credit cards are more preferred than debit cards due to the value-added benefits they offer including interest free instalment payment options, reward programs, cashback, and discounts.

Chinta concludes: “The Chinese e-commerce market is expected to continue its upward growth trajectory supported by the government initiatives and growing consumer preference for online shopping. Alternative payment solutions are likely to continue their dominance driven by their growing userbase and increasing online merchant acceptance”

Registration is Open for November’s Fraud Prevention Summit!

The Fraud Prevention Summitformerly known as the Merchant Fraud Summit, is a bespoke and highly targeted event, where you can meet with a selection of top suppliers, who can help with your upcoming plans and projects, alongside opportunities to network with peers & attend educational seminars!

See what our past attendees had to say:

“Great event, well organised and met some great people! Looking forward to doing business and enhancing the relations forged on the day” – Belron uk

“Well organised, good location, relevant and useful to my business” – Driversure

The event is entirely free for fraud professionals, like you, to attend. 

6th November 2024 

Hilton London Canary Wharf 

Your free pass includes;

✅ A corporate itinerary of one-to-one meetings with leading solution providers

✅ A seat at our industry seminar sessions

✅ Full hospitality including lunch and refreshments throughout

✅ Multiple networking breaks to make new connections in your field

Places are in high demand, book your free pass here.  

If you specialise in Financial Crime Prevention Solutions we want to hear from you!

Each month on Fraud Prevention Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the market – and in April we’ll be focussing on Financial Crime Prevention Solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Financial Crime Prevention Solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374 098 | j.lane@forumevents.co.uk.

Apr – Financial Crime
May – Multi-factor Authentication
Jun – Digital Identity Verification
Jul – Fraud Detection Tools
Aug – Anti Fraud Platforms
Sep – AI for Fraud
Oct – Chargebacks
Nov – Biometrics for Fraud prevention
Dec – Mobile Fraud Prevention
Jan – Digital Identity Verification
Feb – Fraud Prevention Solutions
Mar – Risk Prevention & Compliance

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Mother’s Day shopping spree predicted for UK retail

UK shoppers are set to spend £1.7bn on Mother’s Day this year, a 1.1% increase on 2023, as over half of consumers intend to purchase an item to celebrate the occasion, though price remains a main concern.

That’s according to the UK Mother’s Day Intentions 2024 report from GlobalData, which also cautions that high inflation means that shoppers are paying more for less, and therefore the nation’s mums are likely to find that the gifts bestowed on them are less impressive than last year.

According to GlobalData’s report, 41% of consumers who intend to, or have already purchased, an item for Mother’s Day have or will spend under £20 on gifts. Food gifts and flowers will be popular products this year, and as such, retailers must focus on showcasing entry price points to entice greater spend on the occasion.

Joe Dawson, Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Consumers still have tight budgets, and seeking out the lowest prices has become a norm for many. To capitalize on the high participation in the event, retailers must ensure that they are promoting the affordability of their ranges by clearly signposting Mother’s Day deals and discounts online and instore.”

The grocers are particularly well placed to benefit from consumers looking to cut back and should use exclusive loyalty scheme offers and discounts to encourage shoppers to spend more. Around a fifth of consumers stated that they intended to buy clothing or jewellery this Mother’s Day (19% and 21%), and retailers will need to cater to those looking to cut back by offering a range of price points.

Dawson concluded: “While the proportion of consumers intending to purchase gifts is higher for Mother’s Day than it was on Valentine’s Day, it is still lower than the 65% of consumers that participated in the event in 2023. Showcasing high quality products at affordable prices will be key to appealing to consumers looking to treat their loved ones at a lower cost and capturing greater spend closer to the date.”

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

FRAUD PREVENTION MONTH: Finding the right merchant fraud prevention partner

Retail professionals face the constant challenge of merchant fraud – fraudulent transactions that target online businesses. Protecting your bottom line and maintaining customer confidence requires a robust fraud prevention strategy and a trusted partner. Here’s your guide to sourcing reliable merchant fraud prevention solutions providers

1. Understand the Nature of Merchant Fraud:

Knowledge is power. Familiarise yourself with common merchant fraud tactics, such as card-not-present (CNP) fraud, identity theft, friendly fraud (chargebacks), and triangulation scams. This will help you identify providers specializing in the areas most relevant to your business.

2. Look for a Hybrid Approach:

Seek providers that blend advanced technology with expert human review. AI-powered fraud detection systems can analyze massive volumes of data in real-time, flagging suspicious transactions. However, human analysts are crucial for investigating complex cases and verifying flagged orders before they’re declined.

3. Emphasize Customisation:

Your business is unique. One-size-fits-all fraud prevention solutions may leave gaps in your defenses. Choose a provider that offers tailored solutions, allowing rule-based filtering and risk scoring to be customized based on your specific business model and fraud patterns.

4. Prioritize Data Protection:

Customer data security is paramount. Verify that the provider adheres to strict data protection standards, complying with industry regulations like PCI-DSS and GDPR. Robust security measures must be in place to protect sensitive customer information.

5. Demand 3D Secure Integration:

3D Secure (e.g., Verified by Visa, Mastercard SecureCode) adds an extra layer of authentication for online payments, shifting liability away from the merchant in certain cases. Ensure your chosen provider offers seamless integration with 3D Secure protocols.

6. Assess Chargeback Management Capabilities:

Chargebacks are a major pain point for merchants. Choose a provider that offers proactive chargeback prevention tools and expert assistance in representing your case if a chargeback does occur.

7. Seek Industry Endorsements:

Verify the provider’s reputation through industry reviews, accreditations, or awards. Look for affiliations with organizations demonstrating their commitment to merchant fraud prevention.

8. Insist on Transparency and Clear Pricing:

Seek providers offering upfront, transparent pricing structures. Be wary of hidden fees or complex contracts. Understand exactly what you will be paying for, including implementation costs, transaction fees, and chargeback management services.

9. Foster Open Communication:

Treat your provider as an extension of your team. Look for partners that value communication and are willing to provide regular updates on fraud trends, performance metrics, and proactive strategies for protecting your business.

By following these top tips, retail professionals can confidently navigate the selection process and find trusted merchant fraud prevention solutions providers. Partnering with a reputable provider will shield your online business from the ever-evolving threat of fraud, ultimately boosting your profitability and safeguarding your customer relationships.

Are you searching for Fraud Prevention solutions for your organisation? The Fraud Prevention Summit can help!

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Retail sector the ‘least confident’ in ability to prevent cyber attacks

Node4’s Mid-Market IT Priorities Report 2024 has revealed the top ten mid-market cyber security threats for the next 12 months, as set out by the sector’s IT decision-makers. Top of the list is insider threat, followed by AI-related threats, ransomware, deep fakes and malware. The second half includes DoS attacks, supply chain attacks, phishing, zero-day attacks and scams/fraud.  

Paul Bryce, Managing Director at Node4, said: “The high level of concern around insider threats could be attributed to the large number of job transitions and redundancies over the past 12 months, coupled with the growing reliance on contractors to address IT and cyber security skills gaps. It might also be linked to long-term, security-related worries, flexible working and the increased potential for cyber attacks on a distributed workforce.” 

Node4’s new research also points to significant adoption of pre-crime and preventative cyber security measures, with around 40% of respondents stating they currently have dark web intelligence and incident response capabilities — suggesting a growing level of maturity in cyber security policy adoption across the mid-market.  

Perhaps linked to the above findings, the report reveals a high degree of optimism surrounding cyber security defence capabilities. Over three-quarters of IT decision-makers said they were confident in their organisation’s ability to prevent and respond to cyber-attacks, despite the research being conducted at a time of increased cyber security attacks aimed squarely at small and mid-sized organisations. Breaking down these results by vertical sector, IT decision-makers working in private healthcare were the most confident, while those in retail were least so.  

It is worth sounding a note of caution here. Over a quarter of respondents told us they believe AI could expose their organisation to new cyber security risks in the future, and that dealing with AI-related threats is their top priority for the next 12 months. Further, around one-third of compliance challenges identified by respondents in this research are directly linked to IT security and cyber security risk mitigation — pointing to the ongoing complex issues at play in ensuring secureremote access to corporate data. Taken together, these findings indicate now is not the time for complacency, and the mid-market’s IT decision-makers need to double down on their proactive, vigilant cyber security stance.   

Less than 15% of mid-market IT decision-makers manage cyber security defences with internal staff, while over a third outsource to managed service providers. Meanwhile, the majority rely on a combination of in-house resources and their MSP. This could explain why nearly a quarter of respondents said the need to enhance data security and compliance was driving their digital transformation efforts.  

Bryce concluded: “Our findings show that many mid-market organisations are working hard to implement more mature and effective cyber security measures, which is encouraging given that the combined impact of lower budgets, fewer resourcesand a shortage of in-house skills could easily hamper these efforts. However, around a quarter of respondents stated that a lack of suitable services from cloud providers, primary tech partners and MSPs was aprincipal barrier to doing so. This suggests the mid-market relies increasingly on third-party support to do the heavy lifting for its cyber security strategy implementations — and will lean on it to an even greater degree as cybercriminal threats become even more complex, harder to spot and difficult to repel.” 

To download a full copy of the report, please visithttps://node4.co.uk/resource/mid-market-report-2024