Stepping up the fight against fraud
In today’s time-poor, quick-fix society, it’s so easy to click on a link without really thinking, with devastating consequences. In the UK today, around 3 million people a year are victims of fraud, and anyone can be deceived. Whether it’s an urgent text regarding a fake delivery, a heartfelt request to send a loved one emergency funds, or an opportunity to increase life savings, fraudsters are increasingly opportunistic.
But criminals have a formidable opponent. We have been at the forefront of fraud prevention for decades and are now stepping up our efforts even further to help the UK win the fight against fraud by introducing a range of innovative technologies and issuing a call for further cross-industry co-operation on the issue.
Part of the job is educating the public to be more aware when making online payments. A recent survey found that one in four under-35s planned to use social media for their holiday shopping this summer, with nine in ten leaving it until the last minute. Unfortunately, one in six admitted that this means they were less likely to check for fraud when buying, making them more vulnerable to thieves.
But our core strength is in our innovative fraud prevention solutions. Our VisaNet system – the largest consumer financial transaction processing system in the world – has been using AI for over 30 years to combat fraud and the company has also pioneered “tokenisation”: a powerful technology that conceals sensitive payment data.
Bolstering the security of our clients and their customers
Security is at the very heart of our network: millions of British businesses and consumers depend on the integrity of our payments ecosystem, so we have to be vigilant in order to protect each and every transaction, big or small.
That’s why we have invested more than £8 billion globally in the last five years to enhance our fraud prevention measures and network security, and we also have a dedicated cyber security team in our London HQ. We also offer additional services to our clients, tailored to their exact needs, that can protect them from attacks that even they cannot see.
Last year we proactively prevented an estimated £22 billion in global fraud. Just seven cents in every $100 spent on our network is now affected by fraud – this is one of the lowest rates of any payment method. Of course, we are also not doing this alone – co-operation is vital, and we are proud of the strong partnerships we have with the banking sector to deliver these results.
Tackling fraud head-on
The risk of fraud when using Visa is lower than it has ever been: in the last three years, we have reduced UK card fraud on our network by 28 per cent – more than the government’s 10 per cent target, and in line with industry calls for a 25 per cent reduction.
But even after 60 years in the business, there is still more to do. We know how devastating scams and fraud can be for British businesses and consumers, which is why we will always invest in the very latest security.
But the whole industry needs to work together to make even more progress. That is why we are organising a UK Fraud Innovation Summit later this year to increase cross-industry efforts to tackle online scammers and to reduce current fraud rates by even further than the 10 per cent suggested by the UK government.
The evolution of payments technology
Real-time and direct payments are becoming more popular – but this also makes them more attractive to scammers. The banks are working hard to ensure there are robust protections in place so consumers can use these services with confidence.
We are supporting these efforts by bringing a similar level of analysis and fraud detection to real-time payments. If we can deliver the same degree of protection for direct payments as we do for card payments, we could stop up to 40 per cent of all scam account-to-account transactions in certain circumstances – making a big impact on the £485 million lost to Authorised Push Payment scams in the UK last year.
Sadly, fraudsters are always going to go after the weakest link and all too often that is consumers themselves.
That is why we work so closely with our clients and consumer organisations to share vital information about the different types of scams that are out there, as well as simple steps to help people keep themselves safe. And, in the background, we will continue to do everything we can to stop these criminals before they are able to destroy lives and livelihoods.
Stay current with the latest payments insights from Visa Navigate Europe - subscribe today.
All brand names, logos and/or trademarks are the property of their respective owners, are used for identification purposes only, and do not necessarily imply product endorsement or affiliation with Visa.