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Greater use of contactless payments increases consumers’ exposure to financial crime


Alex Robinson, Payment and Banking Expert at Featurespace, says: “This latest data shows the pandemic has accelerated consumers’ use of contactless payments to make purchases.

“The fall in the value of credit and debit card transactions can be partly attributed to consumers reining in spending in January after the Christmas period and as a result of enforced closure of non-essential retail outlets.

“The accelerated shift towards contactless card payments was initially driven by fears over contracting coronavirus which triggered a shift in consumer behaviour towards favouring payments that helped reduce the risk of transmission. The proportion of debit and credit card purchases made through contactless payment means is likely to rise further once firms implement the necessary conditions to facilitate the higher £100 contactless payment limit.

“However, despite providing a more convenient means to make purchases, the high share of contactless payments may provide opportunities for fraudsters to conduct financial crime. Banks and payment providers need to be alive to this potential threat. Strengthening internal fraud and AML controls will reduce the likelihood of banks’ customers being the victim of financial crime.”

About Featurespace 

Featurespace™ is the world leader in Enterprise Financial Crime prevention for fraud and Anti-Money Laundering. Featurespace invented Adaptive Behavioral Analytics and Automated Deep Behavioral Networks, both of which are available through the ARIC™ platform, a real-time machine learning software that risk scores events in more than 180 countries to prevent fraud and financial crime. 
ARIC™ Risk Hub uses advanced, explainable anomaly detection to enable financial institutions to automatically identify risk, catch new fraud attacks and identify suspicious activity in real-time. More than 30 major global financial institutions are using ARIC to protect their business and their customers. Publicly announced customers include HSBC, TSYS, Worldpay, NatWest Group, Contis, Danske Bank, ClearBank, AK Bank and Permanent TSB. 

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