P2P’s speed puts personal info at greater risk

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Peer-to-peer payments have increasingly become the norm. The National Automated Clearing House Association found that 29.4 million P2P transactions were executed in last year's second quarter alone, a 24% increase from 2017. It shouldn’t come as a surprise: Mobile payments are a fast, easy and convenient way to transfer money.

Given the increasing popularity and volume of transactions, P2P also makes for an ideal breeding ground for fraud. Today, stolen personally identifiable information (PII) is widely available on the dark web following several data breaches over the past few years. Using stolen PII, fraudulent actors are likely to migrate to popular payment channels, like P2P.
Financial institutions and payments processors are doing their best to secure mobile and P2P payments. But fraud is an ever-evolving game. And fraudsters are using different, more complex tactics to circumvent fraud prevention measures. For their part, some financial institutions and payment processors are leveraging newer authentication methods such as using a mobile devices’ unique electric serial numbers or multifactor authentication that can include biometrics for identity purposes. Others are not.
According to a Javelin Strategy & Research 2018 identity fraud study, over 16.7 million U.S. consumers fell victim to identity fraud in 2017, up 8% from the previous year. With additional data breaches over the past year, 2019 results are likely to be even worse, putting financial institutions and payment processing platforms at serious risk.

Steps can be taken, however, to reduce fraud and instill confidence. Financial institutions and payment processors should consider the following as they look to protect their customers: Proactively interdicting bad actors at enrollment; concealing screening at sign-up to minimize consumer friction and keep fraudsters in the dark; tapping into social media, smartphone use and other nontraditional data sources; and applying real-time processing with up-to-date data.

Protecting P2P and mobile transactions will mean employing fraud protection measures at enrollment and on an ongoing basis, throughout the customer and payment life cycle.

As payments speed up, financial institutions and payment processors will need to be careful that faster payments don’t turn into faster fraud.

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