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Work from home brings sensitive information home

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Your payment strategy should also include fraud protection. The pandemic, the move to remote work and challenging economic conditions have created a perfect storm for a rise in all types of crime, including payment fraud.

It's essential to have strong internal controls, especially now that sensitive information is residing in your teams' homes and on their personal networks. Preventing theft is a key component of cash management.

It used to be that organizations mainly worried about check fraud, and that's still a problem, but it's reduced quite a bit thanks to controls such as Positive Pay, Positive Payee and watermarks on checks. So far, there aren't similar controls for ACH. As businesses have gravitated toward ACH solutions, such payments have become more of a target for fraudsters. That's a problem because the funds move faster, making it much harder to recover a fraudulent ACH transaction.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes are the most common type of attack. These involve fraudsters masquerading as suppliers, company executives, or other high-ranking personnel, requesting that funds are routed to a new, fraudulent bank account. We're already seeing that the pandemic has provided BEC scammers with new material to convince an overwhelmed AP to comply with these requests.

To protect your team, you need a partner who can support your enablement and fraud protection goals, so your team can stay focused on cash management.

Finance and AP have long intended to go electronic, but the transition has been slow. It's not just the flip of a switch or the sudden addition of a new payment type. Very few businesses realize how strategic the shift is until after they've committed to an update. Many companies that don't plan accordingly have had to revert to check payments when they realized the actual cost and effort it takes to switch suppliers over. Rather than trying to attack a single pain point, you have to address the whole process from top to bottom.

Now we are seeing an acceleration of this shift with the remote workforce and challenging economic conditions. There is a new imperative, and there is also new technology. Interestingly enough, a lot of the fintechs providing B2B payments technology got their start during the Great Recession, when the financial system collapsed, and cloud technology was being born. These are now mature companies, ready to "cross the chasm" and transition their partners to 100% electronic payments.

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