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Barclays' Initiative Sets Precedent for Combating Mobile Fraud

May 10, 2017

Fraud is one of the unfortunate risks of conducting business online and, despite security improvements throughout a number of vertical industries, it continues to rise. One global bank has taken steps to combat fraudulent activity and safeguard customers against mobile fraud and is setting a precedent for carriers and the mobile industry at large.

Barclays, one of the largest banks in the UK, is offering new controls as part of a nearly $13 million initiative designed to squelch mobile fraud. The company has given customers the power to decide whether or not their cards may make remote purchases simply by turning the ability on and off. Customers may also set daily ATM withdrawal limits through the Barclays Mobile Banking App.

The bank has also rolled out an online quiz designed to enable UK residents to assess their personal levels of digital safety. Barclays will also sponsor routine fraud awareness takeovers for its online and mobile banking sites along with holding Digital Eagles safety teach-ins. These events are designed to prevent customers from being goaded into withdrawing cash.

The Barclays initiative was launched in response to shocking statistics revealing fraud and cybercrime cost the UK $14.2 billion last year, comprising half of all recorded crime. The epidemic is global, with fraud and cybercrime racking up costs of more than $450 billion worldwide last year. And according to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2017, more than half of companies in the U.S., UK and Germany are ill equipped to deal with fraud.

Mobile operators and carriers can take a page out of Barclays’ playbook by educating their customers and spreading awareness about the dangers of mobile fraud and how to prevent it. Providing useful features to enable customers to control access and limit online activity can also go a long way toward warding off fraudulent activity before it becomes a major problem.

“Fraud is often wrongly described as an invisible crime, but the effects are no less damaging to people’s lives,” said Ashok Vaswani, chief executive at Barclays UK. “As a society our confidence in using digital technology to shop, pay our bills and connect with others has grown faster than our knowledge of how to do so safely. This has created a ‘digital safety gap,’ which is being exploited by criminals.”

“We need to super-charge our digital know-how and talk to our friends and relatives to prevent these crimes from happening,” added Laura Flack, head of digital safety at Barclays. “Often staying safe isn’t rocket science. A few practical steps and a dose of vigilance can boost your safety immeasurably. Remember if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Edited by Alicia Young

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