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New fraud prevention systems & services from Barclays and Apple raise questions

Fraud prevention requires a multi-faceted approach to cut fraud levels significantly. There is no single technology or solution.

ID systems

On 5th September Barclays announced there ‘vein ID’ service using scanners that identify customers by their fingers’ unique vein patterns, as they seek to ramp up their fight against cyber crime and fraud. But vein scanners can be big beasts:

Source & Copyright©2014 - Fujitsu

But this could never fit on a mobile phone.

On 9th September Apple launched their Apple Pay service using their Touch ID technology which recognises the fingerprint of the iPhone user:

Source & Copyright©2014 - Apple Inc

But vein and fingerprint biometric ID systems do have small failure rates, so manufacturers, such as SAFRAN Morpho, have developed the desktop multimodal devices capable of capturing and processing finger vein and fingerprint biometric data at the same time:

Source & Copyright©2014 - SAFRAN

However, even a multi-modal reader, is not enough. The Smart Card Alliance work in 2000 showed that to really, truly identify a person, you need to have ‘Something you know + Something you have + Something you are.’

The Ultimate Combination

Source & Copyright©2014 - Smart Alliance

And today some experts are even suggesting another dimension - time, i.e. when the person is expected.

The solutions from Barclays and Apple are definitely not the complete solution. The question is, “Are they good enough to prevent the very large majority of fraud?” The answer is probably, “Yes”.

Other techniques and technologies

This summer SWIFT’s Sanctions Screening service surpassed 200 customers worldwide. This is just two years after its introduction as the first solution in SWIFT's financial crime compliance services portfolio. Sanctions Screening is a shared service that screens financial transactions against selected lists, providing small and medium-sized institutions with a reliable, cost-effective means of testing their compliance with sanctions regulations.

Sanctions Screening features a centrally-hosted screening engine from an industry-leading vendor, FircoSoft, and a list management tool. SWIFT manages the service and provides ongoing sanctions list updates. Since its launch in 2012, the Sanctions Screening service has been adopted by more than 230 customers in 88 countries.

Banks using the Sanctions Screening service can send their transactions to a screening engine, which filters the messages in real time and checks against the banks' selected sanctions lists. The service covers the majority of the messages used in cross-border financial transactions and is expected to support all types of financial messages, including SEPA payments, in 2015.

But sanctions screening is not enough, fraud prevention requires many more techniques and processes.

Fraud sources

A Metropolitan Police study showed that there are six basic sources of fraud:

Source & Copyright©2014 - Metropolitan Policy UK

They advise that each source needs to be tackled with technology, systems and processes as well as basic good practices.


CTMfile take: The need for fraud prevention never ends.

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This item appears in the following sections:
Fraud Prevention
ID Systems & Services in Fraud Prevention
Minimizing Fraud Procedures