There’s a new way to fight the fraud butterfly effect

One fraudulent attack today can quickly turn into the total destruction of an account holder’s financial life, affecting them long after the crime occurs. As criminals keep pace with new authentication methods, institutions are turning to technology to harness their best line of defense: What they know about their account holders.

Criminals used to just steal money after breaking into a banking account. Now, they’re grabbing everything they can, even people’s identities. To respond to this new fraud “butterfly effect,” expert say the industry needs a butterfly net, a system built across banking technology and channels to defend account holders more effectively.

In March, a study by Javelin researchers of 5,000 U.S. adults called the expanded and more destructive activity of thieves the butterfly effect because they now gain entry and “methodically wrest control of accounts” from their holders as well as everything else the account touches.

The challenge in stopping it with better authentication stems from inherent elements of the banking relationship. No matter how it’s upgraded, account holders always need to be capable of logging in. They always can unintentionally hand over access to their account or have it stolen from them, even with voice, fingerprint, and facial recognition authentication methods.

Technology, though, has created a new line of defense inside and across banking channels, according to experts at Fiserv, where knowledge of account holders provides institutions an upper hand. Combining data across banking channels, the industry can more accurately identify unusual or suspicious activities, potentially stopping fraud in its tracks.


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