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Speed and safety: can the two co-exist?

Last year, fraud made up 40% of all crimes and there were an estimated 3.7 million incidents of fraud in the UK.[1] Were you affected? Certainly, when we’ve been looking for customers to take part in sessions about fraud this year, we’ve not found it difficult to find people willing to share their stories. It’s a matter financial services (FS) providers are taking very seriously. Adding in layers of security and confirmation screens is a popular tactic they use to help prevent fraud. It slows the customer journey down. In fact, slowing customers down is right at the heart of the national Take Five fraud prevention campaign – urging people to stop and think before parting with money and to challenge anything that feels wrong.[2]


Slowing journeys down however feels at odds with the ideal frictionless customer experience which customers often tell us they expect. And speed is key within customer journeys for FS providers. Research shows that almost half of consumers abandon an online application for a financial or insurance product because it took too much time to fill out the form – which demonstrates the predicament that FS providers are in.[3]


Often it is not until a customer has been a victim of fraud that they truly appreciate the measures providers put in place to keep customers’ money secure – even if that means the process is slower. We met Felicity* in a recent customer session. Having been a victim of fraud on multiple occasions, she views more fraud prevention measures as a positive. She knows banking ‘now takes extra time, but the other option is that there is less security which doesn’t make me feel good. I now expect that level of security’. She likened it to airport security – although it can be the bane of a holidaymaker’s airport experience, it’s accepted as a necessary evil.


Monzo’s new ‘Call Status’ feature, a first for the banking industry in the UK, is a great example of where fraud prevention and user experience feel like they work in harmony rather than at odds. The in-app feature allows customers to identify whether a caller is someone from Monzo rather than a fraudulent imposter. It is a brilliant innovation, particularly as impersonation fraud (including phishing, vishing and smishing) is one of the most commonly experienced types of fraud in the UK.[4]


It gives customers the ability to verify a caller’s authenticity with ease and speed. Speed is not only expected by customers but it’s useful in detecting, preventing and resolving fraud. In this case, the faster a customer can recognise they are speaking to a scammer, the less likely they will become a victim of a scam. The feature is a simple yet impressive marriage of fraud prevention and speed which is new for the industry.


With fraud on the rise and becoming increasingly harder to identify, innovation will be vital to keep customers’ money safe. Innovations that don’t undermine the effortlessness that brands have worked so hard to deliver to customers will be what makes providers stand out.



*Name changed for confidentiality

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fraud-strategy/fraud-strategy-stopping-scams-and-protecting-the-public#:~:text=Fraud%20is%20the%20largest%20crime,over%2040%25%20of%20all%20crime. [2] About Take Five | Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk) [3] transunion-uk-2023-state-of-omnichannel-fraud-report.pdf [4] consumer-pulse-q2-2023.pdf (transunion.co.uk)

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