Monzo reacts to UK fraud threat with trio of prevention features

Source: Monzo

Monzo has added new fraud prevention tools at a time of heightened regulatory and industry focus on the impact scams are having on UK consumers.

The UK’s largest digital bank and a prominent challenger bank in the country’s financial sector has announced the addition of the Known Locations, Trusted Contacts and Secret QR codes features to its app.

Fraud has become a major talking point in the British payments and finance sectors this year. Monzo itself has noted that UK Finance figures suggest British consumers are losing up to £1bn per year due to scams.

The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has placed the onus for fraud prevention predominantly on payments firms, with incoming rules on 7 October around reimbursement for scam victims. In this context, many payment providers and banks are looking at ways they can protect customers from fraud.

Priyesh Patel, Senior Staff Engineer at Monzo, said: “As fraudsters become more and more sophisticated we’re continuing to invest to outpace their tactics and keep our customers’ money safe. 

“Whether it’s choosing your safety radius with Known Locations or having a trusted contact sense-check your payments before you make them, these features offer customers peace of mind and force a much-needed moment of pause in a high-stakes situation. 

“With best-in-class technology, security experts and a priority to prevent fraud at the source, these controls are great additions to our security toolkit, with much more to come.”

Monzo has specified certain times of fraudulent activity it is seeking to clamp down on via the new fraud prevention features. 

The firm has earmarked phone theft, noting that this is now more preventable in Britain than cash thefts; phone serving, meaning when a thief looks over someone’s shoulder to steal info like PIN numbers and impersonation scams, the latter having been enhanced lately by the development of AI technology.

Breaking down the product range, Known Locations allows customers to choose a certain location such as their home or workplace that they need to be in when making transfers or withdrawing from a savings account.

The Trusted Contacts feature allows customers to choose a close friend or family member who also uses Monzo to approve bank transfers. Lastly, Secret QR Codes provide a personalised, highly-secure QR code stored on different devices or printed, which customers sneed alongside their phone to approve a payment or savings withdrawal over a chosen limit.

Mark Tierney, CEO of Stop Scams UK said: “Monzo’s new safety controls are a hugely welcome innovation that will help keep people safe against fraud. The emotional impact of fraud, alongside financial loss, underscores the importance of Monzo’s proactive approach. 

“By leveraging technology and expertise, these controls aim to stop fraudsters in their tracks before they can inflict harm and ruin people’s lives.”