Progress towards an entirely cashless society has been and remains relentless, which is good news for business and customers alike as modern transaction methods mean far greater convenience and the careless loss of portable cash becomes less of an issue, as indeed does casual and opportunistic theft. But criminals will always make it their business to respond to new developments with even more innovative ways through which to try to relieve us of our hard-earned money, and so we need to remain on top of the situation and always to minimize opportunities for the fraudsters and scammers.
At the center of the cashless revolution lies the whole business of authentication. Whether we complete a transaction by contactless card, through a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay or with a voucher or token it is in everybody’s interests that the correct payment is made by the right person to the rightful recipient. It is the mission of new technology in the field to perfect this process as seamlessly and securely as possible.
Identifying and Countering Fraudulent Activity
The government information website USA.gov publishes some very useful information about scams and frauds which is updated frequently. Banks such as HSBC also routinely warn their clients to be on their guard, and publish fraud prevention advice on their websites and in outgoing communications. As internet-based scams become more complex in their design and approach, so it is necessary for us as potential victims remain constantly ahead of the game.
For those in the business community, fraud can be every bit as much an occupational hazard as non-payment by clients. Rogue payments for services can be stopped at the point of a security audit and transactions canceled, leaving the honest service provider out of pocket. CNP (Card Not Present) fraud is a major concern, hence the need for intervention by specialists such as PAAY (see https://www.paay.co/emv-3ds) whose role it is to perfect authentication software and thereby to minimize opportunities for such activity.
Biometric Identification and Advanced Integration Technology
New technologies such as biometric identification and ever more sophisticated integration tools make it more difficult for fraudsters to misrepresent the honest client, but they will always be looking for ways in which to circumvent the system and thus it becomes a race to get to a point where all options for doing so are closed down. The state of play pending that eventual outcome is that whilst the potential for casual and opportunistic theft rapidly diminishes, criminality becomes the domain of organized syndicates and experts. Whilst we may scoff at the clumsiness of fictitious monarchs from faraway lands offering huge inheritances to complete strangers on the opposite side of the world in exchange for their bank details, some of the more intricate phishing scams that we are routinely called upon to evaluate are decidedly unfunny.
Authentication systems are the future which will protect businesses and private individuals alike from criminal entitles that make rich from the misery they inflict upon honest endeavor. At present it is a work in progress, but we are getting there.