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Digital pay specialist urges better consumer guidance from businesses on cybercrime

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Eckoh, the digital payment security specialist, is calling for more robust business processes and better guidance for consumers on cybercrime.

The latest Office of National Statistics data shows there were nearly six million fraud and cybercrimes committed in England and Wales last year.

The ONS estimated there were two million computer misuse offences and 3.8 million fraud offences in the 12 months to the end of March - suggesting fraud is the most common type of crime.

The most common types of fraud experienced were bank and credit account fraud, with 2.5 million incidents, followed by "non-investment" fraud, such as scams related to online shopping, the ONS said.

Tony Porter, global head of communications at Eckoh, said: “The vast majority of UK consumers are reasonably well educated about the risks of exposing their data, but there are also millions of consumers who assume that the convenience of making payments online or over the phone comes with levels of security that simply aren’t robust enough.

“We are publishing a draft digital health and safety guide to spell out the potential risks and encourage people to think twice before they speak to an agent, click or press send.”

Research shows that the average UK consumer, irrespective of age, is now accustomed to using several communications channels, including phone, text, social media, web self-service, messaging apps and more.

Ease of use, in Eckoh’s view, can lull a consumer into a false sense of security. Eckoh believes fewer than 20% of businesses have invested in secure payment technology to prevent fraud.

Porter said: “Enterprises talk extensively about putting their customers’ needs at the heart of their business and yet are seemingly happy to put their personal data at risk on a daily basis.

“The most public example of this is making customers speak their card data over the phone to anyone who can hear it, including the contact centre agent.”

Porter said Barclays’ recent announcement that it is moving to voice authentication of customers as an alternative to passwords is an example of the trend towards the implementation of cutting edge telephone-based security which is led by banks and other financial institutions.

Porter said:  “It is conceivable that we might eventually see the death of the alphanumeric password. With IVR speech recognition systems validating identity and then serving the customer on the basis of voice commands.”

Eckoh has shared its draft of a digital health and safety guide for consumers to prompt debate about payment solutions and telephone-based security and help offset the risk of fraud.

> Download the Digital Health and Safety Guide (pdf)

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