Tag Archives: FRAUD

Fintech startup Alloy launches in the UK

US fintech Alloy has launched in the UK, strengthening its presence in EMEA with key senior hires and office space in London.

Alloy’s Identity Decisioning Platform helps banks and fintech companies to make smarter and faster decisions about the risk profile of each customer, and keep them safe from financial crime. The platform connects to more than 170 data sources, enabling financial institutions to automate customer approval and account opening, and monitor transactions in real time. Over 350 companies around the world trust Alloy to help them simplify processes and respond rapidly to new risks.

Fraud is a more serious threat than ever before: 91% of financial institutions said that fraud has increased year-on-year, and 71% increased their spending on fraud prevention, according to recent Alloy data. In the UK alone, bank fraud cost consumers almost £610M in the first half of 2022.

With Alloy, clients see an average 48% reduction in fraud. UK fintechs now have access to the company’s full product range, enabling them to stay ahead of regulatory requirements and scale their operations with ease.

Alloy’s former COO Edwina Johnson has relocated to London to head up global expansion, while James Baston-Pitt, former Vice President at Onfido, will spearhead commercial initiatives as the EMEA Director of Growth. The UK team is currently hiring for roles across sales and partnerships, and will continue to build out its go-to-market and client services functions throughout the year.

Since Alloy was founded in 2015, the firm has helped more than 350 of North America’s most innovative banks and fintech startups prevent fraud and financial crime, including Carta, Ramp and Brex. Alloy has raised over $210M to date, reaching a $1.55BN valuation, and last year announced its expansion into 40 new countries. The company has doubled down on its commitment to EMEA by establishing a physical presence in London, its first local site outside the US.

Edwina Johnson, Head of Global at Alloy said: “For financial institutions to remain competitive in today’s market, cross-border functionality is no longer a major advantage – it’s a must. Fintech startups are now building with a global mindset from day one, and looking for technology partners who can scale with them, adapting to their changing business needs, appetite for risk, and compliance requirements.

“The UK is one of the world’s most powerful fintech hubs, and we can’t wait to help innovative local firms unlock their potential abroad. For too long, international expansion has involved trade-offs with risk management, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Alloy provides dynamic support for companies operating across multiple regulatory environments, so they can focus on growing their business without worrying about the threat of fraud.”

To learn more, visit Alloy.com.

Covid Makes Criminals Go Cashless – Criminals now prefer to receive bank transfers over cash

We Fight Fraud (WFF) has used its unique access to the criminal underworld to discover how Covid-19 is transforming business within the illicit economy. The findings, announced today, include a move towards transacting the proceeds of crime via bank transfers and trading illegal goods on social media. This will alarm legitimate businesses, especially banks and FinTech organisations, who are being used to launder money, in breach of the regulations governing them. Legitimate businesses are also being used to facilitate fraud. The implications of the findings will be published in a whitepaper, to be discussed at the We Fight Fraud Live conference on 28th April – a free to attend, virtual event for business professionals, supported by fraud prevention specialists, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions.

Dr Nicola Harding, WFF Advisor and academic specialising in fraud, is lead author of the whitepaper. She explained: “The operational changes we found mirror those experienced by legitimate businesses during the pandemic, who reported a dramatic decrease in the use of cash. We found that the preferred option for criminals is now bank transfers, while some are also using PayPal or premium rate telephone numbers to send funds”.

The white paper’s findings also demonstrate how significant social media has become in connecting the legitimate economy with the underworld.  Simon, 26, who works in IT, shared with the WFF researcher the process of buying cannabis from a page on Instagram. He paid by bank transfer and the drugs were delivered to his house via Royal Mail – all within 36 hours.

The WFF team will all be speaking at the event and include: Tony Sales, – dubbed ‘Britain’s Greatest Fraudster’ by the Sun newspaper – who now helps household-name brands avoid fraud; Andy McDonald, former head of counter terrorist, organised crime and fraud teams at New Scotland Yard; and Solomon Gilbert, former child hacker, who has since worked with the National Crime Agency, Home Office, and private enterprises.

Researchers from WFF spoke to people involved in deviant and criminal commerce to understand the extent to which criminal and legal networks are entwined.

Tony Sales explained; “Criminal behaviour has adapted, innovated and evolved during the current crisis. We Fight Fraud uniquely talks to criminals to understand their activities.  There was an assumption that the decline of cash would make life more difficult for criminals. Our findings show that the reverse is true.”

To book a seat at the free conference go to www.wefightfraud.org/live. There are also sponsorship opportunities still available. The virtual conference will be sending delegate packs to 500 people registering to attend from the industry and the media*. These will include a copy of the whitepaper, offers and goods.


Emma Selects Signifyd to Fight Fraud and Protect the Customer Experience

Adopting a guaranteed fraud protection model removed friction and frustration from the mattress brand’s buying experience.

International mattress brand Emma has selected Commerce Protection Platform provider Signifyd to help fuel its ongoing and dramatic growth as it continues on its mission to provide the world with a better night’s sleep.

The direct-to-consumer mattress brand saw Signifyd as the ideal revenue optimization solution for its United Kingdom market given the two companies’ intense focus on providing an exceptional customer experience for online buyers. Emma is in the vanguard of ecommerce enterprises that seek to build deep and direct relationships with their customers and Signifyd is among the ecommerce innovators that have made it a mission to enable the new wave of commerce.

“Signifyd has become a key piece of our competitive advantage. When other companies are losing customers to bad CX and friction in the checkout process, we gain market share,” said Santosh Marrivagu, Emma’s head of UK & Ireland. “And the best part is, by achieving significant process innovations with Signifyd, we are able to pass benefits directly on to our customers. We can give our customers the best sleep experience at the best price – and that keeps them coming back for more.”

Emma has been a brilliant ecommerce success story since its launch in 2015. In 2018, it was named the fastest growing startup in Europe. In 2019, Emma achieved a record turnover of €150 million, a growth rate of 86% from the previous year. This year, Emma, which has expanded into 23 countries by now, aims to increase its revenue to even more than €240 million. And in June 2020, it announced that it had sold its one millionth mattress, putting to rest any questions about how its founders sleep at night.

The company was built on innovation and forward-thinking, embracing the mattress-in-a-box model early on. It’s no wonder, then, that Emma also embraced the practice of building a modular ecommerce tech stack that optimizes operations in order to provide a peerless customer experience.

Enter Signifyd. The company’s Commerce Protection Platform uses machine learning and big data to instantly identify fraudulent and legitimate orders. The platform automates order flow and provides a financial guarantee for any approved orders that turn out to be fraudulent.

With Signifyd’s Revenue Protection solution, Emma discovered that Signifyd was approving 70% of the UK orders that 3-D Secure 1.0 would have declined. Signifyd very quickly moved Emma’s order approval rate in the UK from 92% to over 98%. Within two and a half months, Emma was seeing a twelve times return on its investment in Signifyd.

More importantly, the move to Signifyd helped Emma improve upon its already legendary customer service. Each of the orders being declined represented a disappointed customer. Moreover, Signifyd’s superior fraud protection meant that consumers were not being victimized by criminal rings seeking to profit by using stolen credentials and accounts.

“We are delighted to be working with one of Europe’s premier mattress brands,” said Signifyd Managing Director for Europe, Ed Whitehead. “Emma is an incredibly well-run, technology-focused enterprise, and to be able to move the needle on their revenue while helping them provide their customers with a frictionless buying experience is just fantastic.”

Checkprint and Metro Bank Renew Significant Contract

Checkprint, part of the TALL Group of Companies, the UK leader in the provision of secure printed and electronic payment solutions, has signed a contract renewal with Metro Bank for cheque services. The decade-long partnership, which goes back to 2010 when Metro Bank was the first new high street bank to open its doors in the UK for over 100 years, has been extended for a further six years.

The contract enables Metro Bank to continue to instantly issue chequebooks to all new account holders, within minutes of them entering the store. Metro Bank is one of the only providers of instantly issued chequebooks on the high street and will look to Checkprint to continue to provide replenishment books for both personal and business customers, from the firm’s fully accredited site in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Martin Ruda, Managing Director of Checkprint, said: “It’s a tremendously positive partnership and Metro Bank are a great team to work with. The dynamic between both companies is interactive on both sides, as we both adopt more strategic positions in our markets. Metro Bank is constantly looking to evolve, and likewise, we’re always focussed on innovation and bringing new products and services to market.”

Tamsin Byrne, Metro Bank’s Director of Distribution Delivery, said: “The contract renewal is testament to the trusted and successful relationship between Metro Bank and Checkprint. Metro Bank’s commitment to providing a stand-out customer experience is underpinned with a number of key deliverables, including the ability to instantly issue chequebooks to all new account holders if they would like one. Since 2010, Checkprint has worked with Metro Bank to help us provide this and other innovative services to our customers. It’s an exciting time for both companies, who have immense respect for each other’s expertise and processes, and long may that continue.”

Law firms set to benefit from new cheque-writing platform and image survivable features

“Solicitors and other professionals involved with transfers of customers’ money must ensure their own systems are not vulnerable to being hacked and warn customers that last-minute changes to payment accounts are likely to mean fraud is being attempted.”

Katy Worobec, Managing Director: Economic Crime, UK Finance made the statement in her introduction to ‘Fraud – The Facts -2020’ report published by UK Finance in June this year. The report went on to highlight the fact that “cheque fraud losses increased to £53.6m in 2019…. Intelligence suggests the increase was largely a result of fraudsters targeting high-value corporate accounts, where losses per case are typically far higher than on individual customer accounts. Personal customers only accounted for a small fraction of the total losses. This raises the question of whether large firms need to enhance the security features on cheques to deter fraudsters.”

Banks are fighting back with the introduction of Image Survivable Features (ISFs) on both personal and corporate cheques. These features, typically a Unique Coded Number (UCN) or QR code (UCN Plus®) are printed on the face of the document and encrypt details from the cheque to help prevent fraudulent transactions. Introduced since the UK’s cheque clearing process switched to the use of cheque images rather than the transfer of the paper document in clearing, ISFs flag potential fraud in clearing where the cheque details do not match the encrypted information held in the printed ISF.

Leading security print specialists, the TALL Group, who hold the UK patent for the UCN Plus®, working in conjunction with DIA Kappa, the power behind the cheque clearing fraud prevention systems, have worked with the UK’s clearing banks to encourage particularly corporate customers to adopt ISFs on their special cheques. TALL will work with bank customers to advise how the introduction of an ISF can be achieved either on a pre-printed cheque or using in-house cheque infilling systems.

Early adopters, Bott and Co, a multiple award-winning No Win No Fee solicitors based in Wilmslow, Cheshire have installed a complete UCN Plus® solution to enable them to apply the UCN Plus® ISF on their corporate cheques infilled in-house. Gary Froggatt, Finance Director at Bott & Co said that working together with their bank and TALL, they had been able to produce a corporate cheque design that included the UCN Plus®. “We see this as a major deterrent against fraudulent cheque transactions moving forward”, he added.

Whilst larger organisations have been able to deal with recent events, for those law firms that are struggling to make regular cheque payments during the current COVID-19 crisis as a result of their accounts staff working from home, or being furloughed, they can now access a new secure cheque-writing service offered by the TALL Group. The Send-A-Cheque™ service enables partnerships and businesses to simply supply the payment details, via a secure link, and within 48 hours a fully and securely infilled cheque, fully inclusive of ISFs, will be posted back to them for distribution to their clients or suppliers.

The initiative, by the TALL Group, C&CCCo (Cheque & Credit Clearing Company, Part of Pay.UK) accredited cheque printers, also includes an option for law firms to authorise a securely pre-signed cheque meaning it can be sent directly to the recipient. Indeed, it can also be used by law firms that are looking to further reduce overheads within their business moving forward and those with remote locations where a cheque book is not always accessible.

Martin Ruda, Managing Director of the TALL Group, said: “From just one to hundreds or even thousands of cheques, this service acts as an extra pair of hands for law firms, securely creating and distributing cheques on a company’s behalf with a very simple, easy-to-set-up service. It is time-saving, and once the company is set up on our systems, we can offer a rapid service with a same day despatch of cheques.

The inclusion of an ISF, a UCN or our patented UCN Plus®, on the face of cheque will also help prevent cheque fraud. A move that will benefit the industry as a whole.

As a further commitment to make our Send-A-Cheque™ service as accessible as possible to all law firms, we will waive its set-up charges for new users, for at least the next two months.”