The 2018 AFP Payments Fraud Survey revealed that wire fraud contributed to 48 percent of total fraudulent transactions hitting organizations. This means wire transfers make up almost half of the fraudulent transactions experienced. With financial institutions processing thousands of commercial transactions each day, checks and wire transfers are the top targets for fraudsters.
To better combat fraud, Shelbyville, Ky.-based Citizens Union Bank partnered with ACH Alert to offer its commercial account holders advanced fraud prevention technology to stop wire fraud in real-time while expanding the community bank’s commercial offerings to compete with big banks.
Outdated Fraud Prevention Technology No Longer Viable
Most institutions have some form of fraud prevention technology in place, but it seems that these solutions aren’t quite getting the job done. Scammers are developing various and advanced forms of fraud to target organizations at a rapid rate, so finding a tool for effective prevention is crucial to ensure that an institution is taking precautionary measures to protect their account holders.
With potential wire fraud looming around every transaction, Citizens Union Bank needed a solution to ensure layered security that is conveniently intertwined with automated features to fight back against corporate account takeover and business email compromise (BEC) schemes. By removing the manual functions behind wire verification, the bank can dive into a space where the customer can take control of the security of their wires.
Bank Partners with ACH Alert for C.O.P.S. and Bio-Wire
To offer enhanced security and control against potential account takeover and BEC, Citizens Union Bank first enlisted the help of Alert in 2012 to empower account holders with the ability to customize actionable alerts and accept or reject suspicious transactions in real–time.
The bank first used ACH Alert’s ACH origination verification technology C.O.P.S. (Credit Origination Positive-Pay Services) to strategically prevent losses that result directly from ACH account takeover while empowering the bank with administrative controls to combat the threat. The bank also implemented PRO-TECH, ACH Alert’s patented ACH positive pay solution to monitor incoming ACH debits and prevent unauthorized ACH entries immediately.
Then, Citizens Union Bank looked to further enhance its fraud prevention offerings by implementing Bio-Wire, an out-going wire transfer protection with out-of-band responses through the use of interactive voice response and voice biometric technology.
Unlike other solutions Bio-Wire is a convenient, completely automated and 100 percent out-of-band verification process that stops wire fraud in real-time. Bio-Wire eliminates call backs, increases operational efficiencies and improves the customer experience. Its layered security even goes beyond the effective controls cited in the FFIEC guidelines requirements.
ACH Alert achieves this by using a 24/7 interactive voice response system to create a special 800 number for Citizens Union Bank. To begin, the bank simply enrolls the customer in the Bio-Wire service and provides the 800 number, along with other information necessary to establish a unique voice print in the biometric engine. The bank’s customers are then able to use the same 800 number to verify future wire transfers.
Once the wire requests reach the bank, either via online, fax or email, Bio-Wire systematically analyzes the wire content while applying a set of individual rules pre-established for the customer by the institution. If a rule set is violated, Bio-Wire instantly alerts the customer and requires a call to action via the designated 800 number.
Bank Monitors More Than $262 Million in Wire Fraud in One Year
Citizens Union Bank has equipped all of its commercial account holders with the innovative technology that grants direct control over their funds, instilling confidence in electronic payments. After altering its approach to defeating wire fraud with Bio-Wire, the bank has successfully monitored more than $262 million in wire fraud over the last 12 months alone, all while providing better service to customers.
The bank’s employees have also noticed the benefits of Bio-Wire, reporting that their workloads have become much more manageable by automating the verification for commercial account holders. On all sides, efficiency has increased while fraudulent transactions have decreased.
“Citizens Union Bank is always looking to improve their clients’ banking experience, whether that be implementing the most innovative and secure technology to protect clients from fraud or granting greater control over the movement of their funds, ” said Deborah Peace, chief executive officer of ACH Alert. “ACH Alert is proud to work alongside institutions like Citizens Union Bank that are always putting their clients first by offering the best solutions available on the market.”
To learn more, download the full case study, Citizens Union Bank Decreases Fraudulent Transactions with ACH Alert’s Biometric Wire Verification Technology,” here.