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  • Uncertainty Piled on Uncertainty: The SEPA Story

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    The journey towards SEPA has been dogged by uncertainty from the start. End-users have not been sure what is on offer from the banks and at what price. Banks have been unsure whether and how to invest in SEPA, unsure about the impact of regulation (especially the PSD), and unsure how the financial crisis might affect their plans or lack of them. Then they have dithered about Additional Optional Services: are they a necessity or a luxury, and how should they best be deployed? And the whole market has been unsure about the adoption of the new SEPA instruments: when and by how much?

  • Don't Let Card Fraud Ruin Your World Cup

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    This week marks the start of the World Cup in South Africa and, in preparation, the country has put extra measures in place to protect tourists from criminals. However, given the expected rise in financial transaction volumes during the event, fraudsters will no doubt have made their own plans to target consumers as they spend money on their cards around the country. As a result, banks – both in South Africa and in the consumers’ home countries - will have to be even more vigilant than usual to effectively protect their customers from card fraud.

  • SEPA and White Elephants

    Monday, June 07, 2010

    If one was to take a spectator’s view of SEPA progress to date, one could be excused if the image of a white elephant flashed before one’s eyes . . . . .

  • EBADay 2010: How Far we have come and where we are going?

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    Yesterday was the first day of EBAday and, as expected, many of the sessions focused on the challenges that banks are currently facing as they integrate SEPA with their domestic payments infrastructures while they migrate from legacy payments, ultimately turning the SEPA vision into reality. EBAday is an opportunity to reflect on the progress of SEPA, the milestones we’ve reached and the challenges that still lie ahead. From that perspective, several interesting observations have been made.

  • Faster Payments Comes of Age

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    Today marks the second anniversary of the Faster Payments Service that has helped reduce UK payment processing time from three working days to near real time.

  • Grafting SEPA Onto Legacy Payments An Ongoing Challenge

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    We’re expecting the agenda at the upcoming EBAday event this week to again be dominated by SEPA. The challenges banks face integrating SEPA with their domestic payments infrastructures, migrating from legacy payments, and ultimately turning the SEPA vision into reality will be top priorities.

  • The Stark Reality Behind Phishing

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    If ever there was doubt about the organised nature of fraud and financial crime, the recent report by the Anti Phishing Working Group says that, of the phishing attacks that took place globally in the latter half of 2009, 66 percent were from one group. It has long been known in the anti-fraud community that these groups operate in a highly organised and structured manner – I have even heard of organisational charts being compared, side by side, between a well known fraud operation and a bank: the structures were almost identical position by position from the CEO down to the call center reps. Hopefully these types of reports will make law enforcement wake up to the fact that we aren’t facing a few rogue teens and drug addicts trying to scrape together some cash; these gangs operate very efficiently and often funnel money towards other, more serious pastimes, like terrorism, drugs and weapons. Being able to arrest and convict fraudsters of more than “slap-on-the-wrist” crimes is key to stemming the tide of illicit funding that comes from the various criminal enterprises. It’s time people wakeup to the fact that there are serious linkages between all levels of organised crime and start treating them, and their intent, as a single entity.

  • SEPA Procrastination

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    As we approach the mid point of the year, it’s obvious that, despite the many and varied calls for an end date for the use of legacy payment instruments, procrastination is the order of the day, and the European payments industry stumbles on towards some indeterminate SEPA goal.

  • Don't Underestimate the Online Fraudster

    Wednesday, May 05, 2010

    From the beginning, banks have protected their online banking businesses with basic authentication methods that required users to log-in with a username / ID number and a password to verify their identity. However, fraudsters quickly started to evade these early online fraud prevention methods by obtaining users’ passwords using social engineering techniques, keyloggers, or any number of other tools.

  • Staying One Step Ahead of the Cyber Criminals

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    The latest Symantec report suggests that the number of worldwide malware samples increased by an astonishing 71% in 2009 compared to the previous year. According to the report, this increase stems from the growing popularity of easy to use toolkits that novice cyber criminals are using to turn out their own malware. In our experience, banks and their customers are one of the key targets for this new breed of criminal. While customers need to be more aware of online security risks, banks are also doing their bit to protect their customers. The challenge for banks, however, is to remain one step ahead of the criminals.