Fraud Attempts and Threat Levels are Rising, Bottomline Survey Finds

  • Security
  • 12.02.2020 09:17 am

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ:EPAY), a leading provider of financial technology that helps make business payments simple, smart and secure, today announced the release of the 2020 Treasury Fraud and Controls Survey in partnership with Strategic Treasurer. According to the survey results, 60 percent of companies now report experiencing fraud with a 50 percent increase in fraud over the past three years.


In the same study conducted in 2017, only 40 percent of companies reported experiencing fraud. These findings underscore the growing acknowledgement that fraudsters are stratifying their methods to optimize returns by automating and scaling attacks. Automated attacks such as ransomware, business email compromise (BEC) and system-level takeover fraud outpaced high-touch attack methods such as check fraud. As such, the top areas where participants reported increased defence spend were business email compromise (48 percent), bank transaction fraud (36 percent) and transaction controls (33 percent).

“There’s been steady progress, but fraud prevention efforts must outpace increasingly sophisticated fraudsters,” said Chris Gerda, Risk and Fraud Prevention Officer, Bottomline Technologies. “The survey results highlight the need for defence spending at each step of a payment, especially at the human level.”

The survey found some differences in the various ways companies experience fraud based on their size. Large companies have a 10 percent disadvantage versus small companies when it comes to fraud attempts as they are targeted more frequently with higher payout methods.


However, the costs of fraud prevention are increasing for companies of all sizes. The study found that 43 percent of respondents indicated that the costs and burden of defence have increased more, or significantly more, in the past year. Additionally, 19 percent of banks and corporates reported a significant increase in spending for fraud prevention and controls in the past year.


The report also found that adding and maintaining controls to prevent fraud continue to be top of mind, with 47 percent of corporates adding employee training programs in the last year. Criminals are ensuring their crime pays by leveraging automation, securing larger payoffs and targeting weaker areas, particularly the human element. However, the study found there were little to no improvements for visibility to bank accounts or reconciliation frequency. By improving visibility and promoting defence as part of the company culture, there is a significant opportunity to mitigate payment fraud risk and reduce losses. 


“No one is immune to fraud,” said Craig Jeffery, Managing Partner, Strategic Treasurer. “Banks and corporates of all sizes must critically evaluate their processes for preventing and detecting fraud for all payment methods.”

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