Bank Transfer Risk Growing

24th Feb 2021
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Are Bank Transfers safe? 

Clients might think that all online banking systems are created equally, but a recent study by Which? of 16 of the biggest UK banks reveals that there is a large discrepancy between the best and worst when it comes to online banking security. Studies such as this could leave consumers asking, ‘Are Bank Transfers safe?’ They may feel it is too risky and decide against paying their bills using online banking. If you own a business that sends out many invoices and takes in many payments, you want your customers to pay online because it is faster and more efficient. You need to make sure you’re using a secure bank transfer service, so you can reassure your clients that no matter what bank they use, their payments are secure.

Important areas for banking security

In order to assess banking security Which? looked at four important areas: Encryption, Login, Account management, and Navigation and Logout. 

Encryption – Perhaps the most important aspect of banking security, good encryption means that data is not easily accessible to hackers. If banks are using outdated encryption systems then data can be hacked. Similarly, if banks rely on third parties then hackers might be able to find a way in.

Login – Which? examined what types of information customers needed to provide in order to login. Passwords are not the most secure means. Instead card readers and mobile banking apps were seen as more secure.

Account Management – Banks were scored on how easy it was to make changes to an account and if customers were notified when changes were made. Which? also looked at how banks communicate with their customers and if these methods were vulnerable to scammers.

Navigation and Logout – Banks were marked down if they allowed multiple sessions to be open at one time and if they failed to log customers out after a period of inactivity. 

The good, the bad and the ugly of bank security

The results of the study were mixed with the top bank receiving a mark of 85/100 and the lowest ranked bank receiving 46/100. The banks that performed the poorest left their customers vulnerable to scam artists due to out of date encryption and sloppy logout procedures. Security problems included missing security headers which protect against cyberattacks, accessible internal staff websites which could allow a backdoor for hackers, and the lack of automatic logout on browsers which meant a customer could accidently leave their banking session open and vulnerable.

The top-rated banks used the most up to date encryption and had users login with PIN entry card readers which were either physical or embedded into the banking app. These banks also used strong customer authentication or SCA. This means the user has to enter multiple pieces of information in order to access their account. Another system that the most secure banks use is Confirmation of Payee or CoP. This system alerts users when the name the customer types in does not match the name on the account they are paying. CoP can help prevent customers from paying into the wrong account. But CoP works on a “fuzzy match” traffic light notification system, and it can be clunky and cause more alarm than needed with your dutifully paying clients. 

What can you do to ensure a convenient client experience and one where payments are secure?

Because there is such a wide range in the security of online banking systems, it is important for your business to use a highly secure payments service. This is where Ordo comes in. Ordo is a simple, easy to use, payment system that is secure no matter what bank your clients are with. Bank details are never shared by Ordo, and every payment is authorised by your client in their own online banking or bank app. Furthermore, Ordo helps clients avoid paying the wrong person because you put in the account details of where you want to be paid, not them. Instead, your clients will simply receive a secure link by email or text that, within a few taps for authorisation from them, pays the money directly to the account you want. In this way, Ordo minimises the chance of fraud or paying the wrong account to next to nothing. Is bank transfer safe? If you are using Ordo, then the answer is yes. Invested in by Nationwide Building Society and fully integrated with Accounts Packages Sage, Xero and QuickBooks, Ordo couldn't be easier. Arrange a demonstration today and find out how Ordo can make your payments more secure – it’s best for you, and your clients. 

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