Payment fraud is an ever-increasing part of doing business and though we are all aware that it is occurring, we often do not understand the size and scale of the problem. While corporate treasurers and cash managers are focused on mitigating the risks associated with an uncertain economic and political climate, they must now increasingly focus on combating fraud.
The problem of payment fraud is growing
According to Lexis Nexis, nearly 1.5% of merchant revenue was lost to fraud in 2016. Not only does this represent a large number in terms of revenue, but the amount has tripled since 2013. How much revenue could your company be losing to payment fraud each year?
No industry is safe from payment fraud
It’s not only retail merchants who are being affected. Nearly every industry has reported experiencing some type of economic crime over the last 12 months. So whether you are in retail, manufacturing, construction or government, chances are that you are exposed to economic crime, even if you’re unaware that it’s occurring.
Categorising the risks of payment fraud
The risks of payment fraud are a mix of both traditional (bribery) and cutting-edge (cybercrime) and for the first time ever, cybercrime has become the second-most reported type of economic crime globally. As more of your treasury systems become connected to other internal and external parties, the threat of cybercrime will continue to grow.
Payment fraud is closer than you think
One misconception people often have regarding fraud is that it is always an external threat. We tend to picture hackers sitting in their hoodies in the basement of their parent’s house drinking red bull and hacking away. Reality is a bit different. In fact most economic crimes come from internal as opposed to external parties, with senior and middle managers representing the largest sources of internal fraud.
Adding payment fraud to your risk reduction strategy
The primary role of treasury is cost-effective risk reduction (CERR), whether it is through foreign exchange (FX) hedging or the centralizing of payment processes. Considering payment fraud to be a true threat to your organisation is a first step to reducing the risk. Below are some areas to consider when building your fraud reduction strategy.
1. Be proactive: It is important to not only monitor your systems to know when fraud has occurred, but to proactively build processes and use technologies which help you prevent fraud before it happens.
2. Automate where possible: Automating manual processes in invoice handling and payment processing is one of the best ways to instantly increase security.
3. Create ownership: The responsibility of the payment process is typically shared between the finance and treasury functions within organisations. To ensure a holistic approach, the process needs a clear owner.
To learn more about the risk of payment fraud and how to mitigate those risks, read our e-book.
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