Banking lobby UK Finance is proposing a universal tax on bank transfers to build a fund that could be used by banks to compensate victims of account transfer fraud.
One wonders what is driving such an approach.
If the victims were defrauded out of cash in their wallets – by scams of a similar nature – it would certainly not fall to the banks to provide a refund. Handing over current account login details may not be the same as handing over a wallet-full of cash, but the interactions between fraudster and victim that lead up to the deed are. It is the social engineering processes that precede the fraudulent activity that we should be focussing on, not the act of transfer itself.
Is this really a problem for the banks?
If this is not a direct banking problem, the problem lies in the gullibility and therefore the vulnerability of bank customers. However, the problem is exacerbated by the speed at which bank balances can be expropriated and transferred.
The development of real-time banking services has fueled the development of fraud vectors focussed on social engineering mechanisms.
A victims fund finaced by a payment tax is not the answer. The answer must lie in modifications to the ecosystem to reduce the opportunities for fraud, but this has a cost.
There are solutions but fraud prevention has never been a headline grabber.