Payments Fraud: What Your Organization Needs to Know

Fraud and Financial Crime

Mary Elliott

Aug 4, 2020

Diving into the results from the 2020 Treasury Fraud & Controls Survey Report, financial professionals provide key insights into how payments fraud continues to be a major threat to banks and corporates, and more importantly, how your organization can respond to change.

As organizations increase defense spending and adopt more sophisticated protection against payments fraud, fraudsters scale their attempts to keep pace. The report shows that from an initial 40% of organizations experiencing fraud in 2019, the numbers spiked to 60% in 2020. This 20% rise is indicative of fraudsters successfully pivoting tactics, even as organizations face the effects of COVID-19 on treasury and finance.

Amidst the rising era of cybercrime, attacks can be disguised as coming from employees, fictitious vendors, and sanctioned parties. But there is a light at the end of the cyber-crime tunnel, adopting preventative measures can make the difference between a successful attack and an unsuccessful attack, as seen in the parallel between fraud training/interdiction services and lower realized losses.


Here is what you should know:

  • Threat levels continue to grow even as organizations increase fraud prevention spending
  • Payment diversion and business email compromise (BEC) are the most common techniques used in successful cyber-attacks
  • Larger firms are more likely to be targeted than smaller firms, but they also tend to be more proactive in fraud management

The first step to defending your organization is ensuring that highly effective security protocols, a fraud prevention platform, and regular educational programs are in place to prepare you for the fight against fraud.

Security Protocols

Organizations that have a formalized principle of least privilege, which restricts access to data by limiting access by role to only what is necessary for that role, reportedly experienced 55% fewer losses to ransomware. 

Fraud Prevention Platforms

Organizations with payment fraud solution suites in place reportedly showed 75% fewer losses in areas of BEC, imposter and CEO fraud.

Educational Programs

Training employees about payment fraud and preventive measures leads to fewer losses and higher fraud prevention than organizations lacking trained employees.

For more information on the latest fraud statistics and prevention, listen to the full podcast, “Treasury Fraud & Controls survey 2020: Why is the fight against fraud ongoing?”, featuring Julian Laurent, Market Development Manager for Risk and Fraud to learn more about the most effective principles for fraud prevention.


For further insights into the payments industry and beyond, subscribe now and stay up-to-date on the latest tips, trends, and topics. You can also check out The Payments Podcast, where experts weigh-in on real-time factors impacting the payments industry.

Posted by

Mary Elliott

As a featured SmartPayments contributor and marketing intern at Bottomline Technologies, Mary Elliott brings a unique perspective with her diverse background in the technology, marketing, and non-profit industries. She is simultaneously pursuing a BS in advertising with a minor in technical writing at Kent State University.
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