Account takeovers are up, but losses are down. Doug Johnson of the ABA says that's because banks and their customers are catching and blocking suspect ACH transactions before they drains corporate accounts.
Nessa Feddis of the ABA says increased investments in technology at the bank and consumer levels have fueled confidence in online banking. "I think the reason you see an uptick in use here is because the channel is more secure."
"What banks need to be aware of is that much of this fraud is occurring on the consumer and business-customer side, and not all of them will invest in technology that catches these attacks," says Phil Blank of Javelin Strategy & Research.
The bright spot is that 36 percent of the takeover incidents reported in 2010 were stopped before fraudulent funds transfers were approved. That's an improvement from 2009, when only 20 percent were thwarted.
"We face a broad threat ... and each consumer has to understand that their part in protecting both their own finances and the financial infrastructure, together, is a very large part," says Ian Harper, Pentagon Federal Credit Union.
Small businesses have room to improve when it comes to fraud prevention. And according to a recent study commissioned by TD Bank, a lack of understanding and apathy are challenges that need to be overcome.
A new twist in the ongoing online security battle between banks and their commercial customers was reported this week after a corporate account in Omaha, Neb., was hit with thousands in fraudulent ACH transactions.
This $38 billion bank has invested a great deal of time and effort into its online security program, continuously conducting risk assessments and making strides to ensure commercial customers stay informed about evolving online-banking risks.
Despite previously announced plans to appeal last month's ruling in the ACH fraud lawsuit filed by Experi-Metal Inc., Comerica Bank now says it has resolved to pay the $560,000 in damages and close the case.
Corporate account takeover events are reigniting the debate between banks and their former commercial customers, about everything from fraud liability and the "good faith" standard to commercially reasonable security.