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Fraud Prevention

Good News – Bad News

The good news: Believe it or not, payments fraud in 2012 dropped ten percent over the two year period since 20101.

The bad news: The prevalence of fraud continues to be a significant threat both for individuals and organizations. The 2013 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey found that 61% of respondents surveyed experienced attempted or actual payments fraud.

What’s more, 87% of these organizations reported that checks were the primary target with losses in the U.S. estimated to be well over $10 billion a year.

When turning our focus to fraud with electronic payments compared to check fraud, a much smaller number of AFP survey respondents of the AFP survey shared that they faced lower levels of attempted or actual incidents of fraud with electronic payments.

2013 AFP Survey Respondents
Experienced Actual/Attempted Fraud by Type
Type Percent
ACH credits 8%
Wire transfers 11%
ACH debits 27%
Commercial purchasing cards 29%
Checks 87%

This confirmed the findings of the 2012 Payments Fraud Survey published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in that for non-financial institutions, the check continues to be the payment instrument most vulnerable.

These losses require that we each understand the risks, stay informed about strategies and practices to minimize them, and implement measures to protect ourselves and our organizations. Establishing effective fraud risk management processes takes time, expertise, and dollars. However, when compared to the potential consequences of inaction, the costs can be put in better perspective.

At BBVA Compass, we have numerous programs in place to identity and minimize fraud. We monitor security continuously throughout the bank’s operational areas and all aspects of product delivery to ensure the safety of your money and your financial data. We also offer our business and public sector customers numerous fraud mitigation tools to enable them to actively take steps to protect themselves against fraud losses.

For survey respondents who had successfully reduced fraud losses, two-thirds cited that strategies to enhance fraud monitoring systems and employee education contributed to this change.

  • 1

    Given the statistics, companies need to migrate payments from paper to electronic transactions and use the safeguards available to identify and minimize fraud losses. We listed a few of those tools here.

    ACH Services To counter the associated risks of checks, companies use ACH services as a secure and efficient way of disbursing funds, such as payroll, with direct deposit into employees’ personal accounts as a common example of this process. It has the advantages of safety and convenience for both employers and participating employees. Each time you move a payment from paper to electronic, you also lower costs, streamline reconciliations, and improve your cash forecasting. Learn More >

    Compass PaySourceSM Card To extend the benefits of your direct deposit program and take advantage of paperless payments, a card-based program can meet the needs of employees who opt out of direct deposit of payroll. With a Compass PaySource Card program, you can also deliver bonuses, reimbursements, and other types of payments through a debit card that can be used at any ATM or point of sale that accepts Visa debit cards. Learn More >

    ACH Authorization Service To increase security, your organization can control ACH activity posting to BBVA Compass accounts by instructing us to post only those ACH transactions you’ve authorized:

    • Block all ACH debits and/or credits
    • Block certain vendors
    • Allow certain vendors with or without maximum dollar amounts

    Learn More >

    Commercial Card Programs You can streamline your entire purchasing and accounts payable process while enhancing fraud controls by implementing a BBVA Compass Commercial Card program. Traditionally known as purchasing cards, these are actually multi-functional cards also appropriate for T&E and other payment applications. Your organization may set spending controls and limits for the entire organization, at a departmental level, or by individual cardholder. Learn More >

    Integrated Payables Transition from printing and mailing checks to generating electronic payments and remittances without making changes to your existing accounts payable and payroll processes. Integrated Payables provides additional controls that help identify and prevent check fraud. BBVA Compass can assist you with the enrollment of your vendors and employees in electronic payment programs. Learn More >

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    Where you can’t convert checks to electronic transfers, take additional precautions to safeguard your check transactions.

    Positive Pay Have confidence that only the checks you issue will be paid on your accounts. Our online positive pay service allows you to review and return items presented for payment that do not match your check issue file. With Reverse Positive Pay, the bank sends you a file of checks received, you match it to your issue file, and you report the exceptions to the bank. To facilitate research, we can provide online access to paid check images and adjustments. Learn More >

    Account Reconciliation With a variety of options, reconciliation services can help you by establishing proper payment and audit controls for your financial information. Our faster, automated reconcilement process means you can identify potentially fraudulent activity earlier. Plus you receive timely, accurate account information, which means improved audit controls through third party involvement. Reports may be sent electronically or in paper format or a file may be uploaded to your accounting system. Learn More >

  • 3

    Watch your bank balances and activity closely. The sooner you spot fraud, the more likely you are to stop or minimize fraud losses. Report any unauthorized or suspicious activity to the bank immediately.

    Compass e-Access® Our online treasury management service allows you to stay on top your company’s cash position and keeping track of your banking transactions can help safeguard against unauthorized transactions. You can also use your mobile phone to monitor activity and approve certain electronic transactions. Compass e-Access uses multiple layers of security, including a software program that helps detect and eradicate malware and other malicious hacking tactics. Learn More >

  • 4

    Implement safe practices internally and educate your employees on protecting your organization’s assets. For a list of tips, please see Preventing Fraud and Avoiding Scams

1 2013 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey