Tag Archives: Friend or Foe

Card or Con? Friend or Foe?

Forbes got my attention, just as I was reconsidering part of something that happened a few months ago. It was the article https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/03/20/i-need-medication/ titled ‘I need medication!’ It reverberated in me as I took notice of Forbes (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/12/27/is-it-time-to-disrupt-your-call-center/)there I got served the quote that matters, it was “I recently received a letter from a major credit card issuer. To process my application, they needed some additional information and verification. The problem? I had not applied for a new credit card. The letter was valid, but the application was fraudulent. The letter instructed me to send the required information for verification or call a toll-free number, with no option to text or chat. I opted to call the toll-free number. This was truly a call center, not a contact center.” The setting where we have “Monday morning, I navigated the maze again and got into the hold queue where I was informed my hold time was one minute. Success! Two hours and twenty minutes later I hung up. I looked up the credit card fraud phone number for the provider and called them. Within moments, I was connected to an agent. Yes, she would be able to help me. Before I could speak, I was transferred to — you guessed it — the same number I had called previously.” Here we get a setting, a setting that takes hours, in that time all kinds of fraud could have been commenced. Of course there is all kinds of chances that Forbes was adding the spice of drama, but I think it is simpler than that, there is a failing in Fintech as a whole. It seems that it is about revenue and for the most they will not care about the people, no matter what claim they make. If there was a true customer service then there would be checks and balances, there would be more than “To process my application, they needed some additional information and verification.” I believe that this is not an American issue, it is a European, a British, and Australian, a Canadian and several other nations. A massive failing in Fintech and the policy makers and lawmakers are falling behind, no matter what the excuse, they are falling behind. 

We see some laces giving us numbers (they call it statistics).

  • In 2018, $24.26 Billion was lost due to payment card fraud worldwide
  • Identity theft makes up 14.8 percent of reported fraud
  • 69 percent of fraud starts with a consumer being contacted by telephone or email, such as overdue loans or prize scams

Those were the numbers, now we see: 

  • Instances of identity theft by credit card fraud increased by 44.6% from 271,927 in 2019 to 393,207 in 2020
  • Identity theft by new credit card accounts increased by 48% in 2020.
  • From 2019 to 2020, the number of identity theft reports went up by 113% and the number of reports of identity theft by credit cards increased by 44.6%.

This shows (to some degree) that the larger stage is Fintech and a much better system is required, a much larger check needs to be in place. The fact that a consumer got “they needed some additional information and verification” could be seen as evidence. Overall systems are designed as ‘customer friendly’ all whilst it is (as I personally see it) a system for automated credit allocation not allowing a person to take time to reconsider, a straight push for credit and spending sprees. What happens if credit cards are treated like the acquisition of a pet? To set the stage of a ‘cooling off period?’ Is it that weird to let the person going for the credit reconsider for 24 hours? 

In this day and age there is a larger concern, it is not merely that we see the passing of 5,419,538 people, a large amount of them might be facing all kinds of fraud and hardship and that passes on  to the next of kin who are already devastated. 

However, it is not all Fintech. Forbes also gives us “I received a phone call from another card issuer’s fraud department. Their question was simple: Did I apply for one of their cards? When I responded no, they immediately flagged it as fraud and advised me to check my credit reports for other suspicious activity. Their systems analysed the same data available to the first bank and flagged it as possible fraud.” So some are better than others, the question becomes, how can the system be improved? That is the real conundrum and the customer service part is essential in all this. Whether we look at a Friend of Foe solution, whether we have a connected bank or not. I reckon that there is a solution to implement blockchains that allow for a much more secure station, a setting that is not propagated. What if the block chain is in two parts? A part that only the consumer has, one part that the bank has, one can check the other, yet a new bank will not have that part, only the current bank has it, a setting that could limit the damage we see with 

  • Identity theft by new credit card accounts increased by 48% in 2020.

It is not a perfect setting (yet) but when we consider the part I wrote about in the earlier blog. “To make sense, I need to take you back to the 80’s. There was a fab in those days, radio’s had a sort of enhanced METAdata part, so when a song was playing, you saw the band and the title in your display. It is almost like someone took that idea and put it on steroids, I cannot think of another explanation, what is more, I have no idea what my brain was working out. It is like someone figured out to hide more than a FoF (Friend or Foe) message in the radios broadcasting, with some cypher that gave the relevant information to any visor it faced. Yup, quite the ride and it went on for some time in my dream, the arrows had numbers, but the numbers made no sense to me, but to the co-pilot they made a lot of sense. They were following along the path of a canal with several branches, and the arrows were pointing along the canals they were on, several (not all) pointing in some sort of flight guidance setting.” So what happens when block chain meta data points at the actual person, not the applicant. There might be a station where we see that the 48% increase dwindles down by a lot, optionally arresting a lot of fraudulent players in the process. This is not a given, it is a mere thought, but I am trying to consider a new approach, one that a lot of players are not making, I am not saying that they weren’t doing anything, because I cannot answer that question, yet as I see it a lot of issues are ignored due to ‘customer friendly’ issues, whilst it tends to benefit fraudulent behaviour a lot more. 

And it is essential, because in 5G this station will get a hell of a lot higher and the Law, Big Tech and Fintech are not ready, none of them seem to be. However, that is merely my take on the issue.

Enjoy the day.

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