Barclays £10m initiative sees fraud prevention tools introduced on mobile

BarclaysBarclays, one the UK’s largest banks, has introduced new controls to help its customers stay safe against fraudulent activity. The controls are part of a £10m nationwide initiative aimed at tackling fraud.

The bank chain now offers its customers the ability to turn ‘on’ and ‘off’ whether their card can make remote purchases and set daily ATM withdrawals limits – both through the Barclays Mobile Banking app.

“Fraud is often wrongly described as an invisible crime, but the effects are no less damaging to people’s lives,” said Ashok Vaswani, chief executive at Barclays UK. “As a society our confidence in using digital technology to shop, pay our bills and connect with others has grown faster than our knowledge of how to do so safely. This has created a ‘digital safety gap’ which is being exploited by criminals.

“That is why we are launching this new national campaign on digital safety, and we will do all in our power to arm people with the tools and information they need. But we also need to support and encourage the public to take action to protect themselves, such as changing passwords regularly.”

The initiative has been launched in response to the latest crime figures which show that 5.6m fraud and cyber offences in the UK last year made up half of all recorded crime, and cost the UK £11bn.

In addition to making changes to its app, Barclays has also made an online quiz available to everybody in the UK so that they can assess their digital safety level. The bank has said it will also hold regular ‘fraud awareness takeovers’ on its online and mobile banking sites, as well as its Digital Eagles offering safety teach-ins and working to prevent customers being duped into withdrawing cash through a new police hotline for branch colleagues.

“Each one of us probably knows someone who has fallen victim to a criminal fraudster,” said Laura Flack, head of digital safety at Barclays. “Crooks are using ever more sophisticated tactics to trick people into handing over their bank details, or to pay money to a fraudster when they believe they are simply paying their builder or solicitor.

“We need to super-charge our digital know-how and talk to our friends and relatives to prevent these crimes from happening. Often staying safe isn’t rocket science. A few practical steps and a dose of vigilance can boost your safety immeasurably. Remember if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”