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Tips to Avoid Fraud with Online & Mobile banking

The following Q & A appeared in the April 6th edition of the Midlands Business Journal and has been reprinted with permission.

What are some of the highlights or newest trends in security for your bank's online and mobile banking these days as they both continue to grow in popularity?

Biometric technology is a recent additional layer of security that banks are deploying to combat fraudsters. Great Western Bank recently made Fingerprint Authentication available through our consumer mobile application. Not only does the fingerprint authentication enhance customer security it also makes for a more fluid and simple user experience.

What are your best three tips for consumers when it comes to avoiding fraud with online and mobile banking?

  1. When a password is required, use a strong one and change it periodically.
  2. Ensure out-of-band authentication (SMS message with security code) is deployed whenever you login from a new device/computer.
  3. Check your bank statements and review transaction history for unauthorized transactions.

What are your best three trips for small businesses when it comes to avoiding fraud with online and mobile banking?

  1. Implement dual control for payment initiation. Entitle one user to initiate payments (wire transfers or payroll) and entitle a second user to approve payments before delivery to the bank.
  2. Be wary of phishing emails and to protect against malicious software, restrict computer use to business-only purposes and consider using a dedicated computer for cash management and payment initiation.
  3. Employ strong authentication and multiple layers of security, including stout passwords, out-of-band authentication and anti-virus and malware software.

How have features such as remote-deposit capture and mobile capture helped businesses save money, time, effort, etc.?
Remote deposit capture is an immensely popular service that we’ve made available to businesses for years. With Great Western Bank’s large geographic footprint, there isn’t always have a branch nearby. Allowing customers to securely deposit a large volume of checks from their office saves drive time and expenses. And, many of our customers, especially those in the agricultural sector have taken advantage of the mobile deposit feature. They may not have a large number of checks to deposit, so not having to drive miles to the nearest bank branch to deposit a single check is a big efficiency gain.

Are there any new online or mobile security options coming down the pipeline for your bank that will be added to keep business owners or individual customers safer from fraud?
Our product development roadmap includes additional biometric security controls such as Eyeprint ID which maps the blood vessels in your eye to authenticate a user at login. For business customers we’re planning to release a new enhanced security browser this summer through which our customers securely access business banking online portal. The secure browser prevents users from unknowingly accessing a website that could contain malware or other viruses.

If someone believes they have been a victim of online/mobile banking fraud, what should they do?
They should contact their bank and credit card company as soon as possible to report the suspected fraud and potentially shut down accounts to prevent further unauthorized access. Review your credit reports and request that a fraud alert be placed on your file. The fraud victim should consider contacting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) especially if they’ve been the victim of identity theft as well. Finally, change passwords on all of your accounts, and not just bank accounts, but also other online accounts for retirement and health benefits that may contain personal information.


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