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FCA probes mobile banking safety

FCA probes mobile banking safety

Category: Banking

Updated: 27/08/2013
First Published: 27/08/2013

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be investigating whether banks and building societies are doing enough to protect consumers from mobile banking fraud.

The mobile banking market, which includes contactless payments, money transfers and account monitoring, via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, has grown remarkably over recent years.

Only last week, Payments Council research revealed that mobile payments and internet banking will help drive up consumer use of one-off payments from their accounts from 356 million payments in 2012 to around 1.5 billion in 2022.

Key areas that the FCA will be investigating include:

  • Whether banking providers' IT systems offer enough consumer protection.
  • What policies providers have in place for when a customer makes a mistake such as paying the wrong recipient or typing in the wrong amount in a transfer via their smartphone app.
  • The risks involved with mobile banking, and consumer awareness and understanding of the risks.
  • Anti-money laundering systems and controls that are in place.

The findings are due to be published in the first half of next year.

Top tips for safe mobile banking:

Keep your online banking details safe by following these top tips.

  1. Make sure that if your phone is lost or stolen fraudsters can't access your account details easily. Do this by:
    • Setting up a phone pin and using complicated online banking passwords.
    • Sign up for a service or download an app that attempts to track your mobile phone if it is lost or stolen as well as allowing you to remotely delete any data held on the phone.
    • Remember to contact your mobile phone provider as soon as your phone goes missing so that they can blacklist and block the device. Also, contact your bank or building society if worried about fraudsters being able to access your account details.
  2. Double check that when using a mobile banking app to make a payment that all the details are correct - small, fiddly keypads on mobile phones mean it's much easier to make a mistake.
  3. Protect your phone from viruses and malware by downloading anti-virus software. There are a number of free anti-virus software programmes that can be downloaded from your smartphone's app store.
  4. Be careful when using public Wi-fi hotspots. These networks are often unsecure, which means fraudsters can easily access your details. So it's best to never carry out an online banking transaction when using an unsecure Wi-fi connection.

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