Barclays has become the first high street bank in the world to offer its customers the option to turn on debit controls which can help to reduce the losses from online fraud or scams. From today, customers of Barclays will be able to manually switch off certain card functionalities. The stand out feature is the ability to make the card unable to make remote purchases, which along with being able to reduce the daily withdrawal amount will enable customers to minimize their chances of being victims of fraud. For example, if someone suspects they have been a victim of card cloning, they can instantly curb any losses by lowering their withdrawal limit, blocking criminals from emptying their account.
Laura Flack, Barclays Head of Digital Safety said “Each one of us probably knows someone who has fallen victim to a criminal fraudster.
“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.”
Barclays new initiative comes at the same time as it is about to launch a new multi-channel campaign that will see two initial TV ads that will depict common scams in an innovative, stark and disconcerting way. One of these will centre around a young man in a foreign country who seems to have been in an accident, emailing home to request his family send money to the hospital that is treating him.
The “Digital Safety Gap”
These ads will be supported with two more ads warning about the danger of shopping online on sites that do not have secure URLs (https rather than the unsecure http) as well as warning about the danger of using common passwords such as “123” and “password”.
Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive of Barclays UK, said: “Fraud is often wrongly described as an invisible crime, but the effects are no less damaging to people’s lives. 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. I believe the need to fight fraud has now become a national resilience issue, and we all need to boost our digital safety levels in order to close the gap.
“I want to help make digital safety as commonplace as locking your front door. I want businesses, the police and the public to unite and stand shoulder to shoulder together so that we can block and frustrate the bad guys at every turn.”
Barclays focus on online fraud prevention has been warmly welcomed by industry commentators who have said that it is refreshing to see an institution such as Barclays taking such clear and decisive action to try and tackle and ever-growing threat.