The March FraudTech Digest by Cybertonica

1 April 2021
March fraud tech digest
March Digital Digest

Welcome to our first Cybertonica FraudTech Digest! We’re finding the latest, fresh off the press FraudTech news about payments and fraud prevention and giving you some quick insights in bite-sized brain snacks.

In our March FraudTech Digest, we’re discussing:

  • 💰 The New Contactless Limit: Why £100 is the new £30
  • 🛒Russian Supermarket Trials Pay-With-Face Technology
  • 🏦 European Banking Authority hit by cyber-attack
  • 🏃 COVID-19 and Fraud: Virus Variants
  • 💳 Silicon Valley’s Greatest Asset: Stripe
  • 💸 NatWest’s Money Laundering Den
The New Contactless Limit: Why £100 is the new £30
March FraudTech Digest #1
  • The 2021 Budget in March recently confirmed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was raising the contactless budget over threefold.
  • The aim is to allow consumers to make #contactless #payments thereby limiting manipulations that could heighten exposure to COVID-19 transmission and infection. 
  • Cashless #transactions have grown 495% since the start of the pandemic (@SumUp) because the WHO publicly advised contactless payments to support brick-and-mortar retailers whilst limiting risks.
  • The higher threshold makes these payments a primary target for fraudsters and data thieves, raising #security concerns. Contactless cards utilise radio frequency identification (RFID) to transmit data. Then fraudsters can steal data transmitted by this frequency using fake scanners and card or POS skimmers. Sometimes, they go as far as to install fake POS devices in stores.
  • Also, contactless payments only integrate single-factor authentication (SFA) which is highly discouraged so additional layers of security are needed. For example, requiring a digital signature or #biometric identification. If someone loses their bank card, it is far too easy for a fraudster to go on a spending spree.
  • Therefore we must tackle the security concerns associated with contactless payments to prevent attackers and fraudsters from using this new limit to their advantage.
Russian Supermarket Trials Pay-With-Face Technology
March FraudTech Digest #2
  • The supermarket chain X5 has established a joint initiative with Sberbank and Visa to integrate a contactless biometric payment solution at checkout.
  • In the future, they hope the technology will become mainstream, similar to customers paying in store with their bank card or smartphone wallet.
  • Furthermore, research conducted suggests in the future up to 70% of customers in Russia may rely on face payment technology.
  • We are intrigued to see how successful the roll out is, and whether other supermarkets across the world follow suit!
European Banking Authority hit by cyber-attack
March FraudTech Digest #3
  • The European Banking Authority, one of Europe’s top regulators has been hit in an alleged Chinese #cyber attack exposing personal email data. The attackers found vulnerabilities in unpatched backdoor servers and used the entrance as a gateway to extract private information. This is similar to the modus operandi in the recent penetrations of the US government servers discovered late last year.
  • However, a key question is why the EBA uses legacy computing providers and have not migrated to a cloud based system, as they could have adopted up to date #cybersecurity capabilities to prevent such attacks.
COVID-19 and Fraud: Virus Variants
March FraudTech Digest #4
  • People are desperately seeking work, having been furloughed or made redundant over the past few months. Money mule recruiters have devised their latest #scam to lure in jobseekers.
  • Fraudsters promise quick income to those seeking work. For example, the vulnerable worker provides their bank details hoping for payment. However their account becomes a “mule”, used to transfer the funds received to another account.
  • Regulators are asking for Banks to play their part in preventing such #fraud. For example, by monitoring suspicious activity for customers and flagging transactions in a timely manner to catch the muling activity.  The high rate of new fraud cases is a symptom of the times of #COVID-19.
Silicon Valley’s Greatest Asset: Stripe
March FraudTech Digest #5
  • Stripe is transforming the payments industry on its quest to simplify #digital payments. Their valuation has increased almost threefold over the past year, having most recently secured Series H funding from investors. 
  • With a mission statement to “increase the GDP of the internet”, analysts are confident that Stripe has a long way to grow despite operating in an intensely regulated industry. Also, the acceleration of digitalisation and the fast-paced growth of digital commerce acts to propel Stripe’s revenues higher. With more transactions being processed, Stripe can take a marginal fee per payment processed.
  • Therefore, we’re certain that as payments infrastructure is global and transactions are processed internationally, Stripe has strong ambitions and bold plans for the future. 
March FraudTech Digest #6
  • NatWest is in hot water after failing to comply with money laundering laws from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • Between 2011 and 2016, deposits of up £365M were transferred to UK bank accounts, with £265M of that sum being deposited in cash. 
  • Also, this is the first time criminal action being taken by the FCA against a bank. And if charged, NatWest could face a hefty fine alongside a damaged reputation.

Finally, if you have news to discuss or share for our FraudTech Digest, our Cybertonica team of experts are ready to help. Get in touch with us via

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