Loyalty fraud is evolving. Fraudsters are getting smarter, and so must the solutions that protect brands – and loyal customers – against them. Using artificial intelligence is no longer the future of fraud protection: it’s a critical pillar.
A Fortune 500 community bank nearing its 150-year anniversary has hundreds of billions of dollars in assets and operates thousands of financial centers across several states.
Fraudsters are focused on loyalty accounts for two primary reasons: rewards accounts are a high-value item (worth $48 billion in the U.S. alone), and most rewards accounts have a relatively low security threshold, making them an easier target than traditional bank accounts.
Airlines with frequent flier programs are focused on customers and profits. Profitability can come from a variety of revenue streams: better margins, higher attachment rates or more redemption options that incentivize members to earn and burn points.
Customers expect financial institutions to have the highest level of fraud protections in place, but online fraud is constantly evolving. And while financial institutions have rigorous systems in place to prevent banking fraud, one very valuable asset is often left exposed: loyalty rewards accounts.
Rewards points and miles hold true cash value. However, with fewer monitoring and protection measures in place than traditional bank accounts, the unfortunate reality is that loyalty reward programs are seen as easy targets by fraudsters.
Loyalty program members, especially those in the financial services industry, expect those companies to guard their personal information in the most robust way possible. And while 72 percent of loyalty program managers report experiencing fraud, many are challenged to build a case internally for this type of protection.
Economists report there is currently $238 billion dollars’ worth of loyalty currency in accounts that is vulnerable to hackers. This high value, relatively lower security and less protection (especially compared to bank accounts) makes loyalty and rewards accounts a prime target for hackers and thieves.