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Written by: Pindrop

Contact Center Fraud & Authentication Expert

The financial services industry is reacting in real-time as widespread telecommuting and a general environment of confusion has exposed an uptick in fraudulent activity and a higher susceptibility to customer service disruption.

The challenges facing today’s financial institutions go beyond the obstacles inherent in transitioning whole segments of the workforce to remote working. During a period that has seen the majority of the country placed “on pause,” operational and technical hurdles are being proactively addressed by many forward-thinking banks, insurance companies, retailers and credit card issuers. But even with FIs on high alert, fraudulent activity remains more prevalent than ever. 

Remote Working is Only One Piece of the Puzzle

The general distraction factor of working from home is only one of many new challenges FIs now face. Contact center agents and analysts are fully employed and as busy as ever. However,  many of them share households with others who are amongst the record millions who have filed unemployment claims in the past month. Still, others have been asked to perform the equivalent of two full-time jobs, with children home from school and in need of guidance with their lessons.

The personal and professional strain of the pandemic is touching people close to home, regardless of employment status or any other single demographic indicator, and many carry this strain with them into their telecommuting environment at the beginning of each day.

As fraudsters look to capitalize on the general chaos, forward-thinking companies should redouble their efforts to provide support and ease the strain on their over-extended teams by taking a few simple but impactful interim measures. While developing a sustainable and integrated anti-fraud strategy for the future, you can make sure your teams have the tools they need to navigate the current chaos. 

Educate Agents and Analysts on Emerging Fraud Tactics

Fraudsters pass KBAs approximately 60% of the time, and the current public health situation has inspired a litany of new scripts that attempt to take advantage of the better nature of contact center agents who are dealing with the added stress of high call volumes. New tactics include all kinds of fraudulent claims, such as “caretakers” calling on behalf of people who are not able to call in due to virus-related illness.

As agents try to reduce mounting average hold times in the face of increased call volume, there is a higher chance of error, and more fraudulent activity can slip through the cracks. Make sure your agents and analysts are aware of the new and evolving angles fraudsters are taking to exploit uncertainty and fear for their financial advantage.

Implement Temporary Internal Communications Protocols

An agent in a typical contact center is used to working in a three-screen desktop environment in which they can call upon the assistance of their co-workers and supervisors. While your teams are working at home with sub-optimized equipment, implement internal communications protocols that make it easier for them to stay in touch and reach out when they need support.

Some contact center agents and fraud analysts are taking advantage of “perpetual” Zoom meetings, in which live chats are open for the duration of the workday, enabling a virtual, collaborative environment. File sharing is easy with Google Drive, and both Zoom and Drive can be easily integrated into Slack, an ideal tool for instant direct, and group messaging.

Use the Lessons of Today to Plan for Tomorrow Proactively

If financial institutions want to chart the most sustainable course forward in an increasingly virtual world, they must plan strategically today to mitigate risk for the future.
Employing tools that use AI-based IVR authentication and advanced anti-fraud technology will protect against ever-evolving fraud tactics. These tools also facilitate greater efficiencies and better overall customer service experience, regardless of the challenges that may arise or the new tactics fraudsters will continue to employ over time.

Forward-thinking financial institutions must stay on top of the latest technologies in order to equip their employees with the tools they need to provide customers with the streamlined service experience they have come to expect.

Pindrop’s multi-factor authentication and fraud risk scoring make it possible to prevent fraud while reducing backlogged calls and decreasing AHT, which enhances customer experience and optimizes efficiencies at all levels of the service chain.