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Rising Threats: The Global Impact of Push Payment Fraud

Oct 27, 2023

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In this article we’ll discuss, what Push Payment Fraud is and whether it’s a real threat as well as what problems it can cause.

In an increasingly interconnected world, where digital transactions are the norm, push payment fraud has emerged as a significant global threat. This insidious form of cybercrime affects not only individuals but also organisations, causing widespread financial losses and eroding trust in online financial systems.

This article delves into the rising risk of push payment fraud, explores its worldwide implications, and highlights preventive measures, cybersecurity trends, and legal actions aimed at countering these evolving threats.

The Escalating Risk of Push Payment Fraud

Push payment fraud, also known as authorised push payment (APP) fraud, is a type of cybercrime in which individuals are manipulated into transferring money to a fraudulent account willingly. Unlike traditional unauthorised transactions, push payment fraud relies on deception and manipulation rather than hacking.

Push payment fraud schemes have become more sophisticated, and fraudsters employ various tactics to deceive victims. One common method is impersonating legitimate organisations or individuals, such as a bank, a vendor, or even a close friend.

Through carefully crafted emails, phone calls, or messages, fraudsters convince victims to make payments or divulge sensitive financial information.

The global scale of push payment fraud is striking. In the United Kingdom, for example, the UK Finance report revealed a staggering £479 million lost to APP fraud in 2020, affecting thousands of individuals and businesses. The ramifications extend far beyond monetary losses, as victims often experience emotional distress and reputational damage.

The Widespread Consequences

The consequences of push payment fraud are not confined to a single nation; it's a global issue with cascading effects. Here's a closer look at how it affects individuals and businesses worldwide:


1. Financial Loss

The immediate impact of push payment fraud is financial. Victims lose their hard-earned money to criminals, often with little hope of recovery.

2. Emotional Toll

Being deceived in a push payment scam can be emotionally devastating. Victims experience a range of emotions, from anger and betrayal to shame and embarrassment.

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3. Trust Erosion

The loss of trust in digital transactions can have far-reaching effects. Individuals may become more sceptical, leading to slower adoption of digital financial services.


1. Monetary Loss

For businesses, push payment fraud can result in substantial financial losses. This affects their profitability, hindering growth and sustainability.

2. Operational Disruption

Detecting and addressing fraud can disrupt business operations. This can involve investigations, legal proceedings, and the need for enhanced cybersecurity measures.

3. Reputational Damage

Falling victim to payment fraud can tarnish a business's reputation. Customers may lose trust, impacting long-term relationships and competitiveness.

Preventive Measures and Cybersecurity Trends

Addressing the global impact of push payment fraud requires a multifaceted approach involving individuals, businesses, and regulatory bodies. Here are some key preventive measures and cybersecurity trends that are emerging in response to this growing threat:

Education and Awareness

Educating individuals and employees about the tactics used by fraudsters is crucial. Raising awareness can help people recognise and avoid falling victim to push payment scams.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Implementing 2FA can add an extra layer of security to financial transactions. This requires users to provide two different authentication factors, such as a password and a one-time code, making it more challenging for fraudsters to gain access.

Real-Time Payment Monitoring

Businesses are increasingly using real-time monitoring systems to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions. These systems can spot suspicious activities and halt transactions before money is transferred.

Legal Action and Regulation

Governments and regulatory bodies are taking legal actions to combat push payment fraud. In the UK, the introduction of the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) Code is a significant step toward protecting consumers.


Collaboration between financial institutions, law enforcement agencies, and businesses is essential to address push payment fraud effectively. Sharing information and best practices can improve collective defences.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning are being employed to identify patterns and anomalies associated with fraud. These technologies can enhance the detection of fraudulent activities.

Protective Legal Actions Have Been Taken

In response to the rising threat of push payment fraud, the UK introduced the CRM Code in 2019. This voluntary code sets out standards for banks and other payment service providers to adhere to when determining whether victims should be reimbursed.

The code outlines circumstances under which victims can expect to be reimbursed and encourages better industry cooperation to combat fraud. The CRM Code has been a significant development in the fight against push payment fraud, offering consumers greater protection.

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The rising threats of push payment fraud…

Push payment fraud is not just a local or regional problem, it's a global issue with far-reaching consequences. Its impact on individuals and businesses extends beyond financial losses, affecting trust, emotional well-being, and reputation. As the world becomes more digitally connected, the threat of push payment fraud continues to grow.

In response to these challenges, a combination of education, awareness, technological advancements, and legal actions is essential to mitigate the global impact of push payment fraud. By staying informed, implementing security measures, and collaborating across sectors, we can work toward a safer digital space for individuals and businesses worldwide.

See:  Trust Fallacy: 75% of Payment Fraud in Crypto is Carried Out by KYC-verified Accounts

The rise of push payment fraud is a global concern with significant consequences. Preventive measures and trends in cybersecurity are emerging to counter this threat, and legal actions, such as the CRM Code in the UK, offer consumers greater protection. Push payment fraud requires a collective effort to safeguard the global community from its damaging effects.

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