Fighting economic crime through enhanced verification

A new industry coalition will be formed to fight economic crime through enhanced verification, the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) has announced.

The coalition aims to bring together experts from a broad range of fields including finance, technology, policy, academia and others, to devise solutions for detecting fraud, protecting SMEs and bolstering defences against crime such as Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud.

Economic crime in the UK is on the rise, with almost £1.2 billion stolen from consumers in 2023.[1]

Almost half of that figure is through Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud (£459.7 million in 2023)[2], where victims are tricked into sending money to scammers for products or services that are never received, like concert and football tickets. Three-quarters (76%) of APP fraud originates online, with an estimated 232,429 cases last year.

CFIT’s coalition will unite big tech providers, trade associations, major retail and challenger banks, fintech firms, digital ID solution providers and credit agencies to explore how collaboration can make the UK economy even more resilient against fraud.

Participants will carry out data-driven research and testing on solutions to verify the legitimacy and identity of businesses interfacing with financial services, as well as other security challenges in commerce and payments for UK businesses and consumers.

The coalition will aim to demonstrate how tackling prevalent financial crime will prevent businesses and their customers from being defrauded.

It will also enable banks and the fintech community who provide financial services to these groups to generate efficiency savings, reduce their liability, and optimise customer journeys.

This new initiative follows the success of CFIT’s inaugural coalition on Open Finance, which demonstrated the potential of data-sharing technology to deliver better financial outcomes for UK consumers and faster, more effective access to finance for SMEs.

The coalition’s ‘proofs of concept’ are now being trialled with Citizens Advice and a select group of retail banks following the proof of concept with HSBC.

CFIT is currently developing the core use cases for its second coalition and will announce the final cohort of partners over the summer.  Immediately kicking off a programme of activity, CFIT intends to provide interim findings in Q4 2024, and a final report in early 2025.

“Economic crime is a major threat to the UK’s financial security, and it can have a profoundly distressing impact on consumers and businesses,” says CFIT’s CEO, Ezechi Britton.

“At CFIT, we are committed to addressing this and making the financial services industry more robust by uniting the best minds across the sector and beyond to combat this pressing issue. This will be achieved through verifying UK businesses to fight economic crime.

Our intention is to support the incoming Government and industry to put in place measures that will make financial services safer, and our economy even more resilient in the years to come.”

“Last year, our landmark Vision for Economic Growth report laid out how the financial and professional services sector could contribute to unlocking economic growth, with one of the key recommendations being to accelerate digital verification (DV) solutions,” continues Chris Hayward, Policy Chairman.

“I am delighted to see the Centre for Finance, Innovation, and Technology (CFIT) continue the momentum and take this forward in its second Coalition with a focus on businesses and fraud mitigation.

Digital verification has the potential to help protect businesses and consumers and deliver a £4.8 billion boost to the UK economy from 2024 to 2030. As one of CFIT’s co-founders, the City Corporation supports CFIT’s mission and looks forward to working with them on this important initiative.”


[1] UK Finance, Annual Fraud Report 2024, p.11

[2] UK Finance, Annual Fraud Report 2024, p.42


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