Electronic payment fraud up in The Bahamas
…more than B$5 million reported by commercial banksFriday, May 14, 2021
ELECTRONIC fraud is on the rise in The Bahamas based on a new survey carried out by Central Bank of The Bahamas.
The bank revealed that as the use of technology to complete money transactions rises, so too have the instances of fraud — with more than B$5 million worth of fraud reported by commercial banks.
Central Bank of The Bahamas's 2020 payments survey shows that 3,317 cases of cheque, debit and credit card fraud cases were noted by commercial banks, with the majority of the fraud (68.6 per cent) involving debit card transactions that totalled about B$900,000.
The survey also revealed that 95.9 per cent of fraudulent cases were reported in New Providence, where the majority of bank customers reside.
In its 2020 annual report Central Bank of The Bahamas reported that credit card fraud represented 29.8 per cent of the total cases, for a corresponding value of B$1 million (19.9 per cent of the total value).
The rise in payment fraud also came as the volume of electronic payments through the Bahamas Interbank Settlement System real time gross settlement system increased by 55.7 per cent, for a total of 213,025 transactions last year valued at B$45.5 billion.
“In 2020, BACH [Bahamas Automated Clearing House] payments, which are processed in accordance with the globally accepted National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) format, also trended upward. More specifically, the volume of these transactions rose modestly by 0.7 per cent to 3.2 million, while the corresponding value increased by 13.6 per cent to B$4.2 billion,” the report stated.
While there was an increase in electronic payment transactions last year, there was a sizeable decline in the value and volume of debit card transactions.
The transaction volume was reduced by 17.1 per cent to 12.4 million transactions, with values lowered 7.7 per cent at B$1.8 billion. Additionally, while there was growth in Bahamians using credit cards to conduct payment transactions, there was also a decline in the number of credit cards issued last year.
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