May 16, 2020

Cyber Security and Fraud Prevention Tips For Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black Friday
Cyber Monday
 Alan Blaney, the Managing Dir...
3 min
With 2019's Black Friday complete and Cyber Monday just around the corner, FinTech Magazine hears fromAlan Blaney, the Managing Director at Focus Traini...

With 2019's Black Friday complete and Cyber Monday just around the corner, FinTech Magazine hears from Alan Blaney, the Managing Director at Focus Training, a company that specialises in providing fraud prevention, cyber security and intelligence analysis training to businesses. 

Black Friday has quickly become one of the largest shopping holidays in the UK, and although it’s a good time to grab yourself some great deals, it’s also a time to be aware of any potential fraud and scammers. Recent research has shown that 24% of UK consumers who have shopped on Black Friday or Cyber Monday claim to have experienced attempts at fraud and although financial institutions are working harder than ever to try and prevent fraud with enhanced security features such as two-step authentication, there are still other ways for criminals to get a hold of your details. Here are some simple yet effective steps to take as a consumer, in order to prevent any potentially dangerous threats.  

  1. Be Aware of Social Engineering 

Although this may seem obvious, if you receive a call and they ask for your details, hang up and contact your bank directly. Your bank will never call you and ask for your password or security details. Also be wary of any emails or texts that request money in order to access your account, some of these can appear extremely genuine however you should never send anything without double checking with your bank or payment provider. Fake adverts with clickable links are another way that scammers can take advantage of Black Friday shoppers, rather than be tempted by the deal and click on the ad, visit the website itself to see if it is genuine. 

  1. Monitor Your Bank Accounts and Transactions

As it’s prime time for criminals to attempt making fraudulent transactions, being aware of your banking activity at all times is crucial. We suggest checking your transactions daily and be sure to report any suspicious or fraudulent activity to your bank immediately. Unfortunately, you can sometimes only be made aware of fraudulent activity once the damage has been done, so keeping as up to date as possible with your finances will help identifying these types of transactions easier. 


  1. Avoid Identity Theft 

Identity theft is a fairly common type of fraud that criminals often attempt, particularly during busy shopping periods such as Black Friday. This type of fraud can be carried out using traditional ‘old school’ methods rather than solely online. Stolen credit cards are an easy way for fraudsters to gain access to your details, so be extra cautious with your belongings and watch out for pickpockets. Also be sure to protect your smartphone as much as possible using enhanced security features such as fingerprint or facial recognition.

  1. Shop Securely 

If you’re online shopping on-the-go, it’s suggested that you only use secure websites and also try and avoid using public Wi-Fi, as fraudsters are able to easily compromise public Wi-Fi in order to access your data. It’s also important that you look out for the padlock symbol in the address bar of the site you’re using, and also ensure that the URL has an ‘s’ at the end of ‘http’ as this confirms that the site is secure. Prepaid cards are useful during the Black Friday period and during the lead up to Christmas, as they can be used in the same way as a credit card, yet they hold no valuable data. If you were to lose the card, you would simply lose the value on it. Cash purchases are also another highly recommended payment method for the same reason. 

For more information on all topics for FinTech, please take a look at the latest edition of FinTech magazine.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Share article

Jun 19, 2021

AI and the future of global trade

Michael Boguslavsky, Head of A...
3 min
Boguslavsky explores AI's potential in trade finance; could it overcome traditional barriers and usher in a new era of financial transformation?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming entrenched in our daily lives, but the technology is still surrounded by misconceptions and skepticism. Ask the public and they may jump to dystopian scenarios where robots have taken over the world. 

While this makes for a good sci-fi blockbuster plot, the reality is different and more benign. Those products that Amazon suggested you buy? AI. That TV series you were recommended to watch on Netflix? AI. That self-driving Tesla car you crave to take for a spin? You guessed it: AI.

There is no single industry that is not being re-shaped by technology. Until recently, however, there was one noteworthy exception: global trade. Fortunately, that is slowly changing.

The mechanism that underpins global trade – trade finance – is an industry that remains largely paper-based and reliant on manual processes. This US$18tn a year industry is now being influenced by a new wave of technological innovation, including AI.

Exploring the potential of AI in Trade Finance

AI refers to the use of computer-aided systems to help people make decisions or make decisions for them. It relies on large volumes of data and models to make sense of information and draw intelligence. 

In trade finance, AI is helpful in analysing quantitative data, and the repetitive nature of trade finance means that there is a lot of non-traditional data at our disposal. 

This means that when trade finance providers need to assess the risks of funding a transaction, AI models can be a very efficient tool for data analysis and reveal intelligence and risks relating to small companies.

AI helps the industry move beyond traditional credit scoring processes, which are often outdated and remain reliant on historical accounting entries – a barrier that prevents small companies from accessing trade finance and has resulted in a $1.5tn global shortfall. 

Overcoming the barriers

AI can tackle this shortfall by creating accurate credit scoring models. This can include a company’s payment history, measure the risks of funding a transaction, identify supply chain risks, and benchmark them against their peer group.

Trade finance providers can use this information to communicate effectively with their SME clients, ultimately helping establish better business relationships.

Towards a technological utopia?

The adoption of AI has the potential to do a lot of good in the industry, and the industry is in the early stages of radical transformation.

Advances are driven by fintechs as well as a willingness to change. The industry is working together to create new infrastructure for distributing trade finance assets to other investors in a transparent, standardised format. 

The creation of infrastructure is possible due to improvements in technology and integrated across the trade ecosystem in cooperation with banks, insurers, and other industry participants. 

It’s collaboration at its best: together, the industry is using technology to re-shape global trade as we know it.

This article was contributed by Michael Boguslavsky, Head of AI at Tradeteq

Share article