May 29, 2020

Tech Talk Editor Teri Wesley has compiled a summary of this week's tech and cybersecurity news:

  • COVID spurs rise in card fraud
  • Mobile banking usage surges
  • Trojan descendants on the loose
  • An omnichannel approach to fraud
  • Selfies for security
  • Banking via messaging
  • Digital banking services for immigrants
  • Mobile money management tool
  • A fintech matchmaking service
  • Spam, Scams & Breaches
  • Updates, Patches & Alerts
  • and on the lighter side...
For more information, including a direct link to the source articles, visit the Tech Talk page on

COVID spurs rise in card fraud
While millions of American consumers have been sheltered-in-place since the Coronavirus shut down the U.S. economy, scammers have been busy at work launching phishing attacks and attempting to make purchases with stolen card numbers. Debit and credit card fraud has risen to unprecedented levels since the COVID crisis began, according to fraud monitoring service FIS. Deploying behavioral analysis and real-time mobile alerts, financial institutions can take a customer-centric approach to fighting fraud to protect themselves and their customers. Get the details at: Tech Talk.

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Mobile banking usage surges
Mobile banking usage has been steadily increasing over the years. More than three-quarters of Americans used a mobile device to check their bank balance in 2019. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, the use of digital and mobile banking has skyrocketed, due in part by consumers checking their accounts for the deposit of stimulus payments. According to FIS, there was a 200 percent increase in new mobile banking registrations in April, and mobile banking traffic rose 85 percent. A recent survey conducted by financial services advisory firm Novantas revealed that the shift toward mobile banking is likely to remain even after bank branches reopen. Get the details at: Tech Talk.

Trojan descendants on the loose
It's been more than a decade since the infamous ZeuS malware surfaced, but its legacy continues as fraudsters continue to develop variants of the malicious malware to steal data from banking customers. ZLoader, a descendant of the ubiquitous ZeuS trojan, has been discovered in more than 100 phishing campaigns. In March, two security firms reported a malicious campaign targeting COVID-19 financial compensation schemes. Dubbed Silent Night by the malware's author, the banking trojan – another descendant of ZeuS – is outfitted with a host of advanced and obfuscated functionalities available in a malware-as-a-service (MaaS) model built for mass campaigns. While this may seem like just another banking Trojan, its ability to create new code every time it is used makes it more difficult to detect. Get the details at: Tech Talk.

An omnichannel approach to fraud
The proverbial idiom "There is more than one way to skin a cat" means there is more than one way to achieve an aim or goal. Fraudsters are finding new ways to achieve their mission and fly under the radar by stealing information through one channel and using it to execute ATOs (account takeovers) or other attacks. With consumers turning to omnichannel banking options during shutdowns and merchants offering creative new ways to deliver services and products without direct contact with consumers – or their payment cards – financial institutions need to develop strategies to detect and thwart omnichannel fraud. Get the details at: Tech Talk.

Selfies for security
The global pandemic has thrust businesses and consumers into new ways of doing things, forcing many to become more tech-savvy as the reliance on digital channels to do everyday things has increased. To comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations, banks are required to verify the identity of the people they do business with. FCA, the U.K.'s financial regulatory watchdog, recently relaxed its rules to allow banks to accept selfies for identity verification. Accepting selfies along with a photo of the customer's official ID document and comparing the two can be an effective security measure, if the right technology and service providers are used. Get the details at: Tech Talk.

Banking via messaging
After targeting the Millennial generation for years, banks are beginning to set their sights on the next generation of banking customers – GenZ consumers who were born into the digital age and have never experienced life without the Internet or mobile devices. This generation prefers digital platforms, such as chat and messaging services, for nearly everything they do, including banking. One example of that is the growing popularity of digital challenger bank Zelf that targets GenZ with its banking services offered exclusively through widely-used messaging apps. Get the details at: Tech Talk.

Digital banking services for immigrants
According to a recent FDIC National Survey, less than half of U.S. Hispanic households are "fully banked." Welcome Technologies, which bills itself as an operating system for immigrants, launched banking services for the Hispanic and immigrant population. In partnership with Green Dot, the bank account and Visa card provide financial services designed to connect the 250 million global immigrant communities with relevant products and services. Get the details at: Tech Talk.

Mobile money management
To help consumers manage their finances, tech giant Samsung and digital lender SoFi have teamed up on a mobile money management platform and Mastercard debit card. Samsung Money by SoFi will offer users the convenience of mobile payments and the control of a debit card and higher interest-earning potential. Samsung device users will be able to view account balances, browse transactions, change their PIN, flag suspicious activities, and more via the app. Get the details at: Tech Talk.

Fintech matchmaking service
One form of "social distancing" that has been around long before COVID is online or dating apps that allow singles to meet virtually to see if they might be a good fit before meeting in person. There's a new AI-driven matchmaking platform for fintech startups to identify, assess, and get matched with prospective retail, investment, and financial services partners that have a common interest. Get the details at: Tech Talk.

John Burnett
in a 1-hour

Remittance Rule Changes

June 23, 2020

The CFPB's new final rule amending Remittances Rule will increase the safe harbor limit from 100 to 500 remittances in the prior and current years. The Bureau also replaced the temporary provision expiring July 21 allowing insured depository institutions to continue using estimates of exchange rates and certain costs when funds are being sent to certain countries or recipient institutions. This program will explain the new safe harbor limit, transitioning from the old to the new safe harbor, and more.

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On the lighter side...

They say good things come in small packages. An innovative tech company has developed an all-in-one smartphone accessory that is packaged in a tiny gadget so small you can carry it with your keys. With the WonderCube you can carry a charger, memory, emergency power, phone stand, data cable, and torch wherever you go.

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