May 09, 2023

What are You, and Your Competitors, Doing to Fight Fraud?


Michael W. Kahn

Michael W. Kahn


LAS VEGAS—Keeping up with the Joneses can be a good thing, if the Joneses are doing all they can to prevent fraud. 

“It is important to figure out what the businesses around you are doing,” said Jeanette Hait Blanco, Nacha General Counsel. 

“The practical reason is you don’t want to be the player that’s easiest to get to,” said Blanco. “If you don’t keep up with your fraud filters or the things being used by others then you become a very attractive target.”

Blanco said there are also legal considerations for knowing what others are doing “because you are likely to get held to a standard of commercial reasonableness.”

Blanco was on the panel for the Smarter Faster Payments 2023 session “Killing the Fraud Monster,” where the discussion turned to data sharing to fight fraud. It’s a difficult topic, with Blanco noting, “Everybody wants to get everybody else’s data; nobody wants to share their own.” It’s a situation Charles Ellert, Principal, Governance, Risk and Compliance at Verizon, understands.

“Verizon’s data is sacrosanct,” said Ellert. “It’s customer proprietary network information, so we have a fiduciary responsibility to protect that data.”

Julia Hager, Billing Program and Strategic Operations Manager at Allstate, said many firms don’t want to share what they don’t have to. “But that is the old way of thinking. It is a new world,” said Hager. 

Ellert suggested that a card industry model for data sharing might work, and Hager agreed, saying, “The cards do it exceptionally well.”

Meanwhile, for companies like Allstate, customers want to pay in myriad ways, which means a lot of shoulders to look over when it comes to checking for fraud.

“We are now expected, from a payments perspective, to be everywhere our customers are. They want to pay you with a check in mail, they want to pay you through a QR code, they want to use Zelle,” said Hager. “Now I’ve got to fight that fire on 19 different fronts.”

On the financial institution front, Blanco said she often hears FIs say they wish other FIs “would do a better job of identifying mule accounts and bad guys and doing something about it.” To which Blanco asks, “What do you do?” and offers this suggestion: “Be the change you want to see in the world. Go out there and start identifying the bad guys.”

Nacha’s new Risk Management Framework is available on, where you can also find the Nacha booklet “Protecting Against Cyber Fraud.” Each is available as a PDF download.

For additional guidance, visit Nacha’s Risk Management Advisory Group (RMAG) page.