Digital bank Monzo has rolled out a new in-app “call status” tool, a first for UK banks, aimed at protecting its customers from impersonation scams. This feature verifies if the caller is genuinely from the bank, thereby helping users to distinguish between a legitimate call and a scam attempt.
“We’ve built this industry-first feature as an additional layer of comfort and security to help protect our customers from falling victim to fraud,” said Priyesh Patel, senior staff engineer at Monzo.
The Scary Numbers
Figures from UK Finance revealed that impersonation scams cost victims more than £177 million in 2022, involving 45,367 recorded cases. Monzo’s latest tool aims to reduce these figures by allowing users to confirm the identity of callers in real-time.
How the Tool Works
The feature shows the call status within the Monzo app. If a Monzo team member is genuinely on the call, it will display “talking to you now.” Otherwise, users will see a message urging them to hang up and report the scam attempt.
“If the ‘Monzo call status’ is showing that a member of the Monzo team isn’t talking to you, hang up right away and report it to us,” advised Priyesh Patel, financial crime and security team lead at Monzo.
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Immediate Reporting of Scams
The in-app call status tab allows users to report any attempted scams instantly. The prompt action could help Monzo trace the fraudsters and also alert other users to similar scam attempts.
Adding to the Bank’s Anti-Fraud Arsenal
Ashley Hart, director of fraud at Monzo, stated, “This is another innovative tool we have added to our arsenal in the fight against fraud, as we continue our work on a range of initiatives, including our partnership with Stop Scams UK, to tackle this industry-wide problem.”
Awards and Recognitions
Monzo, founded in 2015, has already won the hearts of many with its customer-centric approach. Last month, it ranked as the best provider for individuals and businesses in a UK customer satisfaction survey. The digital bank outperformed high-street lenders, keeping its leading position intact.
What Users Should Remember
Users can find the new feature by clicking on their profile in the Monzo app, then going to “Settings” and finally selecting “Privacy and Security.” The feature’s effectiveness does depend on customers remembering to check the app for the call status, though.
Monzo has also reiterated that they will never initiate a call to a customer without prior arrangements made through the in-app chat.
Will Others Follow Suit?
Monzo’s new feature sets a precedent that could encourage other banks to develop similar tools, especially as impersonation scams continue to victimise thousands each year. Whether this move will pressure other banks into action remains to be seen.
Remember to confirm the caller’s identity in the Monzo app the next time you get a call claiming to be from Monzo. It’s a simple step that can keep your personal and financial information secure.