Resolving a complaint involving credit fraud can be a complicated process – especially now financial services companies have to answer to people who aren’t their customers. Here’s why complaints handling teams will play a big part in avoiding reputational damage.
Being the victim of theft is a stressful situation – even more so when it involves credit fraud. The knowledge that someone has had access to your private bank account or card can leave a lasting impression. And the way that this situation is resolved (or otherwise) will often play a large part in how the person involved remembers the story.
The digital world has made credit fraud a much more complicated issue to deal with. Although people are more aware of scammers and show greater vigilance in their online behaviour, many still get caught out. Online scams grow more sophisticated by the day, often using publicly available information from social media to build trust with potential victims and encourage them to share sensitive details or transfer money.
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Bank transfers like this are known as authorised push payments (APPs) and are a particularly popular way for fraudsters to con people into giving up their hard-earned cash. In fact, UK customers lost £145m to these scams in the first half of 2018 alone1. The challenge for those victims is then getting the money back – something they rely on the banks involved to sort out. Imagine though if the bank receiving the money fails to investigate properly or takes its time about doing so. The victim naturally calls to complain but is told that nothing can be done because they aren’t a customer. They’ll just have to wait…
The rules around credit fraud complaints have changed
Losing your money and struggling to recoup it is a nightmare scenario, but one that has happened to many people. Now, however, the rules around APPs have been changed and complaints handling teams are the ones who have to be ready.
Previously, in the case of APP credit fraud, consumers only had the right to complain to their bank – the one that had sent the money. This meant that victims of fraud were reliant on communication between their bank and the bank that had received the money on behalf of the fraudsters. In this scenario, there was little incentive for this company to act efficiently – after all, they weren’t likely to lose a customer over it.
Since January this year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has given consumers the right to take their complaints to the bank receiving APPs should they be frustrated with how the situation is progressing. This gives customers of every bank greater control over how credit fraud complaints are handled – even allowing them to escalate the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
The new rules are an opportunity in disguise for banks
The FCA’s rule changes are a big deal to complaints handling teams. Financial services companies may have thought they had a tough time resolving the complaints of their own customers. Now, they are also highly likely to receive complaints from people who aren’t customers – and this could prove to be a tricky task.
One major challenge is that these complaints will come from those who have little or no relationship with the company. They will only want one thing – to have their complaint resolved through the return of their money. There is only one outcome that will be satisfactory, making every customer service agent’s job that much harder.
The problem for banks and other financial services companies (there’s no ignoring that challenger businesses bear this responsibility as well) is that their reputation can easily be affected by negative experiences with non-customers. Looking at it more positively, however, there’s an opportunity for companies to enhance their reputations. Complaints handling teams now have a greater ability to open a dialogue with those affected by APP credit fraud – allowing them to deliver a better experience by showing they can support everyone, not just their customers.
How complaints teams can handle non-customer complaints effectively
To build a relationship with non-customers and deliver a positive experience, complaints handling teams have to be able to resolve credit fraud situations as efficiently and effectively as possible. This means making the most of every interaction – something that won’t happen if the right processes aren’t in place to provide this.
For instance, companies that aren’t able to track the full journey of their customers across the business will deliver a much poorer overall experience – especially when it comes to resolving their complaints. This is already a major issue within many complaints handling teams – and one they need to sort out quickly if they want to avoid escalations.
Tracking interactions becomes even more critical when dealing with someone who isn’t a customer. In this scenario, every interaction and every piece of information shared with agents forms a much greater percentage of the journey. It’s therefore vital for complaints handling teams to have the full picture when they need it, given they’ll be working on cases that are already harder to resolve outright.
Why complaints handling teams need the right tools for the job
Having more contact with people who aren’t customers should be an opportunity for financial services companies. However, this will only ever be the case if their complaints handling team has the tools and support necessary to deliver a top-notch non-customer experience.
These tools gives banks and their teams the ability to grasp that opportunity by providing the support that credit fraud victims need. A powerful piece of case management software, makes light work of tracking interactions with customers and non-customers alike.
Giving agents a complete overview of each case with the information they need to make real progress, the system drives efficiency within the complaints handling process. This leads to complaints being resolved quicker and APP credit fraud victims receiving a far better experience – one that massively reduces the emotional stress they will no doubt be under.
There are few positives when it comes to credit fraud, but financial services companies can make sure their complaint handling process is one of them. Using case and complaint management software, they can not only provide much-needed support to credit fraud victims, but also enhance the reputation of their business with those who could turn out to be future customers.
Martin Ellingham, Senior Product Manager at Aptean
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