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Revolut launches AI scam detection tool

Revolut AI
Image credit: nataliajakubcova / Shutterstock

Revolut has launched an AI scam detection tool designed to prevent authorised push payment (APP) fraud schemes.

APP is a type of scam in which criminals trick users into transferring funds into their accounts.

Scamming is on the rise, with data last year from National Trading Standards claiming almost three quarters (73%) of UK adults have been targeted by scams and 35% – around 19 million people – had lost money from scams.

The advancement of AI technology has only worsened fears of scams, as the technology can give way to more sophisticated attempts to steal user funds.

A survey from cybersecurity company McAfee found that a quarter of adults had already experienced some kind of AI voice scam. Earlier this month, a finance worker at a multinational was tricked by a deepfake video call into transferring $25m to criminals.

Revolut, however, claims AI technology can just as effectively be used to combat scams. The new feature from the fintech intervenes if it determines there is a high likelihood that a payment is a scam.

The user attempting to make the payment is automatically taken to a “scam intervention flow” which prompts them to consider the context of the transaction and gives information on how scams often work.

“We’ve invested heavily in the product to ensure that customers can continue to spend and send their money safely,” said David Eborne, head of fraud at Revolut.

“A growing number of banks are increasingly restricting or heavily limiting the ability to make card payments to crypto and investment websites.”

Eborne said the new feature means the company can “ensure that customers who want to perform legitimate payments continue to do so, but also intervene to protect those who are being guided by criminals to make fraudulent ones” without having to “completely block those transactions”.

Starling Bank and Chase UK are among the prominent banking providers to ban crypto-related transactions over the high risk of fraud.

This week also saw Revolut launch a phone plan product in the UK, first reported by CNBC, as the company continues its efforts to build a financial ‘super app’.

Read more: Government must ‘force’ banks to work with crypto, says trade body