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Study shows UK businesses credit card theft could reach £6 million

Written by  Apr 14, 2020

There are very worrying signs of the volume of corporate credit card theft in the UK, £6million could be lost with 500,000 workers holding a business credit card, a recent study shows.

The research shows that 40% of consumer spend in 2019 was done via credit card, making them the most popular payment preference in the UK.

The contactless limit has recently been increased to £45 to assist businesses who are struggling due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, up to four contactless payments possible before a PIN is required, workers could stand to lose £180 before they notice their corporate card has been taken – equating to £9 million across all stolen cards.

Such theft could be extremely damaging to smaller organisations, as 67% of SMEs have a company credit card – 24% of which say it’s the primary method of business spending.

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Those who keep their bank details stored on their phone are increasingly vulnerable to theft, with 37% of workers using a smartphone or tablet for work purposes – 22% of whom put their card details on their phone. This equates to 6.8 million at-risk employees in the UK.

Around 67,000 mobile phones are stolen each year – or 183 per day. Digital wallets continue to be the fastest-growing payment method in the UK, accounting for 29% of online transactions over the last year.

Furthermore, some popular phone models are known to restrict security features when paired to a work G Suite account, meaning more secure face recognition and fingerprint features have to be replaced by a pin or password.

Thieves don’t need to know a worker’s pin or password to access their card details – they can just double-click the home button from the lock screen to access the digital wallet.

Android users should be especially vigilant, with more than 12 million handsets no longer supported by key security updates. In 2019, 40% of Android users were running older versions of the software that were no longer receiving security updates from Google.

This study highlights the real dangers of company credit card usage and risk, it will pay to be vigilant about exactly what cards are being used and how much is being spent without you even noticing.


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Karen Turner

A very experienced freelance IT journalist who now prefers to work from home and has such a broad range of knowledge accrued over the years, we would not cope without her influence and ideas.

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