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Revolut Introduces Wealth Protection to Thwart Phone Thieves

Revolut has stepped up its fight against crime with the launch a new biometric identification feature designed to protect customers’ savings from pickpockets and phone stealers.

The UK fintech, which boasts more than eight million UK customers and 40 million globally, says the Wealth Protection feature helps protect customers who have had their unlocked phone stolen, or password and face recognition compromised, and stops criminals from withdrawing customers’ savings out of their accounts.

According to Revolut, many banking apps rely on just one biometric authorisation (such as facial or fingerprint recognition) built into mobile devices, usually when opening the app. But these leaves customers at risk if a pickpocket gains access to the device and changes the registered fingerprint or image to their own.

When turned on, Wealth Protection verifies the identity of a customer against the selfie ID checks that they completed when first signing up to Revolut, significantly hampering fraudsters’ attempts to transfer money out of their savings accounts, even if their phone security has been compromised. The feature, which requires customers to opt-in, can be turned on for Savings.

Theft insights

In 2023, physical theft accounted for 38 per cent of all unauthorised fraud losses, with pickpocketing incidents on the rise worldwide. In London, a phone is stolen every six minutes. Customers are increasingly at risk of ‘shoulder-surfing,’ where fraudsters observe phone and banking-app passwords to bypass security measures. Additionally, phones are often taken while still unlocked, further compromising user security.

More customers than ever before are using Revolut’s savings accounts and features. On average, customers hold 2.6-times more money in their savings vs current account.

Woody Malouf, head of financial crime at Revolut, said: “We take fraud and the financial loss incredibly seriously. With phone thefts on the rise, Wealth Protection has been built to counteract theft by providing our customers with that extra layer of security when you’re out and about this summer. Our customers will be able to rest easy knowing that even if their phone is lost or stolen, their hard earned savings are more secure.”

Wealth Protection is part of Revolut Secure, which brings together Revolut’s security features to give customers more control over how their money is protected. Revolut also has other protections in place for customers including AI models, more than 4,000 trained anti-financial crime professionals and a team made up of fraud specialists, data scientists, and ex-law enforcement.

In 2023, Revolut prevented over £475million of potential fraud against its customers and is consistently working on updating protections to stay one step ahead of fraudsters.

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