TD Bank survey finds cyber fraud is top issue for finance workers

With the inevitable increased advancement of technology comes greater security risks.

Especially when it comes to protecting money.

A new TD Bank survey conducted at the 2019 Nacha Payments Conference in May showed cyber fraud and technological solutions are top of mind for finance and treasury professionals.

Organizations’ struggles to improve legacy, or outdated, systems were cited by 42% of respondents as the greatest challenge facing payments professionals. 36% of respondents to last year’s survey said their companies need updated legacy infrastructure. TD said these numbers show minimal effort to improve payments and processing systems over the last year.

At 30%, cybersecurity was named by treasury professionals as their second greatest challenge this year with obstacles like cross-border transactions (11%), potential for fintech regulations (7%) and data regulations like GDPR or PSD2 (6%).

Those hurt in the delay to improve outdated technology are accounts payable automation and Straight Thru Processing payments. As a result, 26% of respondents do not yet have any payments automation or STP; 28% whose organizations currently use both automated and manual processes say it will take more than two years to achieve full automation/STP, and 23% said their company has achieved full automation and STP.

“Payment capabilities are changing at a rate that organizations cannot yet accommodate, so lagging adoption of fully automated processes is an expected outcome,” Rick Burke, head of corporate products and services at TD Bank, said. “Although the need to adopt new payment methods is a global pressure from an efficiency and security standpoint, faster and automated options do not yet have a foothold within many U.S. organizations.”

In similar fashion to the 84% on the 2018 Nacha survey, 85% of payments professionals predicted in this year’s survey that payments fraud and cybersecurity will be a more significant threat in the next one to two years.

Most (88%) respondents believe their organization should employ in-house security techniques, while 12% prefer to outsource prevention to an expert. Desired in-house cybersecurity measures include: deploying improved security technology to protect internal networks (53%); providing training to employees who deal with finances and sensitive information (23%) and testing employee understanding of cyber fraud and social engineering using fake spear-phishing emails (12%).

Over half (56%) think it will take at least a year to implement real-time payments within their company. Twenty two percent stated that they will participate in real-time payments within the next year.

“Dialogue about payments is increasing among banks, lawmakers, policymakers and practitioners, and this is likely to drive faster change,” Burke said. “It will be interesting to see how faster payments evolve over the next few years, especially with the Federal Reserve’s announcement that they will develop a new real-time service called FedNow.”

TD surveyed 498 payments industry professionals onsite at the conference which was held in Orlando from May 6-7.