Property management companies make tons of financial transactions every month from receivables to payables between customers and vendors. The ACH/EFT network is generally very secure, in the first quarter of 2020, ACH payments in the US increased over 7% but approximately less than 1% of transactions were returned as invalid, of that 1%, only a fraction is a result of fraudulent activity. The problem with ACH/EFT fraud is that the large value of payments and the potential breach of sensitive customer data which can hurt a company’s customer relationships as well as their public reputation.
The value of ACH and EFT payment processing is undeniable, but like everything else, it comes with a risk. So,0 here are safeguards that can be implemented to avoid potential fraud.
What does ACH/EFT Fraud Look Like?
While it’s unlikely to occur, ACH/EFT Fraud is typically the theft of customer data that is acquired through malicious software, also known as “malware.” The fraud occurs when unauthorized funds are intentionally transferred into an unauthorized bank account. Banks and financial institutions use a variety of techniques to weed out illicit bank behavior including analytics, authentication, account maintenance, transaction monitoring, and more, all of which provides added layers of protection to property management companies and their customers.
ACH Debit Blocks
Debit blocks are simple yet effective solution for preventing payment fraud. Debit blocks don’t prevent ACH transfers all together, instead debit blocks add a secondary authorization check during a payment process to confirm that each transfer is legitimate. This ensures funds are transferred securely without compromising productivity for your accounting team.
Only two pieces of information are needed for cybercriminals to commit ACH fraud, so it’s essential that accounting systems are equipped with encryptions to hide this information from unsuspecting cyberattacks. Leveraging an accounting software with built in encryption can take care of this step for property management companies without any extra effort or spending.
Emails are often held on public domains and can easily be compromised if the right protocols are not being followed. Phishing scams which are hidden in emails that often seem harmless can lead users astray by disguising the true intentions of the email with links that expose the device or network to malware. To effectively avoid phishing emails, it’s helpful to go through training with staff on what would be official internal email and what do when they’re not certain. It’s also useful leverage a secure messaging platform or software for internal communication that outside senders cannot access.
Sophisticated software that is built with layers of cybersecurity is the most effective way to keep your customers’ sensitive data safe. Every security protocol in your property management or accounting software must work cohesively to defend all avenue for criminals trying to access your data.
Customers may worry that they are exposing vulnerable sensitive information and organizations using that information for payment processing could feel stress but those fears can be comforted by leveraging an accounting software or property management ERP that has security built in with internal controls to ensure user compliance and external defenses to protect against cyberattacks.
With that being said, the benefits of ACH/EFT are undeniable to busy, growing organizations. They enable payment automation and streamline an otherwise lengthy, manual process that improves job satisfaction, employee morale, and productivity, but without the right protocols in place problems can follow.