The global financial system is built on trust. Trust that our money will be there when we need it. Trust that when we make a transfer or pay a bill the money will go to its intended destination. Trust that our personal data is secure.
In a world of increasingly sophisticated fraudsters and cybercriminals, financial institutions are increasingly reliant on advanced security systems to maintain that trust. One technology that has been widely acclaimed for its inherent security characteristics is blockchain but its adoption by the financial services world has not been as rapid or widespread as initially expected.
Maurice Murphy, country lead for Ireland at Revolut, explains that trust and security are more important to Revolut than anything else. The company invests vast amounts in the most advanced systems and processes to help ensure that its customers’ money and data is kept safe and secure. Revolut wants to allow people to send their money wherever they want in seconds, pay for services instantly, and invest as they choose. The company is now processing over 400 million transactions per month. However, Revolut also understands that customers must always know that their safety comes first.
Murphy points out that the world is only just starting to appreciate the potential of blockchain technology – with immutable records of every transaction – to enhance these security measures even further. Equally significant and perhaps more immediate, though, is the potential offered by Revolut’s next-generation AI systems to help protect customers against financial fraud. Already, the company’s machine learning models have helped it to analyze millions of payments a day and still spot transactions which, while they have been fully authorized by the customer, are being made at the behest of a criminal.
Revolut is also excited about the possibility that both AI and blockchain technologies may help the industry find new solutions to the growing threat from fake text messages, fake phone calls, and fake websites from which almost all frauds originate. However, while criminals have realized that it is almost impossible to break into a digital bank, they have turned instead to social engineering – tricking customers into instructing their bank to transfer out their money into the hands of the fraudsters.
According to Murphy, machine learning and the blockchain will help the tech firms and telecoms in question to stem this tide of fake content while potentially allowing banks greater ability to trace the progress of these defrauded funds along the blockchain, creating greater potential for recovery if the criminals do manage to trick them into handing over their funds.
Developments in the wider financial system will also drive adoption of blockchain technology, he believes. As central banks around the world deliver on their ambitions to begin creating their own digital currencies – the digital euro or digital dollar – Revolut believes a wider appreciation of the potential of blockchain and Web3 technologies will follow. Ultimately, though, the nature of the technology should not shape the direction of travel regarding trust and security. Revolut believes in using the systems which have the greatest impact. What matters most is using every available resource – technological, legal, and human – to ensure that customers’ money is safe and secure.