Permanent TSB partners with Expleo to prevent banking fraud

12 Oct 2023

From left: Permanent TSB COO Peter Vance and Expleo Ireland MD Phil Codd. Image: Mel Maclaine/The Photo Project

Expleo software is being integrated with a PTSB app, to alert users when they receive a fraudulent text that is trying to steal sensitive information.

Permanent TSB (PTSB) has partnered with Expleo to bring a new anti-fraud software feature to its banking app.

The feature is designed to protect users from smishing – or SMS phishing – by sending them an alert if they have received a fraudulent text. The feature is being introduced to the PTSB Protect app to help prevent customers from falling victim to scams.

Smishing usually attempts to trick a user into thinking they are speaking to a legitimate source such as their bank. In many cases, victims are led to deceptive websites that mimic legitimate ones, which are designed to steal a user’s sensitive information, such as their banking passwords.

“Attempts to defraud customers through criminal activity have increased significantly over the last number of years,” said PTSB chief operating officer Peter Vance. “Our own research suggests that 75pc of Irish consumers have experienced an attempt of fraud with 27pc falling victim to it.

“With scams getting more sophisticated, consumers need to continue to be on their guard at all times.”

A report from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland claims that losses from fraud reached €85m last year, an 8.8pc increase compared to 2021. Bank of Ireland also issued a warning about fraud last year, as criminals appeared to capitalise on the confusion caused by Ulster Bank and KBC exiting the Irish market.

The software being integrated into the PTSB app is called ExpleoProtectUS, which Expleo claims can be introduced to any mobile banking app on both Android and iOS systems. This software uses a combination of AI and machine learning to determine if a text message contains a fraudulent link. Expleo explained that customers must consent to allowing the software to scan their text messages and browser content but claimed that no data is captured or shared by this process.

“We are delighted that Permanent TSB immediately understood and embraced its potential to make a difference,” said Brian Kennedy, Expleo Ireland’s head of digital and innovation. “We hope our collaboration in this area will not only set an example for the Irish banking sector, but on a global scale, too.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic