FirstBank leverages Entersekt to secure Zelle® payments in real-time

Payments Security Technology
In the US, banking customers love the convenience of instant payments offered by services like FedNowSM, RTP®, and peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platforms like Zelle®. However, the irrevocable nature of these transactions has caught the attention of fraudsters, too, increasing the risk of instant payment fraud – a growing concern not only in the US, but across the globe.
However, FirstBank, one of the largest and best-performing privately held banks in the US, is working to prevent fraudsters from gaining the upper hand. They recently ‘leveled up’ the security of their Zelle® P2P payment process by expanding their use of Entersekt’s payment authentication technology.

What is FirstBank’s ‘P2P Step Up’ payment authentication?

‘P2P Step Up,’ which leverages Entersekt’s integrated authentication technology, provides an additional layer of security for FirstBank’s customers performing P2P payments. The solution requires users to verify higher-risk Zelle® payments using their mobile device.
Payment verification is performed via a secure push notification, where customers can either approve or deny the transaction with a quick tap on their mobile device – and, if supported, verify their identity through biometrics.
“As a financial provider, we know our growth is directly related to the trust of our customers, the quality of our service, and innovation of our products,” says Kelly Kaminskas, Chief Digital Officer at FirstBank.
“We also take pride in our fraud prevention efforts, and believe offering robust fraud detection is what helps us deliver an award-winning customer experience.”
“Payments are evaluated by our risk systems and, if determined to be higher risk, we send customers a push notification via their mobile app to confirm the payment prior to it being sent,” adds Kaminskas. “We believe this type of smart friction is foundational to helping deter fraudsters in a faster payments world.”

How does the solution prevent digital payment fraud?

Entersekt’s solution uniquely identifies the context of each transaction, such as a user’s device. It uses real-time customer data to spot and potentially block any suspicious activity like an unfamiliar device, location, or a large one-off payment to a new account.
With Context Aware™ Authentication, users are protected from being manipulated into making a fraudulent payment.
Kaminskas explains: “Once the customer opens the notification, they have the option to ‘Send’ or ‘Reject’ the payment.” If customers choose ‘Send,’ they verify their identity via their device biometrics (if enabled). Only then will the payment be processed. The ‘Reject’ option blocks it from sending.

Secure, user-friendly authentication puts customers first

“Holistically, fraud is a problem that needs a bigger perspective for us to see all parts of the transaction and the multiple steps of exfiltration,” Entersekt’s Chief Technology Officer, Gerhard Oosthuizen, explains.
With Entersekt, financial institutions (FIs) can ensure their customers’ payments are secure, without introducing unnecessary friction. Our patented device identity technology enables a secure and convenient authentication experience. Sharing real-time data points across all digital banking channels, the solution builds a context-rich picture of each customer, to facilitate smooth transactions, while blocking any unauthorized access.
FIs, like FirstBank, that think ahead, can match the advances in banking innovation with the necessary security that always puts their customers first.

FedNowSM is a service mark of the Federal Reserve Banks.
RTP® is a registered service mark of The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C.
Zelle® and the Zelle® related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.