Online bank Bunq steps up security after scam claims

Online bank Bunq has upped its security measures after an investigation by broadcaster NOS and the NRC newspaper found dozens of people had lost millions of euros to scammers from their Bunq accounts.

The bank wrote to account holders on Friday, briefing them about the changes, the most significant of which is the introduction of a 24-hour waiting period for transactions the bank considers to be suspicious.

During that period, the account holder will be able to wipe the transaction and the money will remain in their account.

“Reasons to hold the cash for 24 hours include changes to your daily limit, logging in on a new device, accepting an invite to a joint or shared account, making a payment to a new counterparty for the first time, or if the payment otherwise raised our suspicion and we’re taking the necessary steps to verify its legitimacy,” Bunq said.

Bunq also says it will improve its compensation for customers who have been conned and increase its availability for people who fear they are the victims of a scam. Customers told NOS and the NRC that not being able to get hold of a person when they felt they were being scammed was a major problem.

In its letter to account holders, Bunq pointed out that of the 10,000 cases of bank helpdesk fraud reported to the national banking association NVB, just 85 involved Bunq accounts.

The consumers association Consumentenbond has welcomed the steps Bunq is taking but did say it considered the 24-hour delay to be long.

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