Identity theft is a growing problem worldwide. It has become a booming business with perpetrators all over the world, targeting consumers and businesses online and in person, making an impact on their finances.
rate at which this type of crime continues to increase is alarming. In 2017,
the number of data breaches increased 44.7 percent over 2016, with 1,579 breaches
in the U.S. alone. The financial services sector, comprised of banks, credit
unions, credit card companies and other financial services companies, experienced
134 data breaches resulting in 3.1 million compromised records. Considering the
type of data held by these companies, it’s easy to see why they are 300 times
more likely to be the target of a cyberattack than any others1.
The business of identity theft is lucrative for thieves and the financial reward for stolen credentials pays big on the dark web. Hackers can expect to receive a significant payout for providing financial account credentials and details: approximately $274 for PayPal, $160 for online banking, $68 for debit cards, and as much as $50 for credit card, each per record. Hackers are also collecting and selling credentials for email, social media, entertainment, travel and online shopping logins2.
This growing business not only presents a problem for consumers, but also for financial institutions. The estimated loss per stolen record for a U.S. financial organization was $336 in 20171. APG Federal Credit Union (APGFCU) recognized this growing trend and began researching the magnitude identity theft impacts the credit union and its members, as well as the resources available to prevent it.
APGFCU product managers identified NXG Strategies, a company offering a low-cost package of identity theft prevention and recovery services. Through NXG Strategies, APGFCU is able to provide identity theft investigation, fraud remediation and data breach response services as a product offering to members at a fraction of the cost a consumer would pay for similar services a la carte.
research showed that consumers interested in identity theft and fraud
prevention services would prefer to obtain them from a financial institution
they’ve already entrusted.
As a financial partner in the community, APGFCU felt adding these services to its product offering would enhance member confidence and provide added assurance for both the member and the credit union.
APGFCU product managers chose from a variety of options offered by NXG to provide the most comprehensive package of identity theft and recovery services to its members. They decided to offer these services as features for a new checking account product. Member Protect Checking, a new and unique checking account unlike any other in the area, was rolled out to members on April 22, 2019.
The new checking account also helps increase member and account acquisition and retention, while keeping associated costs low. There is a $6.00 monthly fee for this account. Members can have the fee waived by meeting certain monthly requirements: a minimum of 20 debit transactions, opting out of paper statements, and a monthly direct deposit of at least $200. The account also pays 10 cents cash back on all debit card transactions with no monthly limit, and pays a competitive APY on a tiered structure based on the member’s account balance.
The checking account includes access to services such as daily credit scores, credit reports, monitoring and alerts. These services can help minimize the impact of identity theft, by notifying members as soon as suspicious activity happens.
After completing a simple registration, members are set up for daily monitoring services. These daily services include alerting the member to new activity that might appear on the their credit report, including credit inquiries, new credit lines, derogatory credit, name changes and address changes. The member can choose to receive alerts via email or text alerts. Credit reports and scores are available daily and on demand. Members can benchmark their credit standing and uncover pre-existing credit issues. They are able to lock and unlock their TransUnion® credit report online to prevent unauthorized access and can draw on the expertise of trained privacy advocates who will walk them through the process of freezing their credit reports with all three major credit bureaus.
The account also comes with fully managed identity theft recovery services, which will help assist the member in the event of identity theft or fraud. It includes coverage for up to three generations of the member’s family for financial and nonfinancial ID theft. It also includes a dedicated privacy advocate to manage their case should an incident occur. It provides Identity Theft Expense Reimbursement Insurance for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the member during the recovery period.
In addition, the checking account includes dark web and social media monitoring, along with additional benefits, such as mobile device protection. Members can feel safe knowing their accounts are continuously monitored to track criminal networks, black market forums, phishing networks and exploited websites. The account even comes with a solicitation reduction service, which will help members opt in or out of the National Do Not Call Registry, credit offers and junk mail.
Member Protect Checking is one of two new checking accounts APGFCU launched in 2019. The credit union introduced High Yield Checking in February 2019, which offers a higher rate based on account activity.
Kelly Holmes is the Marketing and Communications Director at APG Federal Credit Union (APGFCU) in Edgewood, Maryland. With over 15 years of experience in working with credit unions, Kelly provides a strategic approach to helping APGFCU communicate the benefits of membership and promote the credit union movement.