The rising wave of financial fraud and scams in Japan is a pressing concern, with devastating consequences for individuals and the financial system at large. As authorities grapple with finding effective solutions, a proactive and responsive approach that combines advanced technology and education offers a more comprehensive defence strategy than simply demonetising the elderly population. Let’s delve into why this approach is essential and how it can empower individuals while preserving their financial well-being.

Understanding the Vulnerability of the Elderly

Elderly individuals are indeed more susceptible to financial fraud due to a variety of factors, including unfamiliarity with digital platforms, cognitive decline, and a generally trusting nature. Recognising this vulnerability, Japan’s National Police Agency’s call for measures to protect the elderly is commendable. However, stripping them of their access to cash machines, while well-intentioned, presents limitations and implications that might not effectively address the root of the problem.

The Limitations of Demonetisation

While removing bank cards from the elderly might prevent them from falling victim to certain types of scams, it poses practical challenges and potential drawbacks:

  • Loss of Financial Independence: Restricting access to cash machines could hinder the elderly’s ability to manage their finances independently, potentially leading to inconvenience and dependency on others.
  • Incomplete Protection: transactions, most scams actually rely on digital transactions. Cybercrimes such as phishing, identity theft, and online fraud would still pose a threat to elderly individuals’ financial security.
  • Reduced Quality of Life: Access to cash is crucial for daily transactions. Limiting this access might negatively impact the quality of life for the elderly, who rely on cash for their day-to-day needs.

The Proactive and Responsive Approach: Education and Technology

Rather than solely relying on measures like demonetisation, a proactive and responsive approach offers a more effective and sustainable solution:

  • Education: Empowering the elderly with knowledge about different types of scams, their tactics, and how to recognise and respond to them is paramount. Educational campaigns can equip them with the tools to identify suspicious activities and protect themselves proactively.
  • Technology Solutions: Advanced and proven technology, such as those provided by Outseer’s Fraud Manager and 3-D Secure, can complement education efforts. These solutions offer real-time fraud detection, two-factor authentication, and behavioural analytics, making it significantly harder for criminals to exploit the elderly’s lack of familiarity with digital platforms.

Benefits of a Proactive and Responsive Approach

  • Empowerment: Education empowers the elderly to make informed decisions, reducing their susceptibility to scams across various channels.
  • Comprehensive Protection: Technology solutions work hand in hand with education, providing a multi-layered defence against both traditional and modern fraud tactics.
  • Preservation of Dignity: The proactive and responsive approach preserves the elderly’s dignity by not limiting their financial independence, allowing them to continue managing their finances with confidence.

Building Resilience Through Education and Technology

While the intent behind demonetisation is laudable, a proactive and responsive approach that combines education and advanced technology offers a more effective and empowering strategy. By equipping the elderly with knowledge and tools to detect and prevent scams, we can foster resilience against evolving fraud tactics. Let us advocate for an approach that not only safeguards the elderly but also celebrates their financial autonomy and independence, ensuring a secure digital landscape for all generations.

To chart a course forward in these changing times, Japanese banks are joining Outseer Connect—an invaluable platform where industry leaders from leading banks and financial institutions converge. Here, participants can engage in in-depth discussions with peers, gaining fresh insights into scam prevention and AI in fraud and its far-reaching impacts. Outseer Connect offers a unique opportunity to exchange ideas, share experiences, and stay at the forefront of innovative strategies that safeguard both financial institutions and valued customers.

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Nir Moatty

Vice President, Global Solution Consulting

Nir is an experienced executive with a passion for the software industry and has been engulfed in it for more than 13 years. Throughout his career, he has managed numerous teams, either field related, impacting Product Strategy, or technology related impacting execution. He’s managed and directed engineer teams in the development of biometric authentication, fraud detection, adaptive authentication and more. Currently, he works with partners and customers to provide the best approach and solution that will yield the most effective results.