By: John Jackovin,

Preventing fraud—the constant battle between the good and the bad actors in payments, with the good always trying to outpace the bad. As a payments company, we understand that fraud exists and acknowledge that fraud prevention is an important piece of any payments process.

In our effort to help Access API partners monitor and prevent ACH fraud, we have created “fingerprints” for bank accounts.

Being in-tune with our partners’ payments needs, we know there are areas we can lend a hand and help them better identify fraud on their platforms, so we’ve created a solution to help identify when the same bank account is tied to multiple user accounts.

Fingerprinting a bank account accomplishes many things:

Understanding by example

The good: There are situations where having one verified bank account tied to multiple users is completely valid. For example, if a couple shares a bank account, and both create accounts on a platform, it is likely they will connect the same bank account. And there you have it, two users with the same bank account; everything is completely kosher.

The bad: Sometimes bad actors will find a way to defraud a business and exploit that finding by setting up more than one user account, all tied back to the same bank account. As that bad actor funnels money into the bank account—often in small amounts to avoid detection—he or she then quickly move the money out of the network for safe keeping. It isn’t until the ACH file is processed and the resulting transfers fail that our partners understand the true scope of the vulnerability.

Using Fingerprinting

Partners can use this fingerprinting in a few different ways. For example, a partner may develop an internal process that uses fingerprints across multiple accounts along with the frequency of transactions to help determine and identify bad actors. Others might use fingerprinting to help detect and, in turn, deactivate any account as a precaution if it is identified as having the same fingerprint.

With this new feature, we’re empowering our partners to take a positive step towards better ACH fraud detection.  

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Financial institutions play an important role in the Dwolla network.

Dwolla, Inc. is an agent of Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank and all funds associated with your account in the Dwolla network are held in pooled accounts at Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank. These funds are not eligible for individual insurance, including FDIC insurance and may not be eligible for share insurance by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Dwolla, Inc. is the operator of a software platform that communicates user instructions for funds transfers to Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank.