Counterfeiting and forgery are described as the illegal imitation of currency and other goods for financial gain, without authorisation.
As a well-renowned security print and digital solutions company, we specialise in delivering products and services that enable people and businesses to participate in the global economy without fear of compromising the security of financial documents.
We’ve taken a look at the effects of counterfeit products on the UK economy, including the decline of cash, changes to legislation for improved digital security and next-generation financial services.
The effects of counterfeit products on the UK Economy
Over the years, we have built a number of longstanding relationships with financial institutions worldwide, including registrars, banks, building societies and other fields in the financial services sector.
The security of financial documents remains a high priority across both print and growing digital services, to combat counterfeiting and forgery.
The UK economy, particularly in the festive months, is at an increased risk of exploitation, as counterfeiters operate to the advantages of social media-driven sales, targeting consumers by imitating well-known brand names.
The chartered trading standards institute reported on the launch of operation MONTY in September. As a collaboration between industry members including the ‘Anti-Counterfeiting Group’, the operation aims to work with social media platforms to remove false advertisements that imitate established brands for financial gain.
The effects of counterfeit products on the UK Economy are undoubtedly an issue. This not only affects the safety of consumers through their literal consumption but potential financial exploitation. It is clear that there is a requirement for increased protection for consumers shopping online.
What is the current legislation protecting consumers from digital financial exploitation?
Although there has been an evident shift from cash-based transactions to digital-based transactions following the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been quite a static movement from the Government surrounding legislation to protect consumers from digital financial exploitation through scams.
ITV reported in May that 17 consumer authority groups had joined forces to urge the Government to include scams in a proposed Online Safety Bill. However digital giants Facebook and Google have reportedly suggested fraud would not fit within this particular bill.
The rise in uptake of digital banking and various other digital applications supporting access to online finance management has seen an increase in digital security measures for access to such documents. This includes biometric identification features such as facial and fingerprint recognition, in addition to password protection.
However, with integrated payment methods available on most smart devices, there is still little protection in place to reduce payments being authorised to potentially illegitimate goods providers.
As GDPR remains the most powerful piece of data legislation for the protection of personal information, there are legitimate questions to be asked about why there are so many hoops to jump through to confirm the security of a payment on the side of the consumer, but little to no warnings about that financial information being obtained by illegal goods providers through an illegitimate purchase.
Has counterfeit currency contributed to the decline in the use of cash since early 2020?
In addition to concerns surrounding counterfeit products available on the market, counterfeit bank notes continue to drive concern in the UK economy.
The UK National Central Office for the Suppression of Counterfeit Currency and Protected Coins (UKNCO) maintains regular records of counterfeit currency and regularly undertakes analysis of suspected counterfeit bank notes in the UK. However, the introduction of polymer notes in 2016 has not only increased the lifetime of cash circulation, but it is also thought to reduce the ability of crime groups’ mass production of fake notes.
The National Crime Agency advises that anyone unsure about the legitimacy of their bank notes should use the Bank of England’s Banknote training service. This highlights identifiable security features on notes that will in most cases confirm the legitimacy of the note.
With the timing of the pandemic, it is not certain that counterfeit currency has had a large part to play in the decline of cash as a currency. However, with access to new digital-based financial services that boast increased security, there are undoubtedly more options available to consumers for the purchase of goods.
Zunoma’s financial services
- Reward & Gift Vouchers
- Tax stamps
- Pay out and Payout Now in conjunction with the Post Office
- Certificates of ownership
As a trusted partner of many financial institutions worldwide, we use unique designs in our delivery of innovative solutions and services that enable people and businesses to participate in the global marketplace with increased financial security.
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