AFP Releases 2013 Payments Fraud and Control Survey Results

Corporate payments fraud declines for third year

Mar 13, 2013, 08:00 ET from Association for Financial Professionals

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A majority of organizations experienced actual or attempted payments fraud last year, but the incidence of fraud decreased for the third straight year, according to the 2013 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey released today by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).  The positive trend is the result of corporate migration to electronic payment methods and a range of fraud mitigation strategies.

Now in its ninth year, the survey, sponsored by J.P. Morgan, found that sixty-one percent of participating companies were subject to business-to-business payments fraud in 2012, a higher incidence than reported in the first AFP survey, but 12 percent lower than its 2009 peak and the second lowest in the survey's history.

Key findings:

  • 61 percent of financial professionals indicate their organization experienced attempted or actual payments fraud in 2012
  • 27 percent of affected organizations saw the number of fraud incidents increase
  • 16 percent of those affected report that the incidence of fraud decreased
  • 87 percent of affected organizations had their checks targeted
  • 29 percent of those affected had corporate/commercial purchasing cards targeted, the next most common payments method targeted
  • The typical financial loss from payments fraud was $20,300.

"Today's corporate treasury professional takes proactive steps to combat fraud," said Jim Kaitz, AFP's president and CEO.  "Many organizations are transitioning to more electronic payment methods. They are aware of potential vulnerabilities. They engage in dialog with their key banks about fraud prevention."

The survey found that fraudsters tended to target large companies that make many payments. A full 67 percent of organizations with annual revenues over $1 billion were victims, compared to half of those with annual revenues under $1 billion.  Among large companies, seventy-four percent with annual revenues over $1 billion and more than 100 payment accounts were targets, compared to 64 percent of similarly sized organizations with 25 or fewer payment accounts.

"J.P. Morgan is proud to once again sponsor this year's survey and pleased to report an overall decrease in the incidence of fraud attempts among respondents thanks to sophisticated technology and the emergence of electronic payments," said Nancy McDonnell, managing director of J.P. Morgan Treasury Services. "However, organizations must remain vigilant since fraudsters are constantly exploring newer and bolder ways to perpetrate fraud as payments options continue to evolve."

While the share of organizations affected by payments fraud decreased overall, it is important to note that those that were affected typically experienced an increase in the types of their payments methods targeted, particularly corporate/commercial cards — an indication that fraudsters' attack methods are evolving with the times. For all sizes of companies, the typical fraudster was an outsider acting alone, rather than an employee, affiliate, organized crime ring, or compromised piece of technology. In the case of corporate/commercial card fraud, however, a significant amount of fraud (26 percent) is committed by an organization's own employees.


In January 2013, AFP surveyed over 5,000 corporate practitioner members with the job title cash manager, analyst, and director, resulting in 625 responses.  This is the ninth year that AFP has conducted this survey.

For more information or to download the survey results, go to 


The Association for Financial Professionals ( is the daily resource for the finance profession. Headquartered outside Washington, DC, AFP serves a network of more than 16,000 members with news, economic research and data, treasury certification programs, networking events, financial analytical tools, training, and public policy representation to legislators and regulators.  AFP's global reach extends to over 150,000 treasury and financial professionals worldwide, including AFP of Canada; London-based gtnews, an on-line resource for the treasury and finance community; and bobsguide, a financial IT solutions network.

SOURCE Association for Financial Professionals