It’s not surprising that digital money transfer services such as Venmo, PayPal, and Zelle are becoming so popular. The convenience and immediacy of paying for services, splitting a check after a dinner out with friends, or issuing a bill to a client feels satisfying and smart. But with ease of use also comes the ease of making an error — and accidentally choosing the wrong username or code can put your money or data into the wrong hands.

In fact, the PositivityTech intelligent platform’s proprietary trigger algorithms have illuminated an increase in complaints about digital money transfers. By listening to every customer’s voice and then analyzing what their complaints mean collectively, our triggers detect complaints before they become big problems for your bank or your own account.

While customer complaints about digital money transfers are still very small in number and are a relatively small complaint category, they are steadily rising and predict an emerging trend that merits banks’ attention now. After all, customers expect banks to protect them. Regulators also hold banks accountable.

Statistical analyses for near-term business impact may tend to disregard these low-volume complaints. But customers who are embracing digital money transfer are the early adopters of a capability that is quickly becoming mainstream. Interestingly, using the PositivityTech platform, we have seen that complaints about banks’ digital money transfer tools are growing at the same rate — and sometimes an even faster rate — than complaints about many of the newer tools. We believe that early adopters of technology usage can tell us where future complaint issues will scale and can reveal new opportunities for product and service differentiation.

Here are the growth rates in digital money transfers (based on the CFPB data and complaint categories), just since 2017:

Complaint Category Growth
Money Transfers 191%
Subcategory: Managing Mobile Wallets 457%
Subcategory: Unauthorized Transactions 1025%
Subcategory: Fraud or Scams 2250%

Below are two examples of related customer complaints.

 “I have experienced fraud in my [NAME OF BANK] checking account… A transaction of $1,800 was transferred from my account through the bank’s money transfer system. The amount was sent to someone named X. I do not know who that is and I did not authorize the payment. I have filed a dispute claim to the fraud team, but they have denied it by saying according to their investigation, they cannot prove fraud… As one of the leading financial institutions, [NAME OF BANK] should be doing more to listen to their customers and their plight rather than training their employees to repeat what’s on their screen.”

 “A transaction from XX was sent to a person by the name of XX… I was not aware… When I went to my bank, I realized a payment of XX was removed from my account… I am disappointed and I want my account credited… Bank managers were extremely rude and advised that I will never get that money back and sorry for my loss of funds. Banks are supposed to work for the people and determine right from wrong… I want my funds returned.”

 An exciting opportunity for banks

From listening to these customer voices, it is evident that people continue to rely on their banks for security and safety. As the world of digital money transfer tools continues to grow more robust, banks do not need to lose out to fintechs. Banks have an exciting opportunity to reposition themselves, providing the security and safeguards that customers expect and value from them and further differentiating their brands.

If you’re interested in discussing how your institution can get ahead of the market and meet your customers’ needs in the digital age, please reach out to me at