Revolut Introduces New Security Measures in Response to Rising Phone Muggings in London

Revolut has ramped up security with its new 'Wealth Protection' feature. This move aims to safeguard users' savings amid a 34% rise in London muggings, targeting unlocked phones for easy access.

Crime statistics indicate a 34% increase in knifepoint robberies in London last year. In response, Revolut has implemented enhanced security features for its users to counteract this alarming trend.

Revolut‘s new security feature, known as ‘Wealth Protection,’ incorporates an additional layer of in-app identity verification. This measure is designed to prevent thieves from accessing customer savings within the app, even if they gain control of the phone.

Rising Crime Rates

The new security measures come amid reports of a surge in phone snatching. According to the Office for National Statistics, there was a 34% rise in knifepoint robberies last year, totaling 8,956 offenses. This includes muggings carried out by offenders on bicycles, resulting in 2,248 additional offenses compared to the previous year—an average of 25 muggings per day.

The Met Commissioner’s March report to the London Policing Board revealed that overall robbery increased by 20%. However, the rate of solving these crimes dropped to only 5.7%, down from 7.9% a year earlier. This means that more than nine out of 10 muggings remain unsolved.

The extent of the crime wave was highlighted by the recent arrest of Sonny Stringer. The 28-year-old from Islington stole mobile phones from 24 people in a day-long spree across central London. He was eventually apprehended when police made “tactical contact” with the rear wheel of his high-speed e-bike.

Security Measures: An Essential Upgrade

Traditional banking apps typically rely on single biometric authorization, such as facial or fingerprint recognition. However, if a thief gains control of the device, particularly if it’s already unlocked, they can easily change the registered biometric data. Revolut’s update aims to prevent this by verifying the user’s identity against the initial selfie ID taken during the app’s registration process.

Woody Malouf, Head of Financial Crime at Revolut, explained, “With phone thefts on the rise, Wealth Protection has been built to provide our customers with that extra layer of security when you’re out and about this summer. Our customers will be able to rest easy knowing that even if their phone is lost or stolen, their hard-earned savings are more secure.”

While Revolut’s enhanced security measures are a step in the right direction, addressing the issue comprehensively requires more. Effective technology, increased policing and an informed public must work together to combat the evolving nature of crime in the city.

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