Survey Research & Economic Data

2021 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey


Underwritten by:

The 2021 AFP® Payments Fraud and Control Survey reports that 65% of treasury and finance professionals believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame for some of the uptick in payments fraud at their companies. The survey also found that business email compromise (BEC) continues to be the primary source for attempted or actual payments fraud at 62% of companies. More than 500 treasury and finance professionals participated in this survey and their responses form the basis of this report.

More highlights from the survey include:

  • Accounts Payable departments are the most susceptible to BEC fraud. Sixty-one percent of respondents report that their Accounts Payable department is most often vulnerable to BEC.
  • In 2020, 74% of organizations were targets of payment scams. While that is smaller than the shares reported in 2018 and 2019, it still indicates that a large percentage of companies continue to be impacted by payments fraud.
  • According to 77% of treasury and finance practitioners, educating employees on the threat of BEC and training them to identify spear phishing attempts is an important component in controlling BEC.
  • In 2020, checks and wire transfers continued to be the payment methods most impacted by fraud activity. However, the incidence of check fraud activity is on a decline.

“It is vital that treasury and finance professionals continue to be vigilant and protect their organizations against future attacks to the best of their abilities. It might involve validating fraud controls regularly to ensure they are doing what they are supposed to do – that is, preventing fraud as well as strategizing and implementing new controls that might be more effective in preventing criminals from being successful in their endeavors.”

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AFP thanks J.P. Morgan for its underwriting support of this year’s Payments Fraud and Control Survey.

Companion Webinar: Results from the Payments Fraud and Control Survey

Watch this recorded companion webinar to gain insight on the key highlights from the 2021 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey Underwritten by J.P. Morgan. Review the latest trends in payments fraud, the tools being used to prevent fraud and more importantly, from a risk management perspective, where companies can employ insurance to further mitigate potential risk. This webinar also provides insight on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on payments fraud.

Recorded Webinar


Press Inquiries:

If you are interested in referencing data from this report in marketing materials, etc. please contact Mariam Lamech, Director Survey Research at [email protected].

Contact [email protected] or call 301.907.2862 for more in-depth information, to read the full report or to arrange an interview with AFP Research.
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Questions about this subject?
Contact Tom Hunt, Director of Treasury Services at AFP.