9th February 2024

CCMA research overview: Balancing fighting fraud with customer experience 

By Grant White

Contact centres are constantly trying to balance two conflicting needs: fraud prevention and customer experience. Smartnumbers partnered with the Contact Centre Management Association (CCMA) to take a closer look at this challenge

The following is based on an excerpt from the CCMA report, Balancing fighting fraud with customer experience, and outlines the context and methodology used by the CCMA team to produce the report.


In 2022, UK consumers faced a staggering loss of £1.2 billion due to fraud, highlighting the crucial need for rigorous fraud prevention across all parts of an organisation. Particularly critical are contact centres, which remain key points of interaction with consumers.

In order to play their role in delivering the best possible customer experience, contact centres are faced with a dual responsibility: identifying legitimate customers and protecting their accounts by detecting potential fraudulent activities. This necessitates robust authentication processes. However, most existing authentication methods introduce a level of inconvenience, affecting not only customer experience but also the efficiency of call centre agents. This ‘friction’ in the authentication process can lead to longer handling times and decreased productivity.

Striking a balance between security and user experience is a complex challenge. The ideal, frictionless scenario – foregoing authentication altogether – is impractical for obvious security reasons. Moreover, even the most sophisticated authentication systems can’t always prevent scams that deceive customers into voluntarily parting with their money.

To gain deeper insights into the evolving landscape of fraud and the strategies contact centres are employing to combat it, the Contact Centre Management Association (CCMA) conducted extensive research, with the support of Smartnumbers. This research included insights from both industry leaders and consumers.

The research was carried out in two phases. The first phase involved 1,001 online interviews with UK consumers, conducted in August 2023, and ensuring a representative demographic spread. The second phase involved discussions with contact centre leaders, who provided additional insights and context based on the survey findings.

Various industry-leading contact centre professionals participated in these discussions, exploring themes from the consumer survey. The participants included:

  • Jon Bowen, Director of Operations, Paymentshield & Lloyd Latchford 
  • Nick Edge, Head of Fraud Technology, Likewize
  • Sean Gilholme, Head of Customer Service, Atom Bank
  • Ben Lyons, Vice President, Banking Operations, Chase UK 
  • Craig McKeever, Fraud Analyst, Optimus Cards UK 
  • Amanda Robertshaw, Senior Operations Manager – Fraud & Disputes, NewDay 
  • Janet Scott, Business Change Manager, AIB (Allied Irish Bank) 

Their insights, along with those from Matt Smallman, author of ‘Unlock Your Call Centre’, offer valuable perspectives on the research findings.

For those interested in a more comprehensive analysis and expert opinions, the full CCMA report is available for further reading.