Banks have been urged to use various types of technology to avoid rising bills in the form of refunds for cyber-attack victims.

Banking customers were tricked into transferring a whopping £240 million to fraudsters last year as cyber-attacks become increasingly sophisticated.

Banks are currently refunding a quarter of this to customers, but are facing a bigger hit in the future as the Financial Ombudsman has told them not to assume this fraud is due to customer negligence.

Fraud experts Intelenet Global Services say banks can make use of technologies such as machine learning and predictive analytics which identify customers’ spending patterns and flag up suspicious transactions.

“Prevention is always better than cure,” said the firm’s head of operations Puneet Taneja. “Technologies which flag up suspicious transactions, combined with systems that offer automated messaging, can help banks reach customers quickly and securely to determine if a suspect transaction is taking place.

“This can significantly lower average loss per account and loss per fraud. One leading bank saw a 98 per cent increase in fraud detection rate after putting this kind of system in place.

“Fraud aftercare is [also] crucial in allowing banks to identify loopholes in the system and pick up the pieces for customers after criminal activity has taken place.

“Machine learning is increasingly being applied to help speed up the resolution process, resulting in improved customer support for those who have fallen prey to fraud.”

Intelenet employs 55,000 people and operates across 70 sites in the United States, Europe, Middle East, Philippines and India.