PwC Retracts Published Statistic on Digital Payment Service

Apr 25, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

In a story titled “Digital Payment Service Zelle is Rife with Fraud” published on April 24, TPG reprised a story based on reporting by The New York Times that examined the digital banking feature’s vulnerabilities to hackers.

TPG included a quote from an interview the Times conducted with a partner at consulting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers regarding Zelle’s fraud rate. The quote that the partner gave to the Times said one bank experienced a 90% fraud rate with Zelle transactions.

After the story was published by TPG and others, PwC released a statement saying the “90%” statistic in that quote is not accurate.

TPG reached out to PwC to see if that particular partner, Genevieve Gimbert, who leads PwC’s Financial Crimes Unit and is Head of Fraud Management Consulting, was available for comment. We also asked for further clarification regarding the erroneous quote — namely where the “90%” statistic came from and if there was an accurate statistic for Zelle’s fraud rate. A PwC spokesperson said the partner was not available to speak and referred us to the company’s statement on the matter:

In a New York Times article published this past Saturday, “Zelle, the Bank’s answer to Venmo, Proves Vulnerable to Fraud,” a PwC partner was quoted as saying, “I know of one bank that was experiencing a 90 percent fraud rate on Zelle transactions, which is insane.” 

PwC has determined the 90 percent figure is unsubstantiated. In addition, the statement could be read to incorrectly suggest that there is an issue with Zelle itself rather than merely pointing out that appropriate controls and procedures are needed by banks and other users in order to properly implement any new payment system. We recognize that most banks do have strong fraud authentication and fraud detection controls in place. 

We regret the error and take full ownership. We have contacted the New York Times to inform them the partner misspoke and to seek a correction.

Further attempts by TPG to reach the partner on social media were not successful.

A spokesperson from Zelle’s parent company Early Warning Services sent the following statement to TPG:

“Zelle® is bringing faster person-to-person payments to millions of U.S. consumers through the convenience of mobile banking apps. They are discovering that it’s a fast and easy way to send money to people they know and trust. Safe banking is a top concern, and we offer consumers multiple layers of protection, and clear processes, to investigate and remediate unauthorized transactions. Proactively, we’re educating consumers on how to avoid new and emerging payment scams. While all financial products are susceptible to an array of threats from con artists and thieves, Zelle has seen very few incidences of fraud amongst the millions of transactions processed per day. When fraud is reported, or identified, we take immediate steps with our participant banks to investigate and take action, in order to prevent further abuse.” 

Since learning that a central quote in the story was not accurate, TPG has taken the story off the site and issued this correction. We regret the error in publishing the erroneous quote and statistic.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.