Banking app launches extra secure holiday mode to protect tourists from pickpockets

By Staff


Revolut’s banking app has launched a new feature to help protect its customers from pickpockets who steal phones and try to access savings accounts to steal money

A banking app has launched a new feature which stops pickpockets and phone snatchers from getting into your hand earned holiday savings.

Revolut’s new feature, Wealth Protection, includes biometric identification which helps to protect customers’ savings when their phone is stolen by pickpockets. The feature will launch this month, ahead of a busy summer season expected to reach recording breaking numbers, for travel.

According to Revolut, customers on average hold over two times more money in their savings account compared to their current account. The feature will help to protect customers who have had their unlocked phone stolen, or password and face recognition compromised, and stops criminals from withdrawing customers’ savings out of their accounts.

Many banking apps rely on biometric authorisation, such as facial or fingerprint recognition, for users to open their app. However, this can still leave customers vulnerable when a pickpocket gains access to their device and changes the registered fingerprint or facial image, to their own.

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In comparison, Revolut’s new feature will verify the identity of the user against selfie ID checks that the customer completes when first signing up to Revolut. The feature, which requires customers to opt-in, can be turned on for savings.

Physical theft was responsible for 38% of all unauthorised fraud losses in 2023 and pickpocketing is surging globally. In London, for example, a phone is stolen every six minutes. Revolut warns that customers are also at a heightened risk of ‘shoulder-surfing,’ where fraudsters first identify phone and banking-app passwords and then use this to bypass security measures, as well as having their phone taken whilst unlocked.

Woody Malouf, head of financial crime at Revolut, said: “With phone thefts on the rise, Wealth Protection has been built to counteract theft by providing our customers with that extra layer of security when you’re out and about this summer.”

The feature is a part of Revolut Secure, which brings together Revolut’s security features to give customers more control over how their money is protected. It will be one of the first banking apps to implement this feature.

According to a report by, a UK insurance price comparison site, Italy had 478 mentions of pickpocketing in reviews, for every million British visitors, making it the highest of countries studied in Europe. Italy was followed by France and Spain.

Greg Wilson, founder and CEO of, said: “Many holidaymakers are unaware that some of the most popular destinations for Brits have some of the highest incidents of pickpocketing in Europe… It is essential always to remain vigilant, leave valuables, like expensive jewellery, in a safe in the hotel and always travel with a secure cross-body bag with zips to secure phones and wallets or even a money belt.”

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