Transaction/Operations Risk

Transaction/Operations risk arises from fraud, processing errors, system disruptions, or other unanticipated events resulting in the institution's inability to deliver products or services. This risk exists in each product and service offered. The level of transaction risk is affected by the structure of the institution's processing environment, including the types of services offered and the complexity of the processes and supporting technology.

In most instances, e-banking activities will increase the complexity of the institution's activities and the quantity of its transaction/operations risk, especially if the institution is offering innovative services that have not been standardized. Since customers expect e-banking services to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, financial institutions should ensure their e-banking infrastructures contain sufficient capacity and redundancy to ensure reliable service availability. Even institutions that do not consider e-banking a critical financial service due to the availability of alternate processing channels, should carefully consider customer expectations and the potential impact of service disruptions on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The key to controlling transaction risk lies in adapting effective polices, procedures, and controls to meet the new risk exposures introduced by e-banking. Basic internal controls including segregation of duties, dual controls, and reconcilements remain important. Information security controls, in particular, become more significant requiring additional processes, tools, expertise, and testing. Institutions should determine the appropriate level of security controls based on their assessment of the sensitivity of the information to the customer and to the institution and on the institution's established risk tolerance level. Security controls are discussed in this booklet's "Risk Management of E-Banking Activities" section under the heading "Information Security Program."


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