NatWest lets customers set transfer limits to reduce payment scam damage

NatWest is now allowing customers to establish their own daily digital bank transfer limits to reduce the impact caused by authorised push payment (APP) scams.

The move will see NatWest, Ulster Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland reduce their default bank transfer limit of £20,000 per day to £5,000 per day.

APP scams involve fraudsters tricking their victims into willingly making large bank transfers to them.

According to NatWest, customers will be able to log in to their online accounts and using a card reader, can change their daily transfer limit, either making it lower than £5,000 all the way up to £20,000. The bank claims 95% of its customers have never paid someone else more than £5,000.

Consumer bank Which? has already backed the move and has asked other lenders whether they have planned to follow NatWest in the same direction. So far, Nationwide Building Society and Virgin Money has said they are considering it.

Which? remarked that personalised payment caps could aid in tackling APP scams, which have risen considerably during the coronavirus pandemic with losses coming to nearly £500m in 2020.

NatWest commented that the customer-set transfer limits ‘also helps in a situation where a fraudster has taken control of a customer’s account as without the card reader they would not be able to increase the daily transfer limit’.

NatWest recently revealed it will not be accepting payments in cryptocurrencies, according to the company’s head of risk Morten Friis, who implied the company’s board is taking its cues from the Financial Conduct Authority who issued a warning to cryptocurrency customers that bitcoin and other digital assets are risky investments earlier this year.

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