Westpac launch new scam prevention measures

Westpac has announced the launch of new digital payment security features to help combat scam losses.

The Australian banking firm will integrate its sophisticated fraud detection systems with its digital payment platforms to help customers identify potential scams through real-time payment prompts.

The move is the first time that the nation’s banking sector has dipped its toes into the technology, which will see prompts activated when customers enter payment details in online or mobile banking which the bank detects to be a higher scam risk.

In these instances, customers will be asked a number of questions to help better assess the scam risk. If customer responses suggest the payment is highly likely to be a scam, Westpac will not allow the payment to be processed.

Westpac Group CEO Peter King, said: “The prompts will inject important friction into the payments process, helping alert customers in the moment.

“Prompting customers in real-time with a series of questions will allow us to intervene on payments that we detect are particularly higher risk. This is about helping customers spot potential red flags before any funds have actually been sent.

“The questions will be dynamic and tailored based on the circumstances of each payment to ensure an effective assessment of the scam risk. We’ve seen examples of this implemented in banks overseas with really successful results.

“This will add less than a minute to the payment process, but it could save a customer much more than that if they are being targeted by scammers.”

Westpac is also set to enhance its existing Westpac Verify solution, which alerts customers if there is a potential account name mismatch for payments to new BSB and account numbers, or when money is being transferred to an account Westpac has never transacted with before.

When users enter a new payee into their online or mobile banking for the first time, they will be presented with a scam risk rating to better inform them as to whether or not they are being scammed.

“The enhanced Westpac Verify capability adds another layer of security by alerting customers before a payment is made,” Mr King added.

“This includes instances where the entered account name doesn’t match that of the receiving account, a common tactic employed by scammers who make you believe you’re sending money to a legitimate business, individual, or bank account they’ve said has been set up in your name.”

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