Aussie banks have announced a new joint effort to fight a rise in scams, including major changes to customer payments.
The new Scam-Safe Accord will include a $100 million investment by the industry in a new confirmation-of-payee system, which will be rolled out across all Aussie banks.
This name-checking technology will help reduce scams by ensuring customers can confirm they are transferring money to the person they intend to.
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Under the beefed-up protections, customers can expect to receive more warnings and delays when paying someone new or increasing payment limits.
The initiative is being led by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) and Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA).
“This Scam-Safe Accord is a new offensive in the war on scams,” ABA CEO Anna Bligh said.
“It reflects the banking sector’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding every Australian. It outlines the actions every bank will take to protect Australian consumers and small businesses and to harden the system against scams.”
There are 15.4 billion transactions, worth $2.5 trillion, that occur every year across the banking sector. Aussies have lost nearly $430 million to scams this year.
6 keys changes
Banks have agreed to implement the following six key measures:
An industry-wide confirmation-of-payee solution
Biometric checks to prevent misuse of bank accounts
Warning and payment delays to alert customers to potential scam payments
A major expansion of intelligence sharing across the sector
Limiting payments to high-risk channels such as cryptocurrency platforms
Implementing an Anti-Scams strategy
Some banks have already started rolling out the initiatives, including Westpac, who said it would also introduce real-time payment prompts and ask customers a series of questions for payments detected to be a higher scam risk.
“Today we are sending a clear message to these criminals that they have no business being in Australia and we are doing more to stop them from ripping off our customers,” Westpac CEO and ABA Chair Peter King said.
“This will be one of the biggest technical uplifts for Australian banking in recent times and means Australians with bank accounts will be significantly more protected from scams.”