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Westpac customers to be hit with major payment change

Westpac is fighting back against scams.

The Westpac sign on the exterior of a building.
Westpac is ramping up its efforts to stamp out scams. (Source: Getty)

Westpac is launching new digital-payment security features to help combat scam losses for its customers.

Westpac said it would integrate its fraud-detection systems with its digital-payment platforms to help customers identify potential scams through real-time payment prompts.

The prompts will be activated when customers enter payment details in online or mobile banking, when the bank detects the recipient to be a potential scam risk.


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 block the payment.

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

“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.”

King said the questions would be tailored depending on the circumstances of each payment.

“We’ve seen examples of this implemented in banks overseas with really successful results,” he said.

“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.”

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