New scam prevention measures for Westpac customers
31 August 2023
Westpac has today announced new digital payment security features to help combat scam losses.
In an Australian banking first, Westpac will integrate its sophisticated 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 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.
“The prompts will inject important friction into the payments process, helping alert customers ‘in the moment’,” said Westpac Group CEO Peter King.
“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 will also be enhancing its existing Westpac Verify feature, 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 customers enter a new payee into their online or mobile banking for the first time, they will be presented with a scam risk rating so they can determine if they want to proceed with a payment.
“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.”
Testing and design of the new features will be carried out over the coming months and Westpac is prepared to share the technology across the industry to help protect more customers.
ABOUT THE NEW PAYMENT PROMPTS:
- Customers will be presented with a series of dynamic questions in instances where a payment is considered a higher risk of being a scam.
- The prompts will be activated if Westpac’s fraud systems detect a potential scam after payment details are entered into their online or mobile banking.
- If Westpac still considers the payment is highly likely to be a scam risk based on the information provided, the payment will not be allowed to be processed.
ABOUT THE ENHANCED WESTPAC VERIFY CAPABILITY:
- The new Westpac Verify capability will alert customers to potential scams through risk indicators when new payee details are entered into their online or mobile banking.
- This includes when there is a potential account name mismatch to a new BSB and account number or when money is being sent to an account a Westpac customer has never transacted with before.
- Scam risk indicators will prompt customers to check payment details and decide if they’d like to proceed with a transfer.