Skip to main content Skip to main navigation
Skip to access and inclusion page Skip to search input

Media releases

Australian banking first to crack down on scammers

26 March 2024

Westpac has today unveiled a new security feature which seeks to significantly reduce customer scam losses.

An Australian-first innovation, Westpac SaferPay will alert customers to potential scams through a series of questions which will be presented for new payments detected to have high 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 SaferPay is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and integrated into Westpac’s sophisticated fraud detection systems to help identify red flags without disrupting genuine payments.

Westpac CEO Peter King says the new feature seeks to save customers millions of dollars in scam losses.

“While our prevention measures have led to a considerable drop in customer losses over the last year, fraudsters are still taking millions of dollars from our customers each month – particularly through fake investment offers, impersonation calls and texts, and intercepted emails,” Mr King said.

“Westpac SaferPay presents customers with a series of questions in instances where we detect a payment has high scam potential. The presented questions will vary for each customer, tailored based on the information the customer provides.

“This innovation is the first of its kind in Australia and will add important friction to payments deemed to have high scam risk.”

Late last year the Australian banking industry came together to launch the Scam Safe Accord, an initiative to provide better scam protection for customers.

“The Scam Safe Accord is a significant step forward to ensure Australians are afforded the same protections no matter who they choose to bank with,” Mr King added.

“But to truly make Australia a hard target for scammers, we now need to apply the same protection across the entire scam ecosystem. So long as scammers can freely operate across mobile phones, web browsers and social media platforms, Australians remain vulnerable to scams.

“We welcome the work underway by the Federal Government on a mandatory industry code that considers a whole-of-ecosystem approach to effectively tackle this problem.”

Westpac SaferPay will first be available for payments made through Westpac’s mobile banking app. The capability will be extended to online banking in the coming months.

Westpac has saved customers over $400 million from being lost to scammers over the past two years and has invested more than $100 million in new detection and prevention measures. This includes:


  • Cryptocurrency blocks – for payments to certain high-risk digital currency exchanges.
  • Westpac Verify – alerts customers if there is a potential account name mismatch for payments to a new BSB and account number. An enhanced Westpac Verify capability will be rolled-out later this year, providing customers with risk indicators when new payee details are entered into online or mobile banking.
  • Call spoofing measures – added 94,000 Westpac numbers to the ‘Do Not Originate’ list preventing scammers from impersonating the bank’s phone numbers.
  • Sophisticated detection technology – advanced behavioural tool helping combat remote access scams.



  • When making a payment, customers will be presented with a series of dynamic questions in instances where the payment is considered a higher risk of being a scam.
  • The questions will be activated if Westpac’s fraud systems detect a potential scam after payment details are entered into their online or mobile banking.
  • If customer responses suggest the payment is highly likely to be a scam, Westpac will not allow the payment to be processed.
  • The questions will continue to be adapted over time for added security as well as flexibility to quickly respond to new or emerging scam trends.



  • Customer scam losses are tracking 32% lower in FY24 with total monthly cases down 37%2.
  • Losses in January 2024 have reduced by more than half compared to losses in January 2023.
  • In January 2024 Westpac recorded its lowest month of scam losses since August 2021.
  • The top scam types driving losses in 2024 are investment scams, business email scams, remote access scams, romance scams and buying & selling scams.


1 Westpac customer scam data.

2 Losses from FY23 YTD (Oct’22 – Feb’23) compared to FY24 YTD (Oct’23 – Feb’24).


Media Contact: