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NatWest lets customers set daily bank transfer limits

NatWest lets customers set daily bank transfer limits

NatWest is now allowing customers to set their own daily digital bank transfer limits - a move designed to reduce the damage done by APP scams.

NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank currently set a default bank transfer limit of £20,000 per day but this will be reduced to £5000 per day.

Customers can then log in to their online accounts and, using a card reader, tweak this daily transfer limit, making it lower than £5000 or higher - up to £20,000. NatWest says that 95% of its customers have never paid someone else more than £5000.

Consumer group Which? has welcomed the move. It has asked other lenders if they plan to follow NatWest's lead; Nationwide and Virgin Money are considering the option but others are not.

Which? says personalised payment caps could help tackle APP scams, which have been on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, with losses hitting nearly half a billion pounds in 2020.

While fraudsters can manipulate people to adjust transfer limits, letting customers set their own ‘normal’ behaviour and creating greater friction is "generally positive," as it gives banks another opportunity to warn users about fraud or intervene if they think something is wrong, says Which?.

NatWest says that it "also helps in a situation where a fraudster has taken control of a customer’s account as without the card reader they would not be able to increase the daily transfer limit".

Comments: (2)

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith - RTGS & ClearBank - London 24 May, 2021, 10:02Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

How is this even news or a thing? Surely better security measures tackles fraud - and the need to set limits would proabably relate to my financial well-being....

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 25 May, 2021, 17:131 like 1 like

On the face of it, this is a customer-centric move but, going by the popular narrative on Overdraft Protection, I'm quite sure it will eventually be seen as uncustomer-centric.

Anyone who wishes to transfer  £5000 or more to a total stranger is extremely motivated, to say the least. At that point, if the bank stops her from completing the transfer, her visceral reaction will be to rant against the bank with a comment like "why is my bank stopping me from using my own money?". Going by the reflexive reaction of people when they see ovedraft protection fee entries on their bank statment, I'm not so sure she'd thank the bank later for stopping the APP fraud. I'm also sure the same Which? will join her in panning the bank for excessive friction. 

IMO, key for banks to prevent this move from totally backfiring is to display a crystal clear error message for why the payment failed.