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Westpac adds anti-scam feature

Westpac adds anti-scam feature

Australian bank Westpac is adding a security layer for online payments as it seeks to address record customer losses to scams.

Currently in testing, Westpac Verify will alert customers if there is a potential account name mis-match for payments to a new BSB and account number via Australia's New Payments Platform. The alert will also apply when a customer transfers money to an account Westpac has never transacted with before.

In these instances, the payment will be put on hold for four hours and customers will receive a text prompting them to review the transfer. They can then halt the transaction or leave it to go through.

Chris de Bruin, chief executive, consumer and business banking, Westpac, says: "Our latest customer scam data revealed customer losses reached a new record high in December, doubling from the year prior.

“The majority of scam-related transactions happen when a customer is tricked into transferring their money to a scammer via online or mobile banking. They may think they’re sending money to a legitimate business, individual, or bank account they’ve been told has been set up in their name, but they’re not.

“Westpac will now pause some payments and give customers an opportunity to check if the recipient details are correct before proceeding with a transaction, adding another layer in the net to catch potential scams."

Commonwealth Bank of Australia rolled out a similar anti-scam feature last month.

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