Commonwealth Bank of Australia is launching a police referral pilot for reporting people who use transaction description fields in payments to send abusive messages.
CBA implemented abusive transaction monitoring in June 2020, with close to 400,000 transactions blocked annually by the automatic filter that prevents offensive language being used in transaction descriptions on the CommBank app and NetBank.
This technology is augmented by an AI model that reviews transactions and annually detects around 1,500 perpetrators that send potentially abusive messages. These cases are then manually reviewed to determine severity and the appropriate action required from CBA. This can include setting up new safe accounts for victims and terminating banking relationships with perpetrators.
The new police referral pilot will commence by mid-September, providing a tailored escalation path for abuse victims in New South Wales to report their abuser easily and quickly.
In the pilot, if CBA detects a customer is receiving repeated abuse in transaction descriptions, the bank will contact the receiving customer asking if they would like the bank to report the abuse on their behalf to NSW Police.
Angela Macmillan, CBA group customer advocate, says: “Technology-facilitated abuse continues to be a serious problem, and this collaboration with NSW Police enables us to act - not only in supporting victims, but in the prevention of abuse. This is a first of its kind initiative between the banking industry and law enforcement, and we hope this paves the way for more effective collaboration in the fight against domestic and financial abuse.”