By: 10 March 2023

Westpac said the new measure had been introduced as scams continue to grow at an unprecedented rate

Westpac adds verify feature to protect customers from scams

Westpac is launching a new layer of security to help protect customers from potential scams.  

Westpac Verify will alert customers if there is a potential account name mis-match for payments to a new bank account via Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP).  

NPP is a centralised platform that facilitates real-time clearing and settlements of payments between participating Australian financial institutions. Westpac is one of over 60 Australian financial institutions connected to the NPP.  

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 put on hold for four hours and customers will receive an SMS prompting them to review the transfer. 

Westpac chief executive of consumer and business banking, Chris de Bruin, said the new measure had been introduced as scams continue to grow at an unprecedented rate. 

Bruin said: “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. 

“This may also help reduce cases of mistaken payments, where money is sent to an unintended recipient by accidentally entering incorrect BSB or account numbers.” 

Image: Westpac  

Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.