Australian banks will introduce sweeping changes to their procedures today in a bid to “significantly” protect customers against scams.


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The “Scam-Safe Accord” initiative will include six measures including limiting payments to high-risk channels and·alerting customers to potential scam payments.

Every Australian opening a new bank account will also be subjected to confirmation of payee solution technology, which allows an account name to be checked when initiating or collecting a payment

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) and Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) led the initiative.

Westpac chief executive Peter King said it was a significant step forward in protecting Australians.

‌”Falling victim to a scam can have devastating and life-changing consequences,” he said.

“Today we are sending a clear message to these criminals that they have no business being in Australia and we are doing more to stop them from ripping off our customers.”

King said the initiative would be one of the biggest technical uplifts for Australian banking in recent times.

‌”(It) means Australians with bank accounts will be significantly more protected from scams,” he said.

“Westpac has continued to invest in uplifting its scam detection and prevention measures which has stopped customers losing $235 million in the last year and sees us now detecting over 60 per cent of all cases.”

Other measures included in the initiative include biometric checks to prevent misuse of bank accounts,expanding intelligence sharing across the sector and implementing an Anti-Scams Strategy

Australians have already lost close to $430 million to scams this year.

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