Update, November 27 2023: Australian banks are now working together to combat scams by changing their procedures to ensure more thorough ‘name-checking technology’ is embedded in everyday transactions. 

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The initiative—which is being led by Australian Banking Association (ABA) and Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA)—is titled the “Scam-Safe Accord”. 

The Scam-Safe Accord will include six measures from limiting payments to high-risk channels and alerting customers to potential scams. Australian banks will also invest in a major expansion of intelligence sharing across the sector, and implement stronger anti-scam strategies. 

In a press release, ABA and COBA said the Accord is a “comprehensive list of anti-scam measures” across the entire industry. 

“At the heart of the Scam-Safe Accord is a $100 million investment by the industry in a new confirmation of payee system to be rolled out across all Australian banks,” the statement said. 

In addition to the Accord, major Australian corporate companies and government agencies have joined forces to work together on threat blocking measures as part of a new National Cyber Intel Partnership, the Sydney Morning Herald reported last week. 

Westpac, Telstra and Woolworths are among a dozen companies devising a pilot program jointly with the National Cyber Security Coordinator, with the aim of more companies—including telecommunications giants, banks, internet service providers and other major corporations to join in the near future. 

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil told SMH the cybersecurity challenges Australia faced were enormous, and the partnership with industry was about “stopping hackers in their tracks”.

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

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