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Australian Banks Launch Scam-Safe Accord to Address Rise in Scams


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Feb 16, 2024
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Banks in Australia have banded together to launch the Scam-Safe Accord, which outlines a comprehensive set of anti-fraud measures that aim to tackle the growing number of scams affecting customers.

As part of the effort, there’s been a $100 million investment by Australia’s banking industry that will go into launching a new “confirmation of payee system,” which is essentially a name-checking method that ensures the sender is transferring money to the right person. The system is expected to be built and rolled within the next two years.

Consumer Advocates Declare More Must Be Done​

Consumer advocate organizations, including Melbourne-based Consumer Action Law Centre, having been pushing Australian banks for stronger consumer protection, particularly as it relates to fraud scams. These organizations have asked that banks emulate the UK’s efforts to reimburse victims of fraud.

The Centre’s CEO, Stephanie Tonkin, argued earlier this year that “the big four banks are tipped to make record-breaking profits this financial year, with some analysts suggesting they will collectively rake in more than $33 billion, up from $28.5 billion last year.” But meanwhile, she stressed, thousands of Australians are coming under financial distress, due to the nation’s scam epidemic.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, consumers have lost an estimated $4 billion to fraud, with little chance of recovering those funds. Instead of blaming customers, Tonkin says, banks should reimburse them. She also advocates for more investment in technology that can ensure customers a safer platform to protect customers.

Steady Changes​

As we’ve recently witnessed, more is being done to promote consumer advocacy in the face of unprecedented fraudulent attacks. Britain’s Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), for example, has made it mandatory for both banks and payment firms to reimburse consumers who have been impacted by online bank fraud within five days.

Britain is certainly leading the way to protect its citizens from this devastating fraud attack, removing the sole responsibility of the scam from the customer, and placing it back on the financial players on the sending and receiving end. As banks in Australia make their own moves to combat fraud, they can look to Britain to learn how to best tackle this issue.

The post Australian Banks Launch Scam-Safe Accord to Address Rise in Scams appeared first on PaymentsJournal.
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