$50m in potential scam payments saved thanks to NAB payment alerts

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  • Payment prompts in digital banking help customers see potential scam red flags
  • NAB introduces new ways customers can report card fraud through NAB App and Internet Banking

NAB customers have abandoned more than $50 million worth of payments in the past eight months, after receiving the bank’s new payment alerts in mobile and internet banking, new analysis shows.

In its latest action, NAB is introducing more ways customers can quickly contact the bank about debit and credit card fraud through trusted channels such as the NAB App and Internet Banking.

More than three million Australians log on to the NAB App and Internet Banking every month, while NAB took more than 857,000 calls from customers about scams and fraud last year.

NAB Executive, Group Investigations and Fraud Chris Sheehan said banking apps were a channel customers trusted, which was why NAB continued to invest in protections that helped customers to bank safely.

“With 74% of customers now exclusively using digital channels, we’re moving to give customers the choice to report card fraud via NAB messaging in the NAB App or Internet Banking in addition to the existing way of calling us,” Mr Sheehan, a former Australian Federal Police executive, said.

“About 60% of customers who called NAB’s fraud and scams team in the past year were calling about card fraud. This move gives those customers another simple, secure and safe way to get in contact with one of our fraud experts.

“For those customers who still want to pick up the phone and call us, we’re here to serve them well.

“We’ve added 70 colleagues to the team in the last 12 months, which has allowed us to reduce average wait times from 50 minutes in November last year in 10 minutes in November this year.”

Mr Sheehan said NAB had a comprehensive, bank-wide strategy in place to help reduce the impact of scams and fraud.

“We introduced payment alerts to the NAB App and Internet Banking in March 2023. Customers may see a real time alert if a payment shows signs that it could be a scam,” he said.

“While many customers ultimately complete their payment after receiving an alert, we know many are stopping and checking because we’ve seen $50 million worth of payments completely abandoned.

“That’s an average of $220,000 each day.

“That builds on other initiatives this year, including removing links from text messages we send customers. It’s a simple way to reduce the impact of phishing scams and we hope more companies follow.

“Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve been scammed.”

Notes to editors

  • Customers can report debit and credit card fraud via NAB messaging during business hours.
  • Scams v fraud
    • Scams – theft of funds with your permission or knowledge. Criminals use scams to trick a person or people and intentionally mislead them, usually with the goal of financial gain. Examples include phishing, investment, payment redirection, social media scams.
    • Fraud – financial theft without your permission; Examples include card, insurance and tax fraud, identity theft and bank account takeover.
  •  NAB has a bank-wide strategy to help address the global scam epidemic. Actions include:
    • Stopping the use of links in unexpected text messages
    • NAB has sent customers 15 million text messages since July that would have traditionally contained a link.
    • The links have been replaced with advice directing customers to the bank’s website, to call the bank, or head to the NAB App or Internet Banking, to take a specific action.
    • Blocking some payments to high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges.
    • Collaborating with telcos to prevent spoofing scams
    • Adding 70 people to the Scams and Fraud team in the past 12 months so customers can speak to someone faster
    • Using BioCatch biometrics technology in the NAB App and Internet Banking to help identify fraudulent activity
    • Ongoing customer and community education via its Security Hub website, direct alerts (eg in the NAB App), emails, social media content and free monthly webinars

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