NAB expands payment alert technology to target invoice scams

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  • NAB research shows Aussies more scam savvy than a year ago and willing to share information if it helps stop criminals
  • Real-time payment alerts in digital banking channels to target more scam types
  • Initiatives focused on increasing ability to prevent suspicious payments in real time

NAB will expand its suspicious payment alerts to target invoice and romance scams as new insights reveal Australians are willing to let their bank know and share more information about them and their banking to protect them from criminals.

The research also finds Aussies are confident they’re more scam savvy than this time last year, with 70% ignoring suspicious calls and deleting questionable looking emails. Almost as many are deleting bogus text messages and not clicking on links in texts and emails.

NAB Executive, Group Investigations Chris Sheehan said it was encouraging that people were more scam aware than a year ago, but there was more to do to stop the crime.

Photo of hand holding a mobile phone with a payment alert.
NAB is expanding payment alerts in digital banking. First introduced in March 2023, customers customers have abandoned an average of $240,000 in payments a day linked to potential scams.

“We have much more to do, but it’s pleasing to see that, despite our customers reporting scams at a significantly high rate between October and December 2023 compared to the same period the previous year, we’re seeing a decrease in losses,” Mr Sheehan said.

“It’s clear initiatives like removing links from text messages, making it harder for criminals to impersonate bank phone numbers, blocking payments to some high-risk crypto platforms and introducing payment alerts to the NAB app and Internet Banking are having an impact.”

 

NAB data showed that, while scam events reported by customers had increased by around 43%, actual losses are down by around 25% when comparing the October to December period in 2022 against the same period in 2023.

Image of a man in a suit and tie smiling.
NAB Group Investigations and Fraud Executive Chris Sheehan. Mr Sheehan is a former Australian Federal Police executive and now leading NAB’s work to reduce the impact of scams and fraud.

Mr Sheehan said the bank was focused on delivering further improvements to digital payment channels, including expanding the payment alerts and biometric technology, to help detect and prevent scams.

“On average, we’re seeing our customers abandon $240,000 worth of payments every day since our real-time payment alerts were introduced to the NAB app and Internet Banking in March 2023,” Mr Sheehan, a former Australian Federal Police executive, said.

“We’re now expanding these alerts and a customer may receive one if our fraud system detects a potential invoice or romance scam payment.”

Mr Sheehan said invoice scams – a type of business email compromise scam – could be incredibly subtle and sophisticated.

“We have also recently introduced behavioural biometrics to our business banking digital platform, NAB Connect, and strengthened our Internet Banking platform, giving us greater ability to hold suspicious payments where necessary,” he said.

“This is consistent with our insights, which show almost a third of Australians are happy for banks to slow payments down if it helps protect them from a scam.

“These initiatives are part of our bank-wide scam strategy and align to the commitments made in the ABA Scam Safe Accord launched in November.”

The NAB Economics scam survey highlights:

  • 40% of Aussies had been contacted by their bank about a potential scam payment in the past year. Of them, 75% took some kind of action to prevent losing money.
  • Four out of 10 people expected their bank to warn or protect them against a potential scam payment.
  • Almost half of all Australian adults were highly supportive about their bank sharing information about a suspicious payment with other banks if it prevented a scam or made it easier to recover money. The likelihood increased with age.
  • More than a third of people were highly supportive about their bank knowing more about them and their banking and sharing that information with other banks if it prevented a scam or made it easier to recover money. The likelihood increased with age.
  • About 14% of Aussies said they were very likely to use a digital identity, while 32% were likely and 38% undecided. The likelihood increased by age and salary.

The details

  • The full NAB Consumer Insights report is available to download on the righthand side of this page.
  • Scamwatch estimates invoice and romance scams cost the Australians a combined $434 million in 2022.
  • Also known as payment redirection scams, business email compromise involves criminals hacking into a business’ email account and changing the account details on legitimate invoices. The criminals hope the recipient doesn’t notice the account details and pays them, instead of the intended business.
  • Read more here Spot fake emails and invoices | Payment redirection scams – NAB
  • NAB Economics research included a consumer panel of 2,000 adults weighted to the Australian population.
  • Digital banking describes banking in the NAB app and Intranet Banking.

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NAB-Consumer-Insights-March-2024-Scams.pdf

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