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Westpac: Eliminates money transfer abuse

In an effort to make digital banking safer for them customers Westpac will no longer allow abusive messages in transaction descriptions.

Westpac

"It is shocking that people use real-time payment transactions to harass and threaten others, often bypassing blocks on other channels, such as SMS and social media, to reach the recipient ", said the Lisa Pogonoski, general manager of customer solutions of Westpac.

"We want to create a more secure digital banking experience for our customers and send a clear message that abusive messages in payment transactions will not be tolerated ".

According to Pogonoski, Westpac has identified more than 2.500 in recent months transactions containing terms that could be considered inappropriate, from swearing to threats of domestic violence.

The new measures announced by the bank include enabling customers to report abusive messages and exclude inappropriate language from outgoing payments.

"The changes have been introduced in response to the growing issue of digital payment channels being used as alternatives. services exchanges of messages to send abuse and threats through the fields of description and reference to payment transactions, "Westpac said on Tuesday.

For incoming payments, h bank will develop a new tool that will allow customers to report abuse and harassment sent in the payment transaction description. This can be done by clicking a reference button on platforms Westpac online banking to identify offensive messages and send them to a task force for monitoring and action.

Westpac said it would consider further anti-abuse measures during the audit process, such as warning the customer or notifying the sender's financial institution.

The bank has also developed technology to monitor outgoing payments sent through online and mobile platforms, which blocks certain transactions that contain inappropriate or offensive language in real time.

Customers will be notified if their outgoing transaction contains inappropriate language from a specified list of terms and their payment will be stopped. The language will have to be removed in order for the payment to be accepted and processed.

People who do not comply with Westpac's policy of acceptable conduct will be notified and, if necessary, leave the bank.

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