SWIFT Introduces New Services to Help Banks Block Suspicious Payments

At its flagship event in Sydney, Sibos, SWIFT introduced several new products and services that will help its customers defend themselves against cyber fraud.

Payment Controls, an intelligent new in-network solution to combat fraudulent payments, will help strengthen banks’ existing security by mitigating fraud risk in real-time. The alerting and reporting service may be set to flag, hold, release or reject high-risk or uncharacteristic payments in real-time, according to business needs. It will be an important safeguard for financial institutions as threat of cyber fraud increases, both in Africa and across the world. Cyber-attacks are costing the continent $3.5 billion annually, according to Serianu’s 2017 Cyber Security Report, with the banking sector the most targeted industry.

The commercial availability of Payment Controls marks an important milestone in SWIFT’s Customer Security Programme (CSP) – a community initiative launched in 2016 that has increased security and trust across the global financial community.

Additionally, SWIFT will introduce a new ‘stop and recall’ capability to its global payments innovation (gpi) service, the new standard in global payments, which has dramatically improved cross-border payments since it was launched last year. This will enable banks to immediately stop and recall a payment anywhere in the chain. The new feature will provide another barrier against fraud – mitigating business disruption and financial losses in the face of rising threats.

SWIFT has also announced that, from 2019, all banks on the SWIFT network – not just those signed up to gpi – will be able to trace and confirm their SWIFT payment instructions and have visibility over their payment activity. The rollout will give all SWIFT customers end-to-end tracking, quickly and efficiently – bringing greater transparency and cost reduction. The introduction of the ‘tracker for all’ will prepare the entire industry for universal gpi adoption by the end of 2020.

Luc Meurant, Chief Marketing Officer, SWIFT, said: “The growing threat of cyberattacks has never been more pressing, and banks need to be able to verify the integrity of payments in real time. Payment Controls demonstrates our commitment to playing our part in protecting the security of the wider financial services industry. I am confident that the new service will be an important weapon in the fight against fraud.”

Denis Kruger, Head of Sub-Sahara Africa, SWIFT, said: “The financial community needs to be vigilant to protect their systems from fraud risk. Coupled with gpi, the Payment Controls service provides the necessary transparency and controls to help African banks safeguard the security of the financial ecosystem.”

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