Finance & Economics

CBA and Telstra Trial Scam Indicator

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is exploring a Scam Indicator solution able to protect its joint with Telstra clients from phone scams and mitigate customer losses of up to $15-20 million

CBA and Telstra Trial Scam Detector

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has partnered with local telco Telstra on a joint venture to combat certain types of banking scams, which has the potential to save customers up to $20 million in annual authorised push payment fraud.

Proof-of-concept of Scam Indicator can double the success rate of phone scam detection. It is designed to discover and identify specific high-risk scam situations in real time. The tool is using a Telstra API that CBA will call on in case of a scam alert. Besides, Scam Indicator uses machine-learning algorithms to improve its efficiency and respond to the rising volume and fast-changing nature of scams

The new detection method allows the bank to check if a customer is on a phone call at the time when a suspicious action is registered. This will be the prime indicator that a scam is currently taking place.

The bank can then contact the affected customer directly or employ additional checks. These include delaying, blocking or interrupting transactions, and sending a notification to the customer’s banking app.

The technology is using the achievements of Telstra’s ‘Cleaner Pipes’ initiative, which has been blocking about 230 million SMS messages and an average of 10 million scam or potentially unwanted calls every month since launch.

The pilot programme will be rolled out in mid-2023. More banks are expected to join the initiative in the second half of the year.

Australians are being constantly bombarded by scammers, who are getting increasingly sophisticated and persistent. Last year, Australians revealed they receive, on average, five scam calls, emails or messages a week, which means being a target of over 250 fraud attempts a year.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.