Global banking transfer network SWIFT launched a real-time payment controls service in April that is designed to strengthen fraud controls. According to the Belgium-based service provider, the new fraud and cyber-crime prevention service, which is a part of the company’s “Customer Security Programme,” will enable users to customize how they screen their payment messages.
SWIFT believes that users having this ability at their controls will allow them to more easily detect any unusual situations before funds are transmitted. The theory is that the users themselves are the ones who best understand the day-to-day transaction patterns in their own operations. So on top of using automated fraud prevention systems and SWIFT’s “daily validation reports” tool, they will be the ones who can best identify any irregularities that surface.
The service will first be targeted toward smaller financial institutions and central banks. Thereafter, “the service will be launched as a hosted utility solution, which will allow SWIFT users to access it instantly, with no hardware or software installation or maintenance,” according to the company.
SWIFT listed the following benefits of the new offering:
- Controls which payment instructions you send, providing business assurance to counterparts
- Aligns controls to risks, in support of regulatory guidance
- Rapidly adapts to changing needs and emerging business threats
- Provides primary control point or secondary safety net
- Mitigates regulatory and reputational risk
“The new payment controls service is a direct response to our community’s request for additional services to complement and strengthen existing fraud controls,” said Yawar Shah, chairman of SWIFT.
SWIFT, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, says it launched its Customer Security Programme in May 2016 to reinforce and improve the security of global banking and international money transfers.
The company took heat last year after multiple high-profile illicit transactions involving its network. In February, criminals tried to steal $1 billion USD from Bangladesh Bank in Dhaka and managed to walk away with $81 million USD, according to reports.
On top of other incidents, including $12 million taken from Ecuador’s Banco del Austro and an attempted theft stopped by Tien Phong Bank in Vietnam, this major heist led industry experts to increasingly begin questioning whether SWIFT was doing enough to protect the banks in its network.