B2B Payments

Australia’s Real-Time Payments Push Brings Cyber Fears

Australia is gearing up to become the latest market to roll out a real-time payments infrastructure, but the plans are raising some security concerns, according to reports.

On Monday (Jan. 29), Domain announced news that some experts are worried about payments cybersecurity under the New Payments Platform (NPP), which is planned for launch sometime next month. The Platform enables banks’ real-time processing of transactions, which typically take up to three days under current infrastructure.

The Platform also lets individuals create a payment ID to initiate transactions using their phone number, email or bank number, reports said. But Experian Head of Fraud and Identity Jon Malone told the publication that the initiative could place greater cybersecurity pressures on the financial services industry.

“The days to protect from fraud and detect it before it happens are long gone in NPP-land,” he said in an interview.

A spokesperson for the NPP emphasized that the infrastructure is designed with security at the forefront, though the spokesperson did note that “consumers should continue to be alert to potential scammers that try and trick you into making a payment to them, or trick you into giving them your online banking login credentials.”

Currently, 13 banks and several credit unions are already looped into the scheme, reports said.

According to Malone, Australia should be looking at other markets around the globe, like the U.K, which has already launched their own real-time payments initiatives. The U.K.’s Faster Payments Scheme, said Domain, has experienced cyber scams: Last November, reports in the BBC said the Payment Systems Regulator began exploring a mechanism through which individuals can be compensated for money lost via authorized push payment (APP) scams, which affected 19,000 victims in the first half of 2017.

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