The innovative new AI security feature set to stop scammers in their tracks

A new AI security feature launched recently is set to stop scammers from fleecing Aussies of millions. Source: Getty Images.

As technology progresses, it’s important to acknowledge that for those of us who in our later years, navigating the digital landscape can sometimes feel daunting.

Despite our wealth of experience in other areas, we may find ourselves less familiar with the latest technologies and potential online dangers, making us more susceptible to scams.

Recognising the growing need for enhanced protection, especially for those who are vulnerable to falling prey to scams, Westpac has introduced an innovative new AI scam prevention technology which promises to revolutionise safeguarding measures.

In a first for Australia, Westpac SaferPay, will alert banking customers to potential scams through a questionnaire that will appear as new payments are detected.

If the customer’s response suggest the payment may be a scam, Westpac will not allow the payment to go through.

Westpac CEO Peter King said the new feature will save their customers millions in losses to scams.

“While our prevention measures have led to a considerable drop in customer losses over the last year, fraudsters are still taking millions of dollars from our customers each month – particularly through fake investment offers, impersonation calls and texts, and intercepted emails,” he said.

“Westpac SaferPay presents customers with a series of questions in instances where we detect a payment has high scam potential. The presented questions will vary for each customer, tailored based on the information the customer provides.

“This innovation is the first of its kind in Australia and will add important friction to payments deemed to have high scam risk.”

Building upon the collaborative efforts of the Australian banking sector last year, the latest innovation emerges as a testament to the industry’s commitment to safeguarding customers. The Scam Safe Accord, launched late last year, underscores this collective dedication to enhancing protections against scammers for consumers.

In the fiscal year 2024, customer scam losses have shown a remarkable decline, tracking 32 per cent lower compared to previous periods, with total monthly cases down by 37 per cent.

Notably, January 2024 witnessed a significant reduction in losses, more than halving compared to January 2023 figures.

But despite this positive trajectory, certain scam types continue to pose significant risks, with investment scams, business email scams, remote access scams, romance scams, and buying & selling scams identified as the top drivers of losses in 2024.

“The Scam Safe Accord is a significant step forward to ensure Australians are afforded the same protections no matter who they choose to bank with,” King added.

“But to truly make Australia a hard target for scammers, we now need to apply the same protection across the entire scam ecosystem. So long as scammers can freely operate across mobile phones, web browsers and social media platforms, Australians remain vulnerable to scams.

“We welcome the work underway by the Federal Government on a mandatory industry code that considers a whole-of-ecosystem approach to effectively tackle this problem.”

Initially, Westpac’s SaferPay will debut on their mobile banking app, with plans to extend this enhanced security feature to their online banking platform in the coming months.


  • When making a payment, customers will be presented with a series of dynamic questions in instances where the payment is considered a higher risk of being a scam.
  • The questions will be activated if Westpac’s fraud systems detect a potential scam after payment details are entered into their online or mobile banking.
  • If customer responses suggest the payment is highly likely to be a scam, Westpac will not allow the payment to be processed.
  • The questions will continue to be adapted over time for added security as well as flexibility to quickly respond to new or emerging scam trends.


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