Swift introduces real-time payment controls to tighten noose on fraud

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The global bank transfer network Swift has announced new tools and controls to help banks and other customers beef up fraud defenses by flagging suspicious cross-border transactions sooner in the cycle.

A new suite of features includes tools enabling Swift customers to screen their payment messages in real time, with alerts to help personnel quickly spot unusual payment patterns and review them before transmission, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication said in a Wednesday press release.

The new controls include transaction-screening parameters users may adjust to their own risk and compliance policies, with the option to review suspicious transactions centrally or at individual access points to improve convenience, according to the release.

The new service will be available as a hosted utility solution, with no hardware or software installation required, reducing costs by eliminating the need to purchase modules, Swift said.

“The new payment controls service is a direct response to our community’s request for additional services to complement and strengthen existing fraud controls,” Swift Chairman Yawar Shah said in the release, noting that the new enhancements are part of Swift’s broader Customer Security Programme introduced in May 2016.

Late in 2016, Swift outlined plans for a global innovation initiative focusing more on messaging than a total overhaul of its technology.

On April 1, Swift began enforcing mandatory security controls for more than 11,000 of its customer banks. Banks initially must self-monitor compliance, but after Jan. 1, 2018, internal and external inspectors will begin audits to ensure banks are following protocols.

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