Illustration of Australia silhouette with bullseye and arrow on right side of image. Demonstrating how Australia's new Confirmation of Payee (CoP) policy will work

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) is making headlines with its decisive and robust offensive against scammers. This move signals a significant shift in the banking industry's approach to fraud prevention, responding to the growing sophistication of financial scams with a confirmation of payee approach.

The Scam-Safe Accord: A United Front

The Accord is a collective response from Australia’s customer-owned banks, mutual banks, building societies, credit unions, and commercial banks. It represents a comprehensive set of anti-scam measures. ABA CEO Anna Bligh emphasizes the Accord’s role in protecting consumers and small businesses, highlighting its commitment to “harden the system against scams.”

A Landmark Investment in Confirmation of Payee (CoP)

Central to the effort to reduce scams is a $100 million investment in a new “confirmation of payee” (CoP) system. CoP involves a thorough check to ensure that money transfers align with the intended recipient’s details. With over 15.4 billion transactions annually, implementing this system across the banking sector is a monumental task set to unfold between 2024 and 2025.

Tackling Fraud: Beyond Australian Borders

UK authorities, armed with the CoP, have proactively reduced the number of APP scams. However, CoP is not a silver bullet. While it has led to a 31% reduction in fraud in its initial stages, limitations exist, particularly in covering cross-border payments and being adopted by only a subset of financial institutions.

A Multi-Layered Defense Strategy Against Scams

To effectively combat fraud and scams, a layered approach is essential. This includes leveraging technology like behavioral biometrics and transactional analysis that uses AI and machine learning to identify unique customer patterns and behaviors. These solutions enable banks to know who their customers are and quickly identify and respond to unusual activities.

In addition to technology, customer education is also critical for defense. An informed customer base is the first line of defense against sophisticated scams.

Collaborative Efforts for a Safer Banking Ecosystem

The Scam-Safe Accord also involves expanding intelligence sharing and heightened measures to protect customers, especially in high-risk scenarios like first-time transfers or interactions with cryptocurrency platforms. These initiatives underscore the necessity of a collaborative effort involving not just banks but also telecommunications and social media companies, as well as government agencies.


The Scam-Safe Accord, with its investment in CoP and a comprehensive, multi-layered approach to fraud prevention, represents a significant step forward in protecting Australians from financial scams. However, this is just one part of a more significant, ongoing effort that requires vigilance and cooperation across various sectors. As we navigate this challenging landscape, the combined efforts of the banking industry, technology providers like Feedzai, and the broader community are vital in ensuring a secure financial future for all Australians.