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Meeting the evolving fraud threat with Swift Payment Controls

Meeting the evolving fraud threat with Swift Payment Controls

20 June 2022 | 3 min read

In a faster, ever-evolving payments world, the nature of payment-risk is changing too. Our latest enhancements to Swift Payment Controls will help you stay one step ahead of fraudsters.

Payment Controls makes it easy for you to mitigate fraudulent attacks by detecting and preventing high-risk payments. It combines real-time monitoring, alerting and blocking of sent payments with independent daily reporting.

Payment Controls was originally designed to respond to a specific type of payment risk, the institutional cyber-fraud that came to prominence back in 2016, when banks started to suffer cyberattacks and attempted heists of millions of dollars. Since then, Payment Controls has evolved to address other emerging risks brought about by the move to instant payments and global digitisation.

The move to instant and frictionless payments

Instant payments are proliferating around the world, not just domestically – as traditionally they have been – but cross-border as well. 

The move towards faster, instant payments, is ushering in a 24/7 banking model. And with this, a shift from end-of-day batch processing to immediate settlement.

Similarly, users are looking for a frictionless end-to-end experience. Payments need to be fast and frictionless along the whole payments chain.

The impact on fraud and operational risks

Fraudsters have seized the opportunity to exploit faster payments. The proceeds of their criminal activity can now be settled in seconds, allowing them to scale their activity and attack not only financial institutions, but also their end-customers. This is being further fueled by global financial digitisation which increases the number of end-points fraudsters can target.

Payment operational risks are also amplified, simply because payment mistakes are now processed faster too. Ultimately, financial institutions today face greater risks than ever before and need to address them with practical tools.

Fraud detection and faster, frictionless payments 

Fraud detection, by its very nature introduces friction and can prevent straight-through processing. Detecting payment anomalies that could turn out to be fraudulent transactions, requires investigation, effort and time.

Real-time detection tools to better identify fraudulent patterns are essential in reducing false positives and other frictions that slow down transactions. Payment Controls offers new techniques that allow these to be identified. It helps you quickly assess to what extent a transaction is legitimate and provides you with a better way to block payment anomalies that could be an indicator of risk.

What’s next for Payment Controls

Payment Controls is evolving to help you target different types of risk by identifying payment trends over time. This includes the ability to leverage network-wide insights at the account level to better characterise payment anomalies. 

We’re constantly innovating and responding to the changing fraud landscape and the needs of our community, looking at things like the use of artificial intelligence in Payment Controls, something that is increasingly being discussed in financial services. This is all with the ambition of reducing friction and equipping you with better, more accurate insights.

The Swift community has started finding more and more needs and use cases for Payment Controls because it gives them an additional layer of control that they want. In short, Payment Controls gives users greater oversight and insight into their outgoing payment flows.

Raiyan Khan, Sanction and Fraud Product Management, Swift

Payment Controls: Your ally in the fight against fraud

Payment Controls is continuing to evolve in response to your needs. It allows you to reduce friction and false positives, while guarding against evolving risks and threats. 

It allows you to adapt quickly and stay ahead as the payments market changes too.

Find out more about Payment Controls and book a demo