For the second year at the Regulation Asia awards, Payment Controls has been awarded Best Solution in Payments Fraud Prevention. Find out why.
In November this year, the 5th Regulation Asia awards took place. Payment Controls had been nominated for the Best Solution in Payments Fraud Prevention, and we were proud to take home the trophy. But what makes this solution worthy of this award? Here we take a look at the features on offer and how it’s helping banks maintain control over their payments processes.
Continually evolving the Payment Controls solution
Until now, Payment Controls offered financial institutions the ability to monitor their payment flows and detect any anomalies that may occur. But this year, we wanted to take things one step further – improving the solution to offer even more value to our community.
Fraudsters today have become increasingly sophisticated in their methods – anomalies are subtler than they used to be and even harder to detect. Financial institutions need to keep up with these changes, evolving their defences to remain one step ahead and keep their customers’ funds safe. To enable our community to do this, we’ve enhanced Payment Controls to provide more granular and context-rich insights, particularly at account-level.
“[Payment Controls] is able to look at anomalies across multiple transactions, historical payment flows and data from the entire Swift network at once. This is only possible due to Swift’s unique position and ability to leverage vast network data.” summarised a judge from the Regulation Asia awards panel.
Harnessing network data to bolster community defences
On average, 44.8 billion payment messages travel over our network every day, each carrying valuable data that can help bolster solutions like Payment Controls. And as an industry cooperative made up of more than 11,000 institutions, that data is our strength. We’ve leveraged this traffic data and account-based statistics to strengthen this solution, fuelling anomaly detection logics and, in turn, developing a smarter solution that can identify fraudulent transactions with greater accuracy.
Previously, Payment Controls users had a view of activity within their own institution but lacked visibility on account flows to and from others. This activity holds valuable information that can be used to detect anomalies. But, thanks to new enhancements, users are now able to detect markers of anomalies in much greater detail – at an account level.
Payment Controls now allows banks more alert customisation than was previously available. For example, if their customer sends a payment to a beneficiary account that has already received a payment of the same amount and currency from other accounts they can choose to be alerted, as this activity may be indicative of a scaled scam targeting multiple financial institutions. The solution also enables banks to be alerted if it detects a payment to a beneficiary account that hasn’t been seen on the Swift network before for an added layer of fraud protection.
By introducing these new account-based logics, customers and financial institutions can benefit from the power of the Swift network and the unique data insights we have to offer. Alongside increased granularity, these insights also reveal network patterns that were previously undetectable by institutions and the community, helping to spot and stop fraud attacks targeting individual accounts.
Learnings that empower our community
Looking back to 2018, Payment Controls was launched in response to the increasing threat of fraud and cyberattacks targeting banks. Since then, the solution has successfully helped the industry to assert more control over their Swift payments, with over 900 BICs using the solution in 156 countries today.
The tool continues to offer a traditional rules-based approach, complemented by a risk-scoring function that can learn from past customer traffic trends as well as historical data from fraudulent transactions. Once again, in these scenarios our network data is key to identifying anomalous behaviour that could be indicative of fraudulent activity.
Our unique industry position allows us to better understand cyberattacks on our members, dissecting each event to provide learnings that can be fed back to the community. This has allowed us to stay up to date with new strategies and tactics that can continually enhance Payment Controls and keep our community safe.
In their concluding remarks, another judge noted that Payment Controls is “an essential and highly effective tool for banks, given the prevalence of cyber criminals looking to penetrate banking networks.”