CBA seeks ecosystem approach to target scams

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CBA seeks ecosystem approach to target scams

"Banks alone can't fix this problem".

The Commonwealth Bank's head of blockhain has called for a “whole of ecosystem” approach to dealing with scams.

Sophie Gilder, who also leads the bank's digital assets work, said that consumer protection responsibilities don't only rest with the banks, and that the wider economy had a role to play.

“Banks alone can't fix this problem," she said.

“These problems start typically in social media or telcos, and banks are used for one of the vehicles for shifting value."

Payment providers, social media operators, telcos and cryptocurrency exchanges should band together with banks to confront the challenge of rising scams, she argued, noting that each's scam prevention measures varied.

Speaking at a Sydney Blockchain Week event, Gilder added industries “need to be sharing data" and "all meeting minimum standards.”

“We need legislation that allows us to actually share that data because at the moment we are actually prevented from doing that," she said.

Gilder said it “would be incredibly useful” to be able to “work together in a more efficient manner”, adding law enforcement need “to have the appropriate powers to act.”

“In order to reduce friction, we need to make Australia a much tougher target for scammers than it is today," she said. "At the moment, it is just too attractive.”

Already CBA has introduced some measures intended to prevent customers from completing potentially fraudulent transactions via cryptocurrency exchanges, by holding or declining payments for 24 hours.

Gilder said across 2022, Australians lost roughly $3 billion to scams, which the ACCC recorded as an 80 percent increase on total losses compared to 2021.

Gilder said this number is expected to be higher in 2023.

“Every month, we have about 650 customers who call us - often crying, to be honest - because they have lost their life savings, so it's a really big problem and there's a lot more that we all have to do," she said.

“Banks have to do more, payment service providers have to do more, the government has to do more, social media has to do more, telcos have to do more, and crypto exchanges have to do more."

Gilder said CBA’s cryptocurrency features “were all databased”, taking into account “what was happening, the evidence, [and] the patterns”.

“We're going to monitor how effective they are," she said.

"We believe that'll reduce both the number and the quantum of scams which occur, but we will be revisiting it."

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