SWIFT launches new service to block suspicious payments


SWIFT today announces the introduction of Payment Controls, an intelligent new in-network solution to combat fraudulent payments, and to help strengthen its customers’ existing security.

The commercial availability of the service marks an important milestone in SWIFT’s Customer Security Programme (CSP) – a community initiative launched in 2016 that has increased security and trust across the global financial community.

Payment Controls helps payment operations teams mitigate fraud risk in real-time through its unique alerting and reporting capabilities. The service may be set to flag, hold, release or reject high-risk or uncharacteristic payments in real-time, according to business needs. Initially targeted at smaller financial institutions, the utility service is hosted in the SWIFT cloud to allow users immediate access, with no hardware or software installation or maintenance.

Payment Controls is an important safeguard for firms as the frequency and speed of payments increases. The service bolsters SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) – the new standard in global payments, which has dramatically improved cross-border payments since it was launched last year.

As part of gpi, and to further strengthen customer defences, SWIFT will introduce a new ‘stop and recall’ capability that will enable banks to immediately stop and recall a payment anywhere in the chain. The new feature will provide another barrier against fraud – mitigating business disruption and financial losses in the face of rising threats.

Luc Meurant, Chief Marketing Officer at SWIFT, said: “The growing threat of cyberattacks has never been more pressing, and banks need to be able to verify the integrity of payments in real time. Payment Controls demonstrates our commitment to playing our part in protecting the security of the wider financial services industry. I am confident that the new service will be an important weapon in the fight against fraud.”

Mark McNulty, Global Clearing and FI payments Head, at Citi, said: “Putting the right security tools in place is vital for any bank in mitigating payment fraud risk. The launch of SWIFT’s Payment Controls service is a very welcome step towards reinforcing and safeguarding the security of our ecosystem. For banks, it screens transactions in-flight and flags, holds or rejects transactions based on risk policies – ultimately protecting their operations, fighting cyber-crime and making the community safer for everyone.”

Patricio Melo, Executive Vice President of Technology and Operations at Banco Davivienda, said: “For Davivienda it is a privilege to work with SWIFT, especially at this pivotal moment in the financial industry, in which banks should be working towards strengthening their payment processing systems and reducing the threat of fraud. Through the service provided by SWIFT’s Payment Controls, we are confident that our system will not only be better protected from fraud risk, but allow us to then deliver a trusted service to our clients.”


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