Westpac NZ’s biometric tech detects when customers tricked by scammers

Biocatch Westpac NZ New Zealand

Westpac New Zealand has announced it has partnered with Biocatch, integrating the cybersecurity company’s biometrics software into the bank’s fraud monitoring systems to help detect when customers may have fallen victim to a scammer.

The technology analyses customers’ online behaviour to detect unusual activities, comparing it against a baseline of typical activity captured in previous interactions, that may indicate that they have been compromised by a scammer.

Biocatch technology gathers data on a user’s typical physical and cognitive behaviour through dozens of data points based on their actions, such as their typing speed or how hard they press on touch screens.

Since its integration in September, the system has been collecting behavioural data on Westpac NZ customers to track and learn how each individual behaves online.

Westpac NZ chief executive Catherine McGrath said data collected by Biocatch will be used within the bank’s fraud monitoring systems to detect and prevent scammers from accessing and draining customers’ accounts.

“For example, if a customer is tricked into divulging their login details or giving remote access to a scammer, the new technology will help us identify that and block attempts to take over their account,” McGrath said.

She added: “The technology essentially provides a frictionless extra layer of security for customers.

“The data is fully anonymised, so Biocatch doesn’t know the identity or details of the people it’s helping protect.”

McGrath said the bank is also actively collaborating with other local banks through the New Zealand Banking Association to develop a ‘confirmation of payee’ account name checking service as well as to establish a national Anti-Scam Centre.

Biocatch boasts that its technology is currently used by more than 100 banks, fintechs, and telecommunication companies worldwide in the detection of fraud, money laundering, and cyber threats.

Westpac reports it is the first bank in New Zealand to partner with Biocatch.