NAB has becomes the latest Australian bank to automatically block abusive and threatening meassges in the description and reference fields of online payment transactions.
More than 10,000 abusive transactions from 6,800 unique customers were blocked in March 2022. Payments in the NAB app on iOS and Android that feature offensive words and phrases won’t be processed under the changes. Customers will receive a real-time message advising they’ll need to change the description for the transaction to proceed.
NAB group executive personal banking Rachel Slade says the bank is determined to ensure that digital transactions cannot be used as a vehicle for abuse:
We have approximately 1,300 words and phrases that are now blocked in the NAB app in addition to Internet Banking protection measures being enhanced recently. Our system is now smarter than ever. It can now instantly recognise special characters and spaces that have been substituted in banned words and phrases. Equally, it can recognise if a word should be allowed because it matches the account holder’s legal name or the business’s name.
A study by Commonwealth bank of Australia in 2020 found that more than 8000 customers had received multiple low-value deposits, often of less than $1, with potentially abusive messages.
Slade says the bank will terminate the accounts of customers who continue to use its online banking system to send threatening messages.