CBA is ramping up consumer protection against scammers looking to exploit the rising popularity of cryptocurrency purchases.

With immediate effect, CBA will decline or hold for 24 hours¹ certain payments to cryptocurrency exchanges. In the coming months, the bank will also introduce A$10,000 limits in a calendar month. This will apply where the bank can identify the customer payments are to exchanges for cryptocurrency purchases.

James Roberts, Commonwealth Bank General Manager of Group Fraud Management Services, said: “Consumer interest in cryptocurrencies has been increasing. Unfortunately, scammers globally are capitalising on this trend and masquerading as legitimate investment opportunities or diverting funds into cryptocurrency exchanges.

“With the incidences of scams increasing and in many cases customers suffering significant losses from being scammed, the introduction of 24 hour holds, declines and limits on outbound payments to cryptocurrency exchanges will help reduce both the number of scams and the amount of money lost by customers.”

CBA will continue to closely monitor the impacts of these scam response measures, which will be subject to ongoing review.

“Customers who make payments to cryptocurrency exchanges are currently facing a significantly higher risk of potentially being scammed.

“While these measures will not eliminate the risk of customers suffering losses as a result of a scam that involves a payment to a cryptocurrency exchange, they are part of a range of initiatives designed to help customers reduce their risk of falling victim to a scam,” Roberts added.

CBA crypto initiative complements NameCheck anti-fraud technology

The new measures follow CBA plans to offer its NameCheck anti-fraud technology to external organisations that process payments in Australia. This forms part of a broad national approach to help combat scams and frauds across the community.

NameCheck uses advanced technology and available payment data to give an indication of whether the account details entered look right. It helps customers to ensure money is being sent to the right account. It is currently available to customers on the CommBank App, NetBank and business customers on CommBiz.

CBA crypto protections follow Westpac initiative

“Across Australia a whole-of-ecosystem approach is required to combat scams. CBA is committed to helping keep customers safe. This is part of a broader national focus by government, regulators, banks and other industry sectors. We are committed to being part of the broader solution with government, regulators, banks and telcos to keep Australians safe.”

In May, Westpac launched new customer protections for some cryptocurrency payments to reduce scam losses. Westpac said its data showed investment scams account for approximately half of all scam losses. It added that one third of all scam payments are transferred directly to a cryptocurrency exchange.