SWIFT, a global member-owned cooperative and a provider of secure financial messaging services, announced a new real-time payment controls service to complement and strengthen its customers’ existing fraud controls.

The new fraud and cyber-crime prevention service will enable SWIFT customers to screen their payment messages according to their own chosen parameters, enabling them to immediately detect any unusual message flows before transmission.

Customers will be able to integrate the service directly into their SWIFT messaging flows, thereby significantly enhancing their ability to control their messaging activity, enabling the timely detection of unusual or uncharacteristic payment patterns, and improving their ability to prevent fraudulent transfer requests. They will also be able to define and control their screening parameters according to their own risk and compliance policies, and choose whether to set the review permissions for the alerts centrally, or at individual access points.

Initially targeted at smaller financial institutions and central banks, the service will be launched as a hosted utility solution, which will allow SWIFT users to access it instantly, with no hardware or software installation or maintenance. The service will develop a profile of each SWIFT user’s message traffic based on its specific business activities and the countries, counterparties and currencies it is typically involved with.

The launch of the new payment controls service marks an important milestone in SWIFT’s Customer Security Programme. The Customer Security Programme, which launched in May 2016 and is being overseen by SWIFT’s Board, is designed to reinforce and evolve the security of global banking, consolidating and building on existing SWIFT and industry efforts.

The new secure, in-network service will provide a payment message monitoring service that will:

Help to mitigate fraud by ‘red flagging’ out-of-policy payment messages, or activity that may indicate risk;

Learn individual SWIFT users’ transaction patterns;

Spot anomalies and generate real-time alerts;

Give customers the option to hold messages that do not conform to policy;

Provide secondary and independent protection complementing customers’ own systems;

Ensure best practice for payment risk management by using community-defined risk indicators;

Be based on a hosted utility, eliminating the need for onsite deployment and maintenance;

Reduce the cost of ownership with transparent SWIFT community pricing.

The payment controls service further expands SWIFT’s portfolio of community-inspired financial crime compliance solutions and complements SWIFT’s Daily Validation Reports tool. Other SWIFT tools and services that can help to reduce transaction and financial crime compliance risks and costs include: RMA Plus, Sanctions Screening, Name Screening, Sanctions Testing, The KYC Registry, Compliance Analytics and the Payments Data Quality Service.