NAB has increased measures to automatically block abusive and threatening transaction descriptions.
Payments in the NAB app on iOS and Android that feature offensive words and phrases won’t be processed under the changes, while NAB has been actively blocking abusive transactions on internet banking since November 2020.
Customers get a real-time message advising they’ll need to change the description for the transaction to proceed.
According to the big 4 bank, it blocked more than 10,000 abusive transactions from 6,800 unique customers last month.
Rachel Slade, NAB Group Executive personal banking said the bank would continue to make sure digital transactions wouldn’t be 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,” she said.
“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.
Slade said this kind of abuse can impact all types of customers, from teenagers using transactions to bully others to intimate partners committing financial abuse.
“We’re committed to working with our customers and other organisations to reduce the prevalence of this behaviour. We also encourage customers to contact us if they receive abusive or threatening messages. We are here to help.”
The changes will apply to all commonly-used payment types.
Slade said NAB colleagues played a big role supporting customers who had received abusive and threatening transaction descriptions.
“We have a dedicated team who review information on blocked transactions, issue warnings and refer customers to support services. We’re giving colleagues additional training so they can be even more supportive to our customers,” she said.
“We’ve also recently introduced an acceptable electronic banking use policy to call out unlawful uses of NAB’s electronic banking channels. This includes making threatening and abusive comments to any person.
“The policy gives NAB the right to terminate banking services for this kind of behaviour.”
NAB colleagues have been trained to recognise the signs sooner and take action to support these customers and deliver a better outcome for them.