BPAY helps businesses avoid invoice fraud

- By Keith Brown
According to Scamwatch, invoice fraud cost Australian Businesses $142 Million in 2019.

But what is invoice fraud?

Invoice fraud is when a business receives an email or letter purporting to be from a supplier the business deals with, advising that their banking details have changed. That is, they provide a new BSB and Account Number, and ask all future payments to be made using these new details.

Because the genuine suppliers often do not have time to follow up on all outstanding payments, it can often be several months before they make contact asking why their invoices haven’t been paid. By which time several payments may have gone to the fraudulent supplier.

With the “chaos” created by Covid-19, fraudsters have increased this fraud type, as many businesses are having to genuinely make financial and banking changes during this time.

So as a business what can you do to protect yourself from this kind of fraud?

There are a few things:
  1. Verify all communication you receive from any supplier, particularly when this relates to banking details. This means contacting them using the details on your systems, not on the letter you have received, and making sure all accounting staff follow this process.
  2. Contact Scamwatch (https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/). They can provide help on the types of scams currently being perpetrated and what to do if you think you’ve been scammed.
  3. Where possible pay your suppliers using BPAY, and if they don’t accept BPAY, suggest that they should speak to their bank about becoming a BPAY Biller.

    Over 45,000 businesses accept BPAY payments, and the majority of business banking services allow customers to pay using BPAY. Many major banks also allow businesses to make “BPAY Batch” payments, enabling companies to upload a file of BPAY payments, rather than having to make payments one at a time.

    A key security feature of BPAY is that when you enter the Biller Code of the company you are paying, the name of the company is displayed on the screen.

    BPAY’s website (https://bpay.com.au/look-up-biller-code-financial-institution) also allows you to look up the name associated with a Biller Code at any time.

Invoice fraud continues to have a major impact on many Australian companies, but by putting in place a few simple measures, and using BPAY for as many of your payments as possible, hopefully it will soon become a thing of the past.
Keith Brown is our General Manager of Product, Scheme and Business Development. He’s also a massive David Bowie fan.

This article represents the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BPAY. Published by BPAY Pty Ltd.  BPAY payment products are offered by over 150 Financial Institutions. Contact your Financial Institution to see if it offers BPAY payment products and to get the terms and conditions. This is general advice – before using BPAY payment products please review the terms and conditions and consider whether BPAY payment products are appropriate for your personal circumstances.

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