Interbank messaging network Swift has launched a new tool to identify fraudulent inter-bank messages.

The new real-time payment controls service is aimed at allowing its clients to screen their payment messages based on the parameters given by them.

As a result, its clients will be able to immediately detect any unusual message flows before transaction happens.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) chairman Yawar Shah said: “The new payment controls service is a direct response to our community’s request for additional services to complement and strengthen existing fraud controls.”

The new service will help in preventing fraud by ‘red flagging’ out-of-policy payment messages.

Besides, it will spot anomalies and generate real-time alerts.

Initially, the service will be made available to smaller financial institutions and central banks.

Based on specific business activities and the countries, counterparties and currencies, it will develop a profile of each Swift user’s message traffic.

Swift financial crime compliance services head Luc Meurant said: “Our new payment controls service is an important step in delivering a full suite of hosted offerings that address our customers’ needs in the fraud and cyber-crime prevention areas, as well as in the sanctions, Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance domains.”

The new service is part of Swift’s efforts to strengthen its customers’ existing fraud controls, following the last year’s high-profile cyber attacks on many bank sites across the world.

Using Swift messages, hackers had stolen a whopping $81m from the Bangladesh central bank in 2016.

Image: The new service will spot anomalies and generate real-time alerts. Photo courtesy of freedooom/