Trans­ac­tion mon­i­toring

For as long as a finan­cial insti­tu­tions imple­ments trans­ac­tion mon­i­toring, pay­ments trans­ferred by cus­tomers pass through spe­cial test rou­tine rules before they are exe­cuted. Unusual pay­ments, such as inter­na­tional remit­tances, are there­fore scru­ti­nised par­tic­u­larly closely before they are exe­cuted.

Auto­matic checks of all trans­ac­tions

To pre­vent fraud­u­lent remit­tances, indi­vidual finan­cial insti­tu­tions don’t just pro­tect log-ins for e-banking, but also mon­itor all cus­tomer trans­ac­tions they have recorded. These are usu­ally fully auto­mated checks which are run in the back­ground. Cus­tomers don’t nor­mally notice these processes. Intel­li­gent sys­tems check var­ious char­ac­ter­is­tics of a trans­ac­tion, for instance the payee account (for both domestic and inter­na­tional trans­fers) or the sum of the amount remitted, and com­pare this infor­ma­tion with remit­tances under­taken by the same cus­tomers in the past. The exact checking rules vary from one finan­cial insti­tu­tion to the next and are not pub­licly avail­able.

These plau­si­bility checks and com­par­isons with known fraud pat­terns allow for con­spic­uous trans­ac­tions to be recog­nised and screened out before they are exe­cuted. A remit­tance is only processed if no anom­alies are found. In case a con­spic­uous trans­ac­tion is found, it is stopped and sub­jected to fur­ther checks. The trans­ac­tion is sub­se­quently either autho­rised, or cus­tomers are con­tacted directly for fur­ther clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

Trans­ac­tion con­fir­ma­tion by cus­tomers

In addi­tion to or instead of this method, var­ious finan­cial insti­tu­tions also employ trans­ac­tion con­fir­ma­tions by cus­tomers. In this case, cus­tomers must con­firm poten­tially risky trans­ac­tions sep­a­rately, usu­ally by way of an addi­tional autho­ri­sa­tion via the authen­ti­ca­tion medium orig­i­nally used to log in - e.g. an addi­tional TAN via SMS with the mTAN pro­ce­dure, or an addi­tional mosaic to be pho­tographed with the photo TAN pro­ce­dure, for an indi­vidual remit­tance.

How­ever, such a con­fir­ma­tion will not be required with all remit­tances. Many sys­tems main­tain so-called black and white lists. A white list con­tains trust­worthy payees which are allowed to receive pay­ments unre­strict­edly (e.g. insur­ance com­pa­nies, health insur­ance organ­i­sa­tions, tax offices, etc.). A black list con­tains payees which are not trust­worthy and cannot receive any pay­ments. Many sys­tems also remember payees con­firmed by cus­tomers, so that pay­ment recur­ring monthly to the same recip­ient for instance will only have to be con­firmed once. These recip­i­ents are added to cus­tomers’ per­sonal white lists. If cus­tomers there­fore con­firm their trans­ac­tions, they should do so very care­fully.

Finan­cial insti­tu­tions use the most up-to-date secu­rity sys­tems to com­pre­hen­sively pro­tect their cus­tomers’ data and finances at any time.

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