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Can you guess the 1997 payment tech solving email scams and invoice fraud?

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

23 June 2023



BPAY Xero

Email scams in business to business (B2B) payments are costly and un-recoverable.

In the below example, it cost this business $190,000.


But there is a 26 year old payment technology (started back in 1997!) that helps solve this issue.


First, read about the email scam that cost this business $190,000.

The below is a reported scam to ACCC and listed on the government scamwatch website (full article here: Scamwatch.gov.au)


It details exactly how this business was scammed $190,000.


"We are the victims of an email hacking scam. The scammers appear to have hacked a supplier’s email and advised us of a change in bank details. The scammers sent us invoices with amended bank details as well as the prior email trail to and from the supplier, so they must have been in their IT system. Everything was a perfect copy of a real version of the invoices we were so used to. We didn’t notice the difference.


Thinking it was real, we sent an amount of $190 000 but the real supplier never received it. The email address was also correct for the supplier, but they told us that they did not receive our responses. The scammers seem to have some way of hiding our responses from the supplier. We didn’t find out about this until our supplier contacted us via phone to talk about not receiving the money."

This is just one of many email scams reported and they all have one objective in mind.


"PAYMENT RE-DIRECTION"


The scammers' goal is to re-direct your payments.


They achieve this by asking you to pay into a bank account that belongs to the scammers by imitating as your supplier.


This is easy because ownerships of bank accounts are not cross-checked or validated.


The 26 year old technology that can prevent payment re-direction.


BPAY.

BPAY Parakeet

Why?


For 4 reasons.

  1. BPAY payments can't be re-directed without the biller/supplier's agreement (i.e. the supplier must contact their BPAY provider to change it!)

  2. Scammers can't just make up a Biller Code or CRN because the Biller codes and CRN must satisfy a set of check-digit rules to be valid.

  3. BPAY rejects your attempted payment if the BPAY/CRN combination is incorrect. (i.e. reduce errors and attempted payment re-direction)

  4. Mistakes can be pulled back via BPAY by contacting your bank


It makes it nearly impossible for scammers to achieve payment re-direction.


That's why BPAY is a great solution for B2B payments.


It is a mature technology that is widely accepted, trusted and understood.


What advice or action can you take?


For AP / bills, where possible:

  • Always pay via BPAY

  • If not, then for high value and regular suppliers, ask them to offer BPAY as a payment option

  • If BPAY is not possible, always call your suppliers to confirm any changes to bank account details (outside of email channels)


For AR / invoicing (i.e. if you are invoicing customers)

  • Set up a BPAY facility with a BPAY provider

  • Add BPAY to all your Xero invoices

  • Include online payment options such as credit cards & direct debit

  • The goal is to remove bank account details on your invoices


We use to hear "BPAY payment takes too long to make" .


Thankfully, this is no longer the case.


You can now automate BPAY payments and BPAY collections, straight out of Xero.

For AP teams, paying bills:

  • Automate BPAY payments out of Xero, without any manual intervention; OR

  • Create BPAY batches out of Xero for uploading into banking systems - similar to ABA batch files, but for BPAY

  • Learn more about BPAY for Bills (AP) here


For AR teams, Issuing invoices out of Xero

  • Add BPAY to Xero invoices

  • Auto generate CRN for customers out of Xero

  • Auto-reconcile BPAY receipts

  • Learn more about BPAY for Invoices (AR) here


Peace of mind and easy to use

BPAY is a simple and a trusted payments system and when combined with Xero, it gives you peace of mind when managing Accounts Payable (bill payments) and Accounts Receivable (invoicing) functions.


There's no set up required and BPAY is a technology that is available now, easily accessible and has great support in the banking system.


Don't wait until you lose $190,000 to take action.


Other options:


PAYID is another valid option, however it is not yet scalable like BPAY for B2B payments. It is a technology we are watching closely.


About Parakeet:


Parakeet is a certified financial services app in the Xero app store that automates bill payments (BPAY & EFT) and add early payment discount & payment options such as BPAY to Xero invoices.


Parakeet does not provide BPAY facilities but automates the use of BPAY out of Xero via it's integrations to BPAY & Xero.


To obtain a BPAY facility for invoices, please contact one of the participating BPAY institution, which can be found here.


See Parakeet's Xero App Store listing here.


Learn about Parakeet's BPAY options here:

  • BPAY for Bills (AP) here

  • BPAY for Invoices (AR) here

 

For more information, contact: media@helloparakeet.com


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