For a good portion of the 2010s, paying a mate back via transfer with something rowdy in the description was the pinnacle of modern comedy. Right next to mass liking a mate becoming friends with any female on Facebook, and then sitting back to watch the carnage unfold. But as of this moment, the former will actually have a real-life consequence, as Commonwealth Bank prepares to suspend customers from their online banking service due to less-than-civil transfer descriptions.
An audit of their digital platform allowed the bank to identify over 8,000 customers who received low-value deposits with “potentially offensive or abusive” messages in said descriptions. The issue at hand isn’t just within the scope of tongue-in-cheek zingers – as depicted above – but the inappropriate use of CBA’s online services to contact and harass certain individuals.
“After noticing disturbing messages in the account of a customer experiencing domestic and family violence, we conducted an analysis to better understand the problem,” says Catherine Fitzpatrick, CBA General Manager of Community & Customer Vulnerability.
“We were horrified by both the scale and the nature of what we found… All genders were sending and receiving these messages, but nature ranged from fairly innocuous jokes using profanities to serious threats and clear references to domestic and family violence.”
Naturally, CBA has introduced an Acceptable Use Policy which effectively allows them to refuse a transaction – or even access to digital banking in its entirety – if a transfer is found to defame, harass, or threaten somebody.
“Our customers should always feel safe using digital banking. These changes will ensure that all customers can continue to enjoy the benefits of digital banking in a safe and secure way and represents our first step to address the issue of technology-facilitated abuse.”
Find out more over at commbank.com.au.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or family violence – call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.