Enabling secure digital document delivery


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Email invoice fraud underestimated?

August 07, 2019

Are you protecting yourself and your customers from fraud when sending or receiving bills?

How do you manage consent and address authentication for invoices sent electronically?

In May 2019 the ACCC released a report on scams activity. 

Australian businesses reported more than 5800 scams in 2018. Much of this increase is due to sophisticated ‘business email compromise’ scams. 

Billers are at risk when their emailed invoice is intercepted and payment details modified, prior to payment by the intended customer. A large property management business was recently forced to introduce a phone call into their process for email billing to major customers after experiencing significant losses from this crime.

 “Depending on how long the scammers get away with this and how large the transfers are, this scam can be devastating to a business’s bottom line – to the extent of forcing small and medium businesses into closure” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

Australia has growing rates of email invoice fraud, but, according to Andrew Stein, Founder of Digital Invoice specialist Payreq, the level of concern from businesses in this economy is surprisingly low. 

“In Canada, for example, there is a low level of community trust for important documents to be sent by email. But we know in Australia there are growing business and consumer losses from intercepted or fraudulent invoices. Its surprising lots of businesses and consumers aren’t considering alternatives.”

It turns out there are, in fact, a few secure, managed digital channels available to Billers, and free to Payers, to reduce the risks surrounding email delivery.

Receive bills at your online bank: Did you know consumers can receive invoice data and a copy of the invoice directly into online banking, secured by some of the strongest bank system protection available?  

Since 2002 BPAY View has been a way for Billers to authenticate registered recipients and then send their bills reliably and guaranteed straight into their online bank, allowing customers to be confident who sent the Bill and to know it’s genuine. Over 350 major Billers covering about a third of the bills sent in the Australian economy are on the system.

Keith Brown, General Manager of BPAY confirms, “BPAY View is an easy way for customers to receive and securely store bills, in their online or mobile banking. Look for the BPAY View logo on your bill to see if you can get this bill online, register using your online banking, then get notified every time a bill is due.

Receive bills direct into Xero or MYOB– The ACCC report showed that small businesses are an increasingly common target of email invoice fraud. Availability of secure integrations between participating Billers and SME accounting cloud packages, MYOB and Xero, means more than half Australian SMEs can choose to mitigate the risk of receiving fraudulent emailed invoices for free.

Trans Tasman eInvoicing– The Australian and NZ federal governments will be launching a new digital channel called eInvoicing for businesses to send invoice data to government agencies from late 2019. Initially designed to reduce the delay in payment by governments to suppliers, the new channel will have safeguards to ensure the eInvoices are genuine and the senders are known.

Email Management – Businesses will still use email for invoicing because customers find it easy to agree to and, with simple authentication steps, risks can be managed. The Payreq MyBills service allows customers to update their own email details, Billers can use Payreq MyBills to check extra authentication info (like billing address or phone number) and its possible to present the bill itself from a secure portal, further limiting the means for fraudulent interference.

“Payreq exists to make it easy for Billers to connect to secure digital document delivery channels” says Stein, “our Payreq MyBills service sets up a record of validated consent between the 2 parties and gives them confidence that they both can trust the delivery and content of the invoice. And it’s instant and saves paper, how good is that?”

About Payreq click here.


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