Commonwealth Bank has said it will begin to refuse transactions and will suspend users form online banking after discovering their platform was being used to send abuse.

After a review of its digital platforms, the bank has identified more than 8000 customers who have received low-value deposits with offensive or abusive messages in the transaction description.

They believe that some customers were using the banking service as a messaging service to contact others.

Catherine Fitzpatrick, General Manager of Community and Customer Vulnerability, said “After noticing disturbing messages in the account of a customer experiencing domestic and family violence, we conducted an analysis to better understand the problem. We were horrified by both the scale and the nature of what we found.

“In a three-month period, we identified more than 8000 CBA customers who received multiple low-value deposits, often less than $1, with potentially abusive messages in the transaction descriptions – in effect using them as a messaging service.’’

“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.”

The bank has now introduced an Acceptable Use Policy that means anyone who is using the platform defame, harass or threaten may have their transactions refused or access to digital banking suspended.


“Our customers should always feel safe using digital banking,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

“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.”