The ultimate way to check your BSB account number

BSB account number validation

Last modified on October 31st, 2023

In 2022, a Bendigo builder’s email account was hacked into. The hacker subsequently sent out fraudulent emails to the builder’s clients, requesting an edit in payment details for their invoices. It lost one customer over $26,345. For businesses, BSB account validation creates a wider concern, since many of the invoices sent and received are priced in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

Learn how to verify the six specific digits with confidence and protect your company accounts against payment fraudsters, thanks to Trustpair’s account validation tool. Request a demo right away!

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BSB account number validation: how to do it?

Validating the BSB coder of an Australian supplier can be done manually, or automatically. Since they’re the Aussie equivalent of the US’ ACH routing number, the same processes can be set up when operating in either country.

Manual

Manually, members of the finance team are able to validate the BSB account numbers of their suppliers by using the bank directories. This is based on what the bank publishes online, or individual banking apps. Then, it’s easy enough for businesses to input this into a vendor database for future use.

Of course, this is near impossible to complete manually for larger companies with multiple (hundreds of) suppliers. Not to mention that when payments are time-sensitive, it adds extra pressure on the finance team to enter or add the correct information and get things right.

Automatic

For most businesses, the preferred way to validate routing numbers is through an automatic platform like Trustpair.

When businesses attempt to process a payment, Trustpair works in real-time to validate account information, bank data, and company details against external databases. Comparing the vendor information to international data sources allows for extreme confidence since we can determine whether the details you’ve been given are genuine.

When suspicious or unknown third parties are detected, Trustpair automatically blocks the payment from leaving your account. Ultimately, this simple service offers greater protection for businesses, since it doesn’t leave room for human error, and works to prevent the payment from leaving, rather than fraud detection after the fact.

 

Why is checking the BSB account number important but insufficient?

As mentioned, verifying that the BSB account number is genuine can help companies prevent fraud. But, it’s not totally bulletproof.

BSB numbers effectively signal the bank branch associated with the transfer of any funds. Therefore, any well-researched fraudster would simply note the branch, and open an account at the same location in order to ensure the BSB number matches up. Without any red flags, there would be no reason for companies to block payments to this third party, therefore losing the money.

Instead, a holistic view towards third-party data verification for electronic payments is required.

Organizations can verify much more than BSB numbers:

  • bank account numbers
  • account names
  • Third-party names
  • Third-party contact addresses
  • And even another type of data – whether the third party has appeared on any blacklists or international warning databases

By taking a more well-rounded approach to third-party validation, companies can partner together and collaborate with confidence.

However, there is another potential scenario. Imaging completing due diligence by performing the above checks and then getting a request to change the bank details later down the line. This is why ongoing third party monitoring is just as important as the initial verification.

Platforms like Trustpair can automatically monitor any changes in details to ensure that all data is checked in real time and that organizations don’t unknowingly transfer funds to fraudsters.

 

What is the BSB account number?

BSB stands for Bank State Branch – which effectively makes it a routing number. Just like banking in the US and UK have routing numbers, every Australian account has:

  • a BSB for directing the funds to or from the right bank branch
  • and an account number, for placing the funds in (or taking from) the right bank account

Each BSB code is used by processing centers to transfer electronic funds and cheques to the right bank building. Then, it’s the bank’s job to put this money into the right account, using the account number.

Note: this system doesn’t work for credit card payments.

BSB account codes have a six-digits in length and are intended for local transactions, rather than international payments. The following format is an example:

013-778

Where the first two characters (01) reflect the parent financial institution, the third digit in the format (3) represents the State, and the fourth-sixth (778) represents the location or street. These BSB numbers can be found easily on your banking app, or online where banks usually publish a list of their BSB numbers for each State.

 

Here’s a quick recap:

BSB account validation is important for businesses in Australia to send national or domestic payments. Companies can validate the BSB numbers of their suppliers manually, or through an automatic platform like Trustpair. Validation helps to detect red flags, but businesses must put extra measures in place to truly prevent vendor fraud.

FAQ

Trustpair checks BSB numbers alongside other factors, such as account numbers, bank account names, company names, company addresses, and even blacklists. This holistic approach towards vendor validation helps to prevent fraud – since suspicious third-party payments are automatically blocked.

At Trustpair, we can trace a BSB and account number against external databases in order to verify it. Where the expected information is not found, the payment request will be flagged as suspicious and the transfer will be blocked.

An IBAN number is similar to a BSB number, but Australian bank account holders will have both numbers attached to their account. IBAN stands for international bank account number and has more characters, so it’s required for any international transfers. Instead, BSB numbers are used for domestic (national) payments within Australia.

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