How Online Guardian works
Westpac’s Online Guardian is our secure fraud detection system, that:
- continually monitors online banking for unusual activity
- identifies unusual transactions
- when needed, will prompt you to further authenticate your identity by using challenge questions that you’ve set up, or by sending one-time verification codes to you by text – this is called the Online Guardian Challenge Service.
Online Guardian learns your normal online banking activity, and will only ask to check your identity if something changes dramatically (like logging on from a different country, if you reset your password or are making a large payment to someone you haven’t paid before). Almost all of these checks will be in the form of one of your challenge questions, but a very small number will need a one-time verification code that we will send to your registered mobile number by text. These challenges will be fairly rare, but important.
Setting up your challenge security questions
If you’ve been using online banking for a while, you probably already have your challenge questions set up – and we brought them across during the move from Original Online Banking to Westpac One®.
You can also choose to register your mobile number to receive verification codes by text message, which you’ve probably already done too if you’ve been using online banking for a while. If you haven’t, simply register your number in Original Online Banking rather than Westpac One. Although we strongly recommend registering your mobile number, it won’t be a mandatory requirement for standard online banking functions.
Reviewing your challenge questions
The challenge questions and your registered mobile number can be reviewed at any time by going to ‘Profile’ then ‘Security settings’ in Westpac One. You’ll need to correctly pass a challenge before you can access your security settings.
More about how we keep you safe online
Register your overseas mobile number
The Online Guardian Challenge Service allows you register your overseas mobile number so you can receive the one-time verification texts (when required) and reset your password from anywhere 24/7. This is great if you’re going to be away on holiday, or overseas for an extended period of time.
How to register an overseas number
To register an overseas mobile number for Online Guardian, you’ll first need to call us on 0800 400 600, or +64 9 912 8000 if you're already overseas. We’re available 7 days a week, 7am-11pm NZT.
Once you’ve done that you’ll be able to select it as the number to use for Online Guardian by going to ‘Security settings’ in Original Online Banking. You won’t be able to enter an overseas number directly into online banking, so call us first.
If you have a New Zealand mobile and an overseas mobile
Once you’ve registered your overseas mobile phone number, you can switch between that and your NZ mobile number, by going to ‘Security settings’ in Original Online Banking.
If you don’t have a mobile or can’t receive a text message while overseas
If you don’t have a mobile or can’t receive text messages while you’re overseas, and you want to make a transaction that will require further authentication with a verification text, call us on +64 9 912 8000 (open 7 days, 7am – 11pm NZT). We’ll pre-authorise the payee by pre-loading them as a payee on your online banking, or find another solution for you.
Business customers, you’re covered
If you’re one of our business customers with Business Online Banking IDs (i.e. IDs that may be shared across different users in your business), you’ll also receive the benefits of Online Guardian. This includes you or your staff being presented with a challenge question or requiring a verification text when necessary.
Considerations for Business customers
Your challenge questions should be answerable by members of your team
You’re likely to have already set up three challenge questions for the Online Guardian Challenge Service. It may be a good time to review these to make sure the answers are ones that can be easily remembered by the various members of your team who are authorised to access your business’ accounts on Westpac One online banking.
Your challenge questions and answers can be reviewed at any time by going to ‘Profile’ then ‘Security settings’ in Westpac One, and correctly passing a challenge.
Only one mobile number can be registered against an ID.
Registering a mobile number that’s accessible by the people most likely to be using Westpac One online banking is important, even though challenges that require a one-time verification code will be rare. The person using Westpac One may need to call the person with the mobile to retrieve the code, or perform the transaction again when the mobile phone is accessible.
Although we strongly recommend registering a mobile number, it isn’t a mandatory requirement for using Westpac One. The alternative for verifying certain transactions when required is to contact us on 0800 400 600 or +64 9 912 8000 (available 7 days a week between 7am-11pm EST).
You can still reset your password online
You can reset your Business Online Banking password without having to call us or come into a Westpac branch. Just go to ‘Profile’ then ‘Security settings’ in Westpac One, correctly pass a challenge question, and of course make sure you let the relevant staff members know.
If Online Guardian is affecting your Business payments
On the off chance that you’re having trouble making business payments, you may find that our Business-specific solution – Business Online Banking – may be better suited to your needs.
Learn more about Business Online Banking
No mobile or phone coverage?
If you want to make a transaction that will require a one-time verification text to be sent, but don’t have a mobile phone or coverage on your mobile phone, we can help. Just call us on 0800 400 600 or +64 9 912 8000 if you’re overseas – we’re available 7 days a week, 7am – 11pm NZT. We’ll pre-authorise the payee by pre-loading them as a payee on your online banking, or find another solution.
Please note the ability to pre-register a payee doesn’t apply for International Payments.
Why do I need to register a mobile phone?
The registering of a mobile phone for Online Guardian is important so:
- you can receive a one time verification code by text to your mobile phone for certain transactions
- you can make International Payments*
- you can reset your password if for any reason you’ve forgotten it, or been locked out of online banking.
*Your mobile phone number must have been registered for a minimum of 7 days before you can make international payments through online banking. Your mobile number is required in order to send you a verification code to complete the international payment through online banking. Service fees may apply from time to time and are subject to change without notice.
Register your mobile phone by going to ‘Security settings’ in Original Online Banking or or calling us on 0800 400 600 or +64 9 912 8000 if you’re overseas – we’re available 7 days a week, 7am – 11pm NZT. You can also view your registered mobile phone number in the ‘Security settings’ section of Westpac One.