MAS to fight internet banking fraud with stringent measures

Thursday 27 January 2022 11:19 CET | News

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) have decided to introduce additional measures to bolster the security of digital banking, according to The Fintech Times.

The decision comes in light of the recent spate of SMS-phishing scams targeting bank customers. MAS expects all financial institutions to have in place robust measures to prevent and detect scams as well as effective incident handling and customer service in the event of a scam. The growing threat of online phishing scams calls for immediate steps to strengthen controls, while longer-term preventive measures are being evaluated for implementation in the coming months.

Banks in Singapore, in consultation with MAS, will work to put in place more stringent measures within the next two weeks, including:

  • The removal of clickable links in emails or text messages sent to retail customers;
  • The threshold for funds transfers transaction notifications to customers to be set by default at USD 100 or lower;
  • Delay of at least 12 hours before activation of a new soft token on a mobile device;
  • Notifying a customer through an existing mobile number or email address whenever a request to change a customer’s details is put forward;
  • Additional safeguards, such as a cooling-off period before implementation of requests for key account changes such as in a customer’s key contact details;
  • Dedicated and well-resourced customer assistance teams to deal with feedback on potential fraud cases on a priority basis;
  • More frequent scam education alerts.

These measures being imposed by MAS are aimed at lengthening the time taken to process certain online banking transactions that may be possibly fraudulent but will provide an additional layer of security to protect customers’ funds in return.

At a time when cyberattacks are being more prevalent and more sophisticated, a good level of customer vigilance remains of paramount importance. And as quick as scammers are to target unsuspecting consumers with new techniques, banks must aim to be quicker.

MAS has put forward some advice for customers who wish to avoid falling for online banking scams, including:
  • Never click on links provided in SMS or emails;
  • Never divulge internet banking credentials or passwords to anyone;
  • Verify the origin of all contact received from a bank by calling contacting them directly on its official hotline;
  • Verify the bank’s official website before making any transactions, or transact exclusively through the bank’s official mobile application;
  • Closely monitor transaction notifications so that any unauthorised payments are reported as soon as possible. This will increase the chances of recovery.
Banks in Singapore are due to continue their close work with MAS, the Singapore Police Force, and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to tackle the rise of more sophisticated scams. This is set to include the development of more permanent solutions to combat SMS spoofing, including the adoption of the SMS Sender ID registry by all relevant stakeholders. MAS is also reportedly intensifying its scrutiny of major financial institutions’ fraud surveillance mechanisms in a bid to ensure that they’re adequately equipped to deal with the growing threat of online scams.

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Keywords: Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), regulation, fraud prevention, phishing, digital banking
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Companies: Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), MAS
Countries: Singapore
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime

Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS)



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