Singapore – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) have announced new measures to encourage financial institutions in Singapore to enhance their own security across their digital banking systems.

A main takeaway from this announcement is that MAS and ABS has ordered banks to remove any clickable links in emails or SMSes sent to their retail customers. Other measures being announced include delay of at least 12 hours before activation of a new soft token on a mobile device and sending out a notification to existing mobile number or email registered with the bank whenever there is a request to change a customer’s mobile number or email address.

The announcement also included reminders for putting up a threshold for funds transfer transaction notifications to customers to be set by default at SG$100 or lower, as well as cooling-off period before implementation of requests for key account changes such as in a customer’s key contact details.

MAS and ABS continue to warn the general public to never click on links provided in SMSes or emails or never divulge internet banking credentials or passwords to anyone, as well as verifying SMSes or emails received by calling the bank directly and verify that one is at the bank’s official website before making any transactions.

Wee Ee Cheong, Chairman of The Association of Banks in Singapore said, “As an industry, we have always focused on the need to ensure robust security measures while meeting customers’ expectations for convenient and swift services. Together with the MAS and ecosystem players, the banking industry will continue to strengthen consumer protection measures. We also ask that the public stay vigilant given that scams continue to evolve and are executed quickly. We remain committed to upholding the confidence with which customers can transact online safely, while still maintaining a high level of service.”

Meanwhile, Ravi Menon, managing director at MAS, commented, “MAS is deeply concerned about the recent spate of scams and the financial losses suffered by victims. The threat of scams will not go away, but we can reduce our vulnerabilities. This requires a multi-pronged response across the ecosystem. MAS, together with the police, IMDA and other relevant government agencies, is working closely with the financial industry, the telco industry, consumer groups, and other stakeholders to strengthen our collective resilience against scam attacks. We will ensure that digital banking remains secure, efficient, and trusted.”