Association of Banks stresses commitment to safeguard online transaction safety

The security of online transactions  will be safeguarded so that cardholders in Singapore can carry out these activities  securely, the  Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) said. -- FILE PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
The security of online transactions  will be safeguarded so that cardholders in Singapore can carry out these activities  securely, the  Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) said. -- FILE PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

The security of online transactions will be safeguarded so that cardholders in Singapore can carry out these activities securely, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) said.

In a statement on Sunday, the ABS stressed its commitment to safeguarding the interests of consumers who use online banking and payment card transactions.

"Banks in Singapore have made significant investments to implement these measures," it read.

This includes the use of One Time Passwords (OTP) and the roll-out of credit cards containing EMV (Eurocard, Mastercard and Visa) chips, which store data in an encrypted form that makes them harder to break into. ABS added that banks will "continue to review and adopt newer technologies appropriately as they become available".

The association has also advised cardholders to subscribe to text message alerts which will alert them of any unusual transactions or those from abroad.

The statement comes in the wake of a series of complaints lodged by credit card users from four major banks - DBS, Citibank, UOB and OCBC - after they were hit by fraudulent charges from Taiwanese merchant Neweb Technologies.

Mrs Ong Ai Boon, director of ABS, said: "Preliminary investigations indicate that there was no breach of any systems within the banks. All affected customers in Singapore will not be liable for these unauthorised transactions."

She added that banks are working with the credit card associations to investigate the cases.

Users, too, can also adopt measures to enhance online transaction safety, the ABS said. This includes registering a mobile phone number with the bank so alerts of unusual transactions can be received, and signing up for 3-D Secure - a free service that require users to authenticate the cardholder's identity during purchase.

Using a secure web browser - identifiable by the "s" after the "http" in the URL bar - and only keying in credit card details when a purchase is being made will help prevent data from being accessed by others. A record of transactions should also be kept, and monthly account statement reviewed thoroughly.