MAS says security measures in place for payment cards

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said security measures in place for payment cards in Singapore were robust by international standards but card customers should still take necessary precautions when using them. -- FILE PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said security measures in place for payment cards in Singapore were robust by international standards but card customers should still take necessary precautions when using them. -- FILE PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said security measures in place for payment cards in Singapore were robust by international standards but card customers should still take necessary precautions when using them.

It was responding to media queries about unauthorised online charges sent by a Taiwanese merchant, some of which were made using credit cards issued in Singapore. Last week, some card users from DBS, UOB, OCBC and Citibank said that they were hit by fraudulent charges of about $48 or TWD1150, charged by one Neweb Technologies based in Taiwan. Some received as many as three charges to their account.

These banks have assured users that they will not have to pay for unauthorised charges. Two banks- UOB and Citibank- have blocked transactions with Neweb Technologies.

Singapore is one of the few countries in the world to have put in place a comprehensive set of security measures for payment cards, MAS said. Banks in Singapore have taken several measures in recent years to ensure the safety of credit card transactions. This includes the migration of magnetic stripe cards to the more secure chip cards; the implementation of a dynamic one-time password to authenticate customers before online transactions with participating merchants are approved; SMS/email notification to customers each time a card transaction is made or a pre-approved limit is exceeded and secure activation procedures for new and replacement cards.

There has been no evidence to-date of a breach of payment security among banks in Singapore.

Meanwhile, several credit card users who were hit by the fraudulent charges said they used e-commerce Singapore-based platform comGateway. When contacted, comGateway said it complied with best practices including using secure technologies like one-time password authentication on its platform. The company is engaging a forensics expert to investigate if there were any breaches and ensure the security of its systems. comGateway has also reported the matter to the police.