Concern over new rules on e-payments

A shopper paying for a purchase with a tap of their phone.
A shopper paying for a purchase with a tap of their phone. PHOTO: ST FILE

I am deeply concerned about the changes being introduced by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on e-payment transactions (Consumers can set own limits for e-payment alerts; April 26).

Fraud involving e-payments is of great concern to bank customers.

The new MAS rules appear to push liability onto the customer in virtually all cases.

The bank will be under strict duty to send a notification of a transaction to the customer.

Once that is done, and unless the customer disputes the transaction immediately, he is liable for any losses.

Frankly, I do not think MAS understands what goes on at ground level. I was recently the victim of online debit card fraud.

In one day, 22 transactions were made, totalling $1,600. The said debit card had previously been used only two or three times over a 12-month period.

The fraud department at one of Singapore's largest banks admitted that its officers had flagged the transactions much earlier, but the relevant officers made a conscious decision not to do anything about it (or inform the customer - me).

As it was a relatively new replacement card, the officers took the view that it could not possibly be fraud.

I suppose I should just be grateful that they finally decided to pick up the phone and call me after 22 suspicious transactions went through.

The bank officer claimed that a notification was sent to me, and it was incumbent on me to respond.

However, I checked my phone and no such notification was received.

The bank's after-care service was atrocious. It does not return calls, and when it does, the officer making the call knows nothing about the case.

My concern is that under the new laws, if the liability falls squarely on the customer, then the bank has no incentive to conduct itself properly in relation to fraud investigations.

Peter Wadeley

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2019, with the headline 'Concern over new rules on e-payments'. Print Edition | Subscribe