Bank associations support measures to combat financial scams

BNM revealed the 5 additional security measures to be taken by financial institutions in a bid to strengthen security against financial scams, especially online ones

by SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / graphic TMR

THREE bank associations are assuring their full support to the five key measures to combat financial scams outlined by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) yesterday.

The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM), Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM), and the Association of Development Finance Institutions Malaysia (ADFIM) said some banks have already largely migrated away from sending SMS One-Time Passwords or alternative authentication methods as recommended by BNM since 2019, while other banks are expediting efforts to comply with the latest requirement.

Alternative authentication methods include multi-factor authentication software or hardware tokens for certain transactions.

Yesterday, BNM revealed the five additional security measures to be taken by financial institutions in a bid to strengthen security against financial scams, especially online ones.

Governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the central bank will continuously intensify efforts and take steps to combat scams by introducing additional controls and safeguards.

“Tightening of the banks’ fraud detection and triggers of suspicious transactions allow us to send notifications to customers on unusual activities.

“This will lead to the banks contacting their customers to authenticate certain transactions that are flagged as unusual activities,” ABM, AIBIM and ADFIM said in a joint statement today.

As a precaution, customers will not be able to perform any online banking transactions during the verification and cooling-off period.

The banks will enhance processes, such as additional verifications, to ensure that such activities are being genuinely carried out by the account holder, apart from restricting the authentication of electronic banking transactions to one mobile device or secure device per account holder.

The associations also said the banks will have 24 hour per day to handle customer complaints and reports on suspected scams or fraud.

In addition, the banks will make available a convenient way for customers to temporarily suspend banking activities, if they suspect that their accounts have been compromised.

The associations acknowledged that the implementation of these measures may lead to changes in customers’ online banking experiences and expectations.

It stated that online banking transactions could potentially be slightly longer due to added security measures and checks.

“Given this, we seek customers’ patience and understanding of the expected delays and inconvenience that they may face once these measures are implemented.

“These measures, however, are crucial for the added safety and security of the banks’ customers,” the associations added. 

They also reminded customers to remain vigilant when transacting online.

“Do not download any installation files (APK files) on devices, and only download applications from genuine app stores.

“Customers must ensure that their online banking security image and phrase are correctly displayed on the screen before logging in and avoid clicking on links sent via chat messages such as SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, or other similar services,” they said.

ABM, AIBIM, and ADFIM said their members are committed to ensuring proper communication with customers with the above measures, including the implementation dates for the various measures, any changes to processes and actions required on the customers’ part, and contact details for assistance.