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DBS latest bank to roll out anti-scam measures, after OCBC and Citi

DBS will restrict app access when it detects potential security risks.

DBS is rolling out new anti-scam security measures that will prevent the fraudulent logging in of customer’s digibank accounts by restricting access to the app when it detects potential security risks. This is part of the bank’s efforts to enhance customer protection amid fast evolving scam and fraud tactics, according to a release dated Sept 26.

This new tool will restrict access to the banking app if it detects the presence of malware or malicious applications, apps downloaded from unverified app stores (known as sideloaded apps) with accessibility permission enabled, or ongoing screen-sharing/mirroring on the device.

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DBS says that customers will not be able to access DBS/POSB digibank until they have taken the necessary steps to secure their phones. “As with all the bank’s security features, customers can be assured that the new anti-malware capabilities do not monitor phone activity, nor do they collect or store any personal data,” according to the release.

DBS is the latest bank to do so after OCBC and Citi announced their anti-scam measures in the last couple of weeks, following cases of malware scams targeting users of Android devices.

The bank will also launch a security checkup dashboard, part of its “arsenal of self-managed security controls”. It will allow customers to view and track key security settings within the digibank app, and take recommended actions to protect themselves from being scammed or defrauded.

“The security checkup dashboard serves to inculcate in customers the habit of regularly reviewing their security settings,” the release notes.

This feature can be accessed through the homepage of the digibank app and completed in a minute. In the coming months, DBS will be expanding its security checkup to include more security features.

Most recently, OCBC’s anti-scam measure has caused upset among users, who have taken to social media to express frustration over being unable to access their OCBC online banking app, according to Channel NewsAsia on Aug 10.

“We recognise that certain measures may add some friction to the customer journey and seek their understanding that they are necessary to ensure that they can perform digital transactions on a secured platform with peace of mind,” says Han Kwee Juan, DBS Singapore country head. “As we intensify efforts to protect our customers, we are also empowering them to take proactive steps in safeguarding themselves through our self-managed security features, including the new security checkup dashboard. We believe heightened vigilance is crucial in our combined efforts to combat scams and fraud.”

DBS notes that it has in place “robust anti-scam awareness programmes” to raise public vigilance on latest scams and fraud. This includes ongoing partnerships with the Singapore Police Force and Infocomm Media Development Authority to create anti-scam educational content. In addition, it has organised over 150 digital literacy workshops reaching out to more than 26,000 participants.

Other self-managed security controls that the bank has previously implemented include the payment controls feature launched in 2021, in which users can enable/disable cash advances and overseas in store transactions, and set monthly spending card limits.

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