DBS bolsters digital banking security

Starting Friday, January 21, Singapore-based bank DBS said it will send only “essential” SMSes to its retail and wealth customers until further notice. These include security and trade notifications, and one-time password authentication, which will have no clickable links.

DBS made the announcement to support the interim measures of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Association of Banks in Singapore, which were a response to the recent SMS-phishing scams targeting bank customers.

In a press statement, DBS said it will also stop sending “non-essential” SMSes.

“The more stringent measures are necessary as these criminals are becoming more sophisticated and aggressive in targeting unsuspecting customers,” said Jeremy Soo, Singapore Head of Consumer Banking Group at DBS Bank. ”While these actions could introduce friction in day-to-day transactions, we seek our customers’ understanding as we double down our efforts to disrupt the activities of the fraudsters.”

Measures against online fraud

DBS revealed that it employs multi-factor authentication when customers perform online transactions. It also has a 24/7 anti-scam team that carries out intervention work, and monitors and reviews fraud alerts. This includes stationing a full-time employee at the Singapore Police Force’s anti-scam centre to ensure timely freezing of any accounts.

“To safeguard the community against scams, we carry out transaction screening with our monitoring and surveillance systems, which helps us detect unauthorised activities on customer accounts,” revealed Soo. “In addition, we use AI and machine learning that allows us to, for instance, detect distinct changes in user behavioural patterns; cross-reference unusual account changes; as well as instantly screen and block flagged transfers.”

Once a customer has informed DBS that they have fallen victim to a scam, the bank will immediately prevent further fund outflows and work with the Singapore Police Force to attempt to recover the lost funds.