Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will introduce tighter security controls for the banking industry to deter criminals from scamming consumers, says BNM governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus.
She said the central bank noted the rising scams and cybercrime both globally and in the country, and that they would step up efforts to collaborate with other stakeholders to combat financial scams.
Among the effort that would be taken include rolling out preventive measures, pursuing more effective and coordinated enforcement actions and raising public awareness.
“Bank Negara requires banks in Malaysia to adopt high standards of security, especially for Internet and mobile banking services,” she said, reported The Star.
What BNM plans to do?
According to Nor Shamsiah, she said the central bank would issue security advisories to the financial industry to highlight the latest tactics used by scammers. It will also impose additional security measures on banks, making sure that they protect their customers.
These additional controls include measures such as:
- migrating from SMS one-time-passwords (OTP) to a more secure form of authentication
- tightening of detection rules and triggers for the blocking of scam-related transactions
- subjecting first-time enrolment of online banking services and secure devices to a cooling-off period
- restricting customers to one mobile device or secure device for authenticating online banking transactions
- banks to set up dedicated scam hotlines
Meanwhile, Nor Shamsiah said these control measures may bring some inconvenience to customers, but stressed that they are important to protect the interests of customers.
“These controls may lead to some friction or inconvenience in the online banking experience of customers,” she said.
“For example, online banking transactions might take a little longer to process. Financial institutions will also conduct more checks when customers request to change or register a new phone number.”
At the same time, she also called on the enforcement agencies, relevant ministries and agencies, and the public to cooperate in combating financial scams.
Billions lost due to scams
According to the Royal Malaysia Police’s (PDRM) commercial crimes investigation department (CCID), a total of 71,833 scams, amounting to more than RM5.2 billion in losses, was reported from 2020 until May 2022.
It was reported that about 68% were online scams, while the remaining were job scams, and loan and investment scams
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) secretary-general Datuk Azman Mohd Yusof said that most of these scams happen due to a lack of comprehension and awareness of cybersecurity.
“Constant advocacy and consumer awareness programmes are important to avoid the public from being scammed. I would also like to encourage the public to come forward and report scams so that appropriate action can be taken and avoid similar cases recurring in the future,” he said.