Emergency “Kill Switch” Among Security Measures Pushed by MAS to Combat Fraud

Emergency “Kill Switch” Among Security Measures Pushed by MAS to Combat Fraud

by June 3, 2022

An emergency self-service “kill switch” to suspend their bank accounts quickly if it has been compromised are among the additional measures that are being pushed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS).

In consultation with MAS and the Singapore Police Force (SPF), banks are progressively implementing these additional measures, which will be in full effect by 31 October 2022.

Banks will also require additional customer confirmations to process significant changes to customer accounts and other high-risk transactions identified through fraud surveillance.

They will have to set the default transaction limit for online funds transfers to S$5,000 or lower.

Additionally, financial institutions need to facilitate rapid account freezing and fund recovery operations by co-locating bank staff at the SPF Anti-Scam Centre and enhance fraud surveillance systems to take into account a broader range of scam scenarios.

Bank customers are also strongly encouraged to use mobile banking apps, as opposed to web browsers, to minimise the risk of navigating to fraudulent websites.

To ensure sustained investment in the industry’s anti-scam initiatives, an ABS Standing Committee on Fraud, comprising the seven domestic systemically important banks, will take forward the work of the Anti-Scam Taskforce established in 2020.

The banks are involved are DBS Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), United Overseas Bank (UOB), Citibank, Malayan Banking Berhad, Standard Chartered Bank and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).

The committee will report directly to the ABS Council and will drive the industry’s anti-scam efforts and implement robust measures to safeguard customers.

The on-going anti-scam work of the industry will be formalised into the five key workstreams covering customer education, authentication, fraud surveillance, customer handling and recovery, and equitable loss sharing.

The committee will work alongside member banks to continually review and enhance anti-scam measures for effectiveness and relevance as the scam landscape evolves.

Customers also play a vital role in the fight against scams and can protect themselves by keeping up with scam advisories and alerts put out by SPF, National Crime Prevention Council, MAS and banks.

Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UOB

Wee Ee Cheong

Wee Ee Cheong, Chairman, Association of Banks in Singapore said,

“As an industry, we are constantly reviewing and putting in place sensible and secure measures to safeguard our customers from scams while allowing them to bank with ease. Combating scams, whether digital or otherwise, requires the effort and cooperation of everyone – banks, ecosystem players and also customers.


Public awareness and staying vigilant are key. We are committed to work together with all stakeholders to uphold the trust and confidence of digital banking.”

Hern Shin Ho

Ho Hern Shin

Ho Hern Shin, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision), MAS said,

“The fight against scams requires vigilance across the ecosystem. This further set of measures will strengthen customers’ ability to protect themselves against digital banking scams.


MAS will continue to work with other government agencies and financial institutions to strengthen our financial system’s resilience against scams.”