MAS to Enhance Security Measures to Prevent Cross-Border Payment Scams

MAS to Enhance Security Measures to Prevent Cross-Border Payment Scams

by March 7, 2023

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it is working actively to review and enhance the suite of anti-scam measures in light of the launch of the real-time cross-border retail payment linkages, in a written reply to a parliamentary question.

Singapore had launched the world’s first payment linkage of Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay. Most recently, the payments linkage between Singapore and India went live just last month. MAS has similar plans in the pipeline with the Philippines and Malaysia.

Additionally, MAS had also released a blueprint with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to enhance the global payments network connectivity via multilateral linkages of countries’ national retail payment systems titled Project Nexus.

The regulator added that it is keenly aware that criminals can exploit a more efficient and interconnected global payment network as scammers can make use of faster cross-border payments to transfer their criminal proceeds out of Singapore, to where it is difficult to trace, and beyond the jurisdiction of the local police to freeze.

Due to this, MAS has worked with major retail banks to tighten and implement anti-scam controls on the domestic front.

This includes lowering the default transaction notification threshold to S$100 or lower, alongside the daily limit of S$1000 or lower for real time cross-border transfers. Banks will actively monitor changes in scam typologies and will adjust these measures as appropriate.

On the global front, MAS will be proactively exchanging relevant information with its international counterparts to surface suspicious cross-border flows and activities so that the authorities can take the appropriate mitigating measures.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) is a member of the “Asset-Recovery Interagency Network- Asia Pacific”, a network spanning 28 jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific region which aims to increase members’ effectiveness in depriving criminals of their illicit profits.

SPF also shares intelligence on transnational scams with the international policing community through INTERPOL.

MAS said in a statement,

“We aim to reap the real benefits to the public of fast and efficient real time cross-border payments while mitigating the risks. MAS and the Police will continue to work closely and proactively with industry to review and enhance the suite of anti-scam measures.”