S’pore Banks Stepped up Security Measures to Combat Malware Scams, Says ABS

S’pore Banks Stepped up Security Measures to Combat Malware Scams, Says ABS

by September 19, 2023

Major retail banks in Singapore have stepped up their security measures to protect customers from malware scams, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) announced on Monday.

The banks have designed and implemented the anti-malware security measures suited for their customer base and systems.

The measures will detect the presence of malware on customers’ devices and trigger additional actions, including blocking access to the banking app or calling customers when suspicious activities are detected.

OCBC recently shared that its anti-malware security feature prevented scammers from stealing more than S$2 million from more than 30 customers in the first month since its launch on 5 August 2023.

The security measures do not monitor nor conduct surveillance on customers’ mobile devices, nor do they collect or store any personal data.

ABS said that the anti-malware security measures may impact customers’ experience in performing banking transactions, but banks will continually calibrate their approach to achieve a right balance between the risk of fraud and inconveniencing legitimate transactions.

The Singapore Police Force also advised members of the public not to download any suspicious Android Package Kit (APK) files from third party or dubious sites, as this can lead to malware being installed on their devices.

Ong-Ang Ai Boon

Ong-Ang Ai Boon

Ong-Ang Ai Boon, Director, Association of Banks in Singapore said,

“These measures will not be foolproof. The best defence against scams is still a discerning and vigilant customer.”

Hern Shin Ho

Ho Hern Shin

Ho Hern Shin, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said,

“MAS welcomes banks’ enhanced security measures against malware scams. As scammers constantly adjust their tactics to evade existing safeguards, the industry must continue to respond in an agile fashion to counter these threats.


We urge members of the public to likewise remain attentive to scam advisories issued by the police and by banks, so that we will not be unaware of new scam tactics and can take the needed steps to protect ourselves.”