Singapore banks, telcos may require payouts to scam victims

26 Oct 2023 10:20am
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF

SINGAPORE - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have published a joint consultation paper proposing a Shared Responsibility Framework (SRF) for phishing scams.

The SRF assigns financial institutions (FIs) and telecommunication companies (telcos) relevant duties to mitigate phishing scams and requires payouts to affected scam victims where these duties are breached.

"The SRF assigns shared responsibility by specifying upstream anti-scam duties FIs and telcos have to adhere. Breaches of the duties will result in payouts to affected scam victims,” deputy managing director (financial supervision) of MAS, Ho Hern Shin, said in a statement today.

She said this incentivised vigilance by all parties in the ecosystem to uphold safety in e-payments.

The SRF includes FIs, who play a critical role as gatekeepers against the outflow of monies due to scams, as well as telcos, who play a supporting role as infrastructure providers for SMS which is used by FIs as an official communication channel.

Among scam types prevalent today, digitally enabled scams that result in unauthorised transactions are of particular concern.

The consideration of which party will bear responsibility for the losses is accordingly based on a "waterfall approach”.

FIs, followed by telcos, are expected to bear the full loss if they fail to discharge their respective prescribed duties.

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Meanwhile, IMDA deputy chief executive (connectivity, development and regulation) Aileen Chia said it has worked closely with the telcos to implement a multi-layered approach to prevent scams from being conducted over calls and SMS.

"Measures such as the mandatory SMS Sender ID Registry introduced in January 2023 have significantly reduced the number of scam SMS cases by 70 per cent in the three months since the Registry’s launch.

"The inclusion of telcos in the SRF as supporting infrastructure providers serves to strengthen the ecosystem against scams,” said Chia.

MAS and IMDA invite interested parties to submit their comments on the proposals by Dec 20, 2023. - BERNAMA

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