TNG Digital calls for more cyber vigilance


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PETALING JAYA: With the increase in cyber crime and electronic financial fraud in recent years, e-wallet services provider TNG Digital Sdn Bhd is calling on various parties to stay watchful in an effort to reduce the occurrence of such offences.

In a media gathering yesterday to announce its goal to implement five new safety strategies imposed by Bank Negara on banks to combat financial scams, TNG Digital chief executive Alan Ni said to raise the public’s levels of preparedness in fighting cyber crime, the government and its related associations would need to come together to invoke an industry-wide response.

He nevertheless said Malaysia is on the right track.

“However, financial organisations and the government are only one side of the story.

“We need users to also stay vigilant, for example, by not handing over OTPs (one-time passwords usually required for electronic financial transactions) carelessly to someone else or downloading unauthorised applications,” said Ni.

He said the media also plays an important role in educating the public about cyber security, before mentioning that TNG’s e-wallet is the first e-wallet to be a part of the National Scam Response Centre, effective yesterday.

Bank Negara has imposed five new financial safety strategies on banks to reduce cyber crimes and fraud incidences.

The new measures are enhancing security by adding more authentication methods to complement the current practices; tightening fraud rules and blocking suspicious transactions; verification and implementing cooling-off periods for first-time enrolment of services, secure devices, or profile documents

It also includes restricting authentication of e-transactions to one mobile device or secure device per account holder; and having a dedicated customer service channel for incident reports and suspicions of scams and fraud.

The central bank has mandated banks to implement the aforementioned measures by June 2023.

While e-wallet service providers are exempt, Ni said TNG Digital is nonetheless targeting to effect these initiatives by March or earlier.

He said: “We place great emphasis on the privacy and security features to safeguard our users’ interests. So we hope that the measures we have put in place will give our users peace of mind and the transactions they make are secure.”

Ni lauded these latest measures by Bank Negara as an important step towards the trend of going cashless.

While he believes cash “would still be king” for the foreseeable future, the cashless direction means it would be the responsibility of the financial services industry and regulators to make sure cashless transactions are as safe as possible.

Notably, Ni also revealed that the e-wallet services provider is aiming to launch its debit card in collaboration with Visa in the second half of December 2022, which would allow users to transact business virtually anywhere around the world.

He said the Visa debit card would be linked to a user’s TNG e-wallet balance. As long as there is a sufficient amount, transactions can be carried out,” Ni said.

Currently, as a result of its collaboration with Chinese e-payment services provider Alipay+, electronic transactions can be carried out in 10 countries, including China, Singapore, Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and Germany.

Ni said TNG Digital offers competitive exchange rates and users would be able to make e-payments in ringgit through its platform, to be converted to the currency of the location they are in.

On a separate note, while bullish about the prospects of cashless transactions, Ni opined that the adoption of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) could be “years away” as several structural changes need to first take place.

This is coupled with the fact that cash is still widely used, echoing the view of Bank Negara in its Financial Sector Blueprint 2022-2026, which was published earlier this year.

The central bank said then it did not have any immediate plans to issue a CBDC as yet.

Responding to whether users could be discouraged from going completely cashless as transactions could be tracked, Ni reiterated the fact that electronic transactions would no doubt “leave trails”, but told StarBiz more places around the world are adopting the convenient cashless trend.

“On top of that, credit and debit card transactions are already making up a significant portion of total payments.

“But the problem with these cards is that they usually cater to middle to upscale merchants as they charge merchant fees.

“E-wallets, meanwhile, can serve everyone, including businesses on the lower scale,” he said.

Additionally, Ni pointed out that with the launch of TNG Digital’s Visa debit card, users can potentially harness a holistic payment services system where their e-wallets may be used more widely around the globe.

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