Bank Negara continually upgrades security measures to combat scams

KUALA LUMPUR: Tighter security controls will be introduced for the banking industry to deter criminals from scamming consumers, says Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus.

Noting the "concerning development" of rising scams and cybercrime globally and in Malaysia, she said the country's central bank would continue stepping up efforts to combat financial scams and to collaborate with other stakeholders.

These included rolling out preventive measures, pursuing more effective and coordinated enforcement actions and raising public awareness.

"Bank Negara requires banks in Malaysia to adopt high standards of security, especially for Internet and mobile banking services," she said in her speech during the Financial Crime Exhibition here on Monday (Sept 26).

Nor Shamsiah said Bank Negara also issues security advisories to the financial industry highlighting the latest tactics used by scammers as well as additional security measures banks need to implement to protect their customers.

Acknowledging that criminal tactics change, she said that Bank Negara continuously intensifies its efforts and introduces additional controls as well as safeguards.

Financial institutions have also been instructed to include measures such as migration of SMS one-time-passwords (OTP) to a more secure form of authentication; further tightening of detection rules and triggers for the blocking of scam-related transactions; subjecting first-time enrolment of online banking services and secure devices to a cooling-off period; restricting customers to one mobile device or secure device for authenticating online banking transactions as well as the requirement for banks to set up dedicated scam hotlines.

"Financial institutions have been directed to be more responsive to scam reports lodged by customers. Financial institutions have also been directed to facilitate efforts to recover and protect stolen funds, including working with relevant agencies to prevent further losses," she said.

She said while the control measures may entail some inconvenience, they are important to protect the interests of customers.

"These controls may lead to some friction or inconvenience in the online banking experience of customers.

"For example, online banking transactions might take a little longer to process. Financial institutions will also conduct more checks when customers request to change or register a new phone number," she added.

"The effort to eradicate financial scams requires cooperation and concerted action from all parties – not just from Bank Negara and the financial industry – but also from law enforcement agencies, relevant ministries and agencies, as well as the public," she said.

Bank Negara, together with the police, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and National Anti-Financial Crime Centre (NFCC) will work together to further elevate the CCID Scam Response Centre as a more systematic information-sharing platform that will enable quicker action to prevent further losses.

Nor Shamsiah said the cooperation of law enforcement agencies is key, especially for sharing information and intelligence.

Bank Negara and the Royal Malaysia Police launched a virtual "Financial Crime Exhibition", which seeks to educate members of the public about financial scams, which can be accessed here. (

The virtual exhibition was jointly officiated by Nor Shamsiah and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.

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