Singapore Regulator MAS on “IDENTITY VERIFICATION”

COVID-19 has led to the spike in all sorts of crimes internationally. One such growing offence is cyber crime. The financial sector is exposed to tremendous digitization in the recent times and the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) has noticed several incidents related to identity theft, phishing and fraudulent financial transactions. The financial institutions (FI) have adopted non face to face channels such as phone banking to provide banking services and the MAS has published a notice titled “identity verification” which elaborates the measures and controls to be carried out by the (FI).

MAS encourages the concerned parties/individuals to provide their opinion on the said proposal. Excluding name, address, date of birth, contact number/email address, national registration identity card number (NRIC) the proposed guidelines for identification requirements of non-face to face transactions are something

  • That the individual knows eg:-password or PIN
  • That the individual has eg:-token or cryptographic identification device
  • Uniquely identifying the concerned party eg:-biometrics
  • Like application identification number or account transaction information

Under the aforementioned proposed guidelines, it is mandatory for the financial institutions to adapt at least any one of the guidelines. As on date, the financial institutions rely completely on data such as NRIC number, residential address etc for verifying individuals whereas MAS aims to strengthen the identity verification process of the financial institutions by the introduction of biometrics like finger prints, voice, face etc.

MAS advises the customers to not to disclose their login credentials, OTP, PIN etc to prevent unauthorized access. Singapore is a well known financial hub and these kinds of measures are further believed to globally bolster investor’s authenticity.


Author: Rajashree, MBA, CAMI

(PonSun AML Academy)