Nestor-Espenilla

BSP orders banks to strengthen authentication of clients’ identity

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is set to require banks operating in the country to beef up their authentication requirements as part of the all out campaign against cyber crime.

BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the Monetary Board is now finalizing a circular that would require banks to improve their authentication requirements through ‘multifactor’ authentication.

“The banks need to improve their authentication requirements. It’s basically elevating the standard. We’re going digital, you have to make the environment also secure. Cybercrime is really an issue so we have to deal with it, we can’t ignore the problem,” he said.

Espenilla pointed out the new guidelines would help address “card not present” fraud, identity theft, hacked online transactions, among others.

“We are elevating the standard so that the authentication requirements are harder to fake the identity,” he said.

Furthermore, he said the requirements would help safeguard customer information, prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, reduce fraud and theft of sensitive customer information, among others.

The BSP has pushed for a multifactor authentication as the single-factor authentication through ID or password has been exploited to commit account fraud and identity theft.

Under the multifactor authentication through ATM card and PIN, banks have implemented layered security and other controls to mitigate risks.

The BSP has cautioned customers against identity theft amid the rising incidents of cyber attacks after the Philippines was dragged into a money laundering scandal involving the $81 million funds of the Bangladesh Bank stolen by hackers.

The bank regulator has been working on supplemental or additional regulations to further strengthen and increase the level of maturity of Philippine banks and other financial institutions.

The BSP has also issued Memorandum 2017-009 reminding all banks about their dealings with money service business (MSBs) and to put in place a system to detect unusual and suspicious accounts as part of the country’s efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

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