Singapore

MAS updates e-payment guidelines

It revises rule to allow consumers to set their own limits on transaction amounts that trigger alerts

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has revised a new rule that requires financial institutions to send alerts to consumers for every e-payment transaction above $0.01.

In its update issued yesterday, the MAS said consumers will be able to set their own limits instead.

This is after receiving feedback from banks and users that the $0.01 transaction alert is too "onerous" and an overkill, The Straits Times understands.

The updated guidelines will come into effect on June 30 and will apply to banks and e-payment firms with stored-value facilities including Grab, Singtel, EZ-Link and Nets.

Fraud is a rising concern as more people now use e-wallets such as PayLah!, GrabPay, Singtel Dash and NetsPay on their smartphones.

First issued last September, the guidelines also contain new measures to better balance risky user behaviour with the potentially large losses that financial institutions are exposed to.

NEW MEASURE

From June 30, consumers can claim up to $1,000 from their banks if they are able to prove they are not negligent in any way that could have contributed to unauthorised transactions.

This threshold was set as e-wallets have a stored-value and transaction limit of $1,000 or less, and banks typically require more checks for transactions more than $1,000.

This new measure will replace an existing blanket rule that allows consumers who may be careless but not reckless in contributing to unauthorised transactions to be liable for only up to $100.

Under the new guidelines, however, users have to prove that they are not negligent. For instance, consumers are expected to monitor transaction notifications to spot suspicious activities early.

Consumers must also have good cyber security habits such as installing the latest software updates on their mobile phones and computers used in e-payments. As for financial institutions, the new guidelines require them to investigate transaction disputes quickly and provide detailed investigation reports within 21 days for straightforward cases, and 45 days for complex ones.

The new guidelines will not apply to scams or unauthorised payments made directly on credit, debit and charge cards as there are existing guidelines in place for these.

The Payment Services Act, which will take effect by the end of this year, will streamline the regulation of all payment services. MAS will consult the public on extending the e-payment guidelines to service providers under the Act in the upcoming months.

BUSINESS & FINANCE