New guidelines to ensure clarity in e-payments
New guidelines proposed by Monetary Authority of Singapore to offer clarity
Leaving your phone unattended or refusing to update your security software may make you more liable in the event of an unauthorised breach of your e-payment accounts.
In comparison, users who are careful in their use of mobile devices and applications will not be liable for unauthorised transactions.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) proposed new guidelines on Monday that will set "standards on the responsibilities of financial institutions and e-payment users".
The guidelines are being rolled out in the hopes that simpler and more secure e-payments will "give individuals and micro-enterprises more confidence to adopt and integrate e-payments into their daily activities", said MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh.
There will be different levels of liability based on consumers' usage hygiene, which includes ensuring the security of their mobile payment device.
For example, if the user leaves their phone or mobile payment device on the table and the device gets stolen and used for transactions under their nose, this act of carelessness will see the account holder become partially liable for the fraud.
The guidelines also mean users can expect prompt notifications of e-payment transactions from financial institutions.
They can expect clear processes when resolving unauthorised or erroneous e-payment transactions with their institutions.
MAS will recommend a universal course of action that both consumers and financial institutions will be expected to undertake when the guidelines are passed.
Ms Ong-Ang Ai Boon, director of the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), said: "ABS supports the need for guidelines. Since the start of e-payments being made on phones, we have been issuing advice to users and financial institutions, but each bank follows their own internal guidelines - creating confusion.
"With the new guidelines, there will be clarity and certainty, especially should something go wrong. There will now be a standard for recourse that will be applied across the industry."
MAS plans to develop and publish the new 30-page set of guidelines in the first half of this year and are taking public feedback until March 16.
According to a study released by PayPal last August, 90 per cent of Singaporeans still prefer cash over digital payment methods despite the high levels of smart-phone and mobile device usage here.
A DBS spokesman said the guidelines will "encourage more consumers to adopt e-payments as digital payment options become ubiquitous in Singapore".
MAS said that while the guidelines will be released first as a set of recommendations, they will seek to enforce it should financial institutions refuse to comply.