Media Releases
Published Date: 08 February 2018

MAS Encourages Financial Institutions to Use Technology to On-board Customers More Efficiently

Singapore, 7 February 2018... The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued new guidance to financial institutions (FIs) on the use of innovative technology solutions to facilitate safe, non-face-to-face customer on-boarding.

MAS requires FIs operating in Singapore to implement robust controls when onboarding new customers, e.g. when opening a bank account, to detect and deter money laundering or terrorism financing. MAS already allows FIs to carry out non-face-to-face (NFTF) verification of customer identity, provided adequate measures are in place to guard against impersonation. MAS has provided additional guidance that these measures could include biometric identification, real-time video conferencing, and secure digital signature using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)-based credentials1.

MAS will also allow the use of MyInfo2 for NFTF customer identification and verification. MAS will not require FIs that have been given access to a customer’s MyInfo data to obtain additional documents to verify a customer’s identity. FIs using MyInfo will also not be required to separately obtain a photograph of the customer. The use of MyInfo will streamline customer due-diligence checks across the financial industry. It will improve the quality of risk management while saving time and costs.

Ms Ho Hern Shin, Assistant Managing Director (Banking & Insurance), MAS, said, “MAS encourages FIs to use technology that helps to increase efficiency and improve the customer on-boarding experience while safeguarding against money laundering and terrorism financing risks. FinTech firms can also capitalise on the MyInfo platform, with customer consent, to develop innovative financial solutions for FIs to enhance customer experience.”

1 The PKI-based credentials must be issued by accredited Certificate Authorities under the Electronic Transactions Act.

2 A digital service that enables individuals to authorise service providers to access their personal data that had been earlier submitted to and verified by the Singapore government.