Reply to Parliamentary Question on Issuance of Physical Bank Tokens
QUESTION NO 1773
NOTICE PAPER 1130 OF 2022
FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
Date: For Parliament Sitting on 9 May 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Christopher de Souza, MP, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC
To ask the Prime Minister whether banks should be required to continue issuing physical tokens to access mobile and digital banking services for those who prefer that method of access, particularly those less technologically savvy or who do not have the means to purchase the later models of phones which have the necessary operating systems to allow digital tokens.
Answer by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS:
1. MAS requires banks to implement multi-factor authentication to verify customer identity and authorise online transactions. MAS does not prescribe any particular technology for multi-factor authentication, so that banks can offer the authentication method that best meets their customers’ preferences.
2. Authentication mechanisms that banks offer include hardware tokens, digital tokens, and biometrics. Banks which have replaced hardware tokens with digital tokens have published customer advisories and trained their frontline staff to provide guidance to customers on the use of digital tokens.
3. While banks like DBS, OCBC and UOB have stopped issuing hardware tokens by default to customers who apply for internet banking, their customers can request for hardware tokens if they prefer this method of authentication.