SINGAPORE: Over 33,000 bank account-holders in Singapore have embraced the MoneyLock function provided by major banks such as DBS, OCBC, and UOB, since its launch last November. The feature has successfully safeguarded more than $3.2 billion in deposits, signaling a growing trend among customers to enhance their financial security.

The innovative anti-fraud measure empowers customers to “lock” a portion of their deposits in designated accounts, preventing unauthorized digital transfers and ensuring their financial security.

MoneyLock essentially functions as a virtual safe, prohibiting digital transfers using funds that have been locked. To unlock these funds, customers will be required to follow specific bank-defined procedures and verify their identity.

One such method involves visiting a bank branch in person and presenting their NRIC or passport. This added step, though inconvenient, is designed to safeguard customer deposits and serves as an additional protective layer, aiming to shield customers from falling victim to scams and fraudulent activities like phishing and malware attacks that have become increasingly sophisticated in the digital age.

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is actively engaged in discussions with other major retail banks to introduce the MoneyLock feature more widely across the financial sector, according to a parliamentary reply by PM-designate Lawrence Wong.

Mr Wong, who serves as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, released the data on the usage of MoneyLock in response to parliamentary queries directed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

In a written reply, Mr Wong highlighted the MAS’s commitment to continually collaborate with financial institutions to evaluate and implement additional measures. He emphasized the importance of assessing higher-risk transactions, such as remittances overseas and the use of bank accounts abroad, to ensure comprehensive security measures for customers.

As part of the ongoing evaluation process, Mr Wong said that if the MoneyLock feature proves effective in protecting against potential risks, the authorities will gradually introduce additional measures, to help stay ahead of evolving threats.