Banks in Singapore have been asked by the regulator to provide an emergency “kill switch” to customers to protect them from digital banking scams.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) have announced these additional measures to bolster digital banking security.

As part of the new measures, lenders have been asked by the MAS to require additional customer confirmations to make major changes to their accounts and process other high-risk transactions.

Banks will be required to cap the online fund transfers at S$5,000 or lower and enhance their fraud surveillance systems to tackle a broad range of frauds.

Customers should have access to a “kill switch” to suspend their accounts if they suspect it has been compromised, the regulator said.

The MAS has also asked the banks to coordinate with bank staff at Singapore Police Force (SPF) Anti-Scam Centre to freeze accounts and recover funds quickly.

These additional measures complement those announced in January this year following the phishing scam, which targeted Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC).

The regulator said the banks are implementing these measures, which will be fully active by 31 October 2022.

MAS deputy managing director of financial supervision Ho Hern Shin said: “The fight against scams requires vigilance across the ecosystem. This further set of measures will strengthen customers’ ability to protect themselves against digital banking scams.”