News Risk Management 14 Feb 2018

Singapore:Financial institutions urged to use technology for safer customer onboarding

14 Feb 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 onboarding, which will also bring about time and cost efficiencies.

MAS requires FIs operating in Singapore to implement robust controls when onboarding new customers, such as when they are opening a bank account, to detect and deter money laundering or terrorism financing.

Currently, the FIs are already permitted to carry out non-face-to-face (NFTF) verification of customer identity, as long as they have adequate measures to guard against impersonation. These could include biometric identification, real-time video conferencing, and secure digital signatures.

MAS will also allow the use of MyInfo for NFTF customer identification and verification. Announced in 2017, MyInfo is a government-backed digital vault of personal data. Individuals can authorise service providers to access their data, which had been earlier submitted to and verified by the Singapore government.

MAS clarified that FIs that have been given access to a customer’s MyInfo data will not need to obtain additional documents to verify a customer’s identity. They 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 and will improve the quality of risk management while saving time and costs, said MAS in a statement last week.

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.”

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