Bank app security feature annoys customers

Bank app security feature annoys customers

OCBC Introduces Security Feature to Protect Customers, Resulting in Frustration


OCBC, a prominent Singapore bank, recently introduced a new security feature on its mobile app aimed at protecting its customers against malware. However, this move has left several customers frustrated as they found themselves locked out of their banking services.

The security enhancement detects and blocks access for customers who have downloaded apps from unofficial app stores, such as Google Play Store and Huawei AppGallery. To regain access, customers need to uninstall or remove these “rogue” apps and download them again from official app stores.

OCBC assured its customers that the security feature does not monitor their phone activities, conduct surveillance, or collect personal data. The technology only identifies apps that could compromise the device to malware scams when the OCBC Digital app is opened.

Despite these assurances, many customers encountered difficulties. They reported that even apps downloaded from official app stores were identified as malware by OCBC’s security feature. For instance, Microsoft Authenticator, a two-factor authentication app published by Microsoft and downloaded from Play Store, was flagged. Even after uninstalling and reinstalling it from the Google app store as recommended, customers were still unable to access OCBC’s app.

Similar situations arose with other apps, including LG ThinQ for smart home devices and CCleaner for system optimization. Even Trend Micro antivirus mobile app was flagged since it was not downloaded from an official app store. Customers expressed their frustration, stating that OCBC’s recommended solution of deleting and reinstalling apps from official app stores did not work.

The frustration among customers points to the challenge of balancing convenience and security. Customers argue that OCBC should not have the authority to decide which apps they can install. They emphasize the importance of empowering users to make their own choices.

OCBC’s introduction of this security feature follows a series of SMS phishing scams that resulted in significant financial losses for its customers. Scammers exploited SMS Sender ID details, sending messages that appeared to be from OCBC and tricking victims into providing their login details on phishing websites. In response, the Singapore government implemented security measures, including a registry for SMS service providers and the development of more advanced artificial intelligence models to detect suspicious transactions. Banks were also tasked with providing a “kill switch” for customers to suspend their accounts in case of a security breach.

To minimize the risks of navigating to fraudulent websites, consumers are encouraged to use mobile banking apps instead of web browsers. The government highlights the importance of customer responsibility in maintaining cyber hygiene by taking necessary precautions.

While the intention behind OCBC’s security feature is to protect customers, its implementation has resulted in frustration and inconvenience. As technology continues to evolve, finding the right balance between security and usability will be crucial for financial institutions like OCBC. Building customer trust and keeping abreast of evolving threats will be essential in safeguarding both customer data and user experience.