Bank of Thailand announces new biometric scans for mobile banking

The Bank of Thailand announced new measures to protect consumers from cyber risks in mobile banking transactions. Biometric scans, such as facial scans, will be required for high-value transactions, including digital money transfers of over 50,000 baht per transaction, transfers over 200,000 baht per day, and credit transfer amounts of over 50,000 baht per transaction. Banks must adopt these measures by June, the central bank said on Thursday.

Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said the amount of 50,000 baht was chosen because it is a frequent target of fraudsters. While the measures may inconvenience consumers, they will increase security for digital banking transactions, he added.

The central bank also aims to close loopholes and curb fraudsters’ access to consumers by banning financial institutions from sending links via SMS and email, as well as prohibiting banks from sending customers’ personal data through social media.

In addition, mobile banking users will only be allowed to use one username per device, Bangkok Post reported. The central bank has collaborated with related organisations in the government and private sector to detect suspicious transactions and deposit accounts. The aim is to detect fraudulent cases more quickly, reducing losses, and preventing nominee deposit account fraud.

According to central bank data, there were approximately 50,000 cases of online shopping fraud, 20,000 cases of money transfer fraud, 18,000 cases of lending fraud, and 13,000 cases of call centre fraud between March and December 2022. There were also 58,000 cases of nominee deposit account fraud, with a total reported loss of 5.5 billion baht.

The Bank of Thailand held discussions with financial institutions on Thursday to prepare for the new cyber-risk measures. Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank have both stated their readiness to upgrade their security systems in line with the central bank’s announcement.

As the government works to enforce a new law aimed at preventing technology crimes, these new measures are expected to help strengthen cybersecurity in Thailand and protect consumers from financial fraud, particularly in the post-Covid period when people are finding it difficult to earn a higher income.

Thailand News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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