Singapore: Regulator issues guidance on technology, on-boarding at banks
11 Feb 2018

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has published guidance on the use of technology when signing up customers at banks and other financial firms.

The regulator, which expects financial institutions (FIs) to implement robust controls when on-boarding customers in order to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing, already allows some technology to be used in this process.

FIs are permitted to conduct non-face-to-face verification of a client’s identity, for example, provided there are ‘adequate’ measures in place to prevent impersonation.

Additional measures will include biometric identification, real-time video conferencing, and secure digital signature using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)-based credentials, MAS explained.

“MAS will also allow the use of MyInfo for NFTF customer identification and verification,” the regulator said.

“FIs using MyInfo 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. It will improve the quality of risk management while saving time and costs.”

Ho Hern Shin, Assistant Managing Director (Banking & Insurance), MAS, said, the regulator encourages the use of 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.”

MAS has generally sought to strike a balance between encouraging the use of technology and also maintaining sound regulatory standards across the banking sector.

Last year it encouraged more fintech experimentation in its ‘sandbox’ programme, but said it should also include appropriate safeguards.

“The regulatory sandbox will enable FIs as well as FinTech players to experiment with innovative financial products or services in the production environment but within a well-defined space and duration,” MAS said at the time.

Read more:

Singapore seeks to become front-runner in the virtual currency arena

Laundering: Singapore proposes screening changes for forex, remittance businesses

Financial crime prevention in China: 2017 in review

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