By Sabrina Loh
With the rise of phishing scams, cyber threats, and ransomware attacks around the world, you may be wondering if digital banking is safe.
Naturally, digital banks may seem like easy targets — instead of robbing a bank by force or violence, a criminal could simply pull off a heist from the comfort of their own home.
We know you have questions, and we have the answers.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the safety of digital banking, and what you can do to protect yourself.
What are digital banks?
Digital banks go by many names, such as challenger banks, mobile banks, online banks, virtual banks, and even neobanks.
Unlike traditional banks with a brick-and-mortar location, digital banks offer an online-only bank account that you can access through your phone or laptop.
Without the overhead costs that come with a physical branch, digital banks can offer more competitive financial services.
They’re also often the preferred choice for transferring funds domestically and internationally.
Is digital banking safe?
Traditional banks are just as vulnerable to cyberattacks as any digital bank. After all, where there is money, there will always be a crime.
In fact, all traditional banks have moved online with their own in-house mobile banking apps and internet banking websites.
Every day, banking websites are hit by hacking attacks. While this may be unsettling to hear, it also means that digital banks continually improve their security to effectively protect against such attacks.
But that doesn’t mean that account holders can be complacent. Consumers must also be responsible for staying alert to make sure their accounts are protected.
When top-notch bank security is met with alert consumers, digital banking can be incredibly safe.
What makes a digital bank safe?
Strong data encryption
Digital banks encrypt data in such a way that only you and the bank can understand it while it is being transmitted across the internet. The encryption is so complicated that hackers won’t be able to crack it easily.
Two-factor authentication and OTP
Two-factor authentication requires two distinct forms of authentication to log in to your account, such as a PIN code and/or a one-time password (OTP) sent to your smartphone, authenticator app, or biometrics.
As a security measure, you’ll automatically be logged out of your digital banking session if you’ve been inactive for a few minutes.
Antivirus and antimalware protection
Digital banks use top-tier programs to detect and prevent viruses and malicious software.
Firewalls screen all data entering and exiting networks, block unauthorised access and stop traffic from unsafe internet sources.
Digital banks can authenticate your mobile or computer device by placing a cookie. If you use a new device to log in to your account, you will be required to re-enter additional information.
Banks never share your personal information, including usernames and passwords with anyone, and you shouldn’t too.
Online account activity is monitored for potentially fraudulent activity. If anything suspicious is detected, you’re notified immediately.
Apart from the above, here’s how we’re doing our part to protect you:
Login links ensure that only the BigPay app on your phone that is registered to your phone number will be able to access your account.
For first-time logins, you will receive an SMS with a code to set this up, instead of going with the traditional username and password route.
Instantly freeze your card
If you’ve lost your BigPay card, you can freeze it instantly in your BigPay app.
We’re bound by PDPA rules
The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) regulates and protects the processing of personal data in regard to commercial transactions.
This means your information is 101% safe with us.
We have an E-money licence from Bank Negara Malaysia
This means we’re monitored by Bank Negara Malaysia and subject to multiple laws, regulations, and legislations.
Bank Negara Malaysia has put in place several safeguards to protect users, such as top-notch security.
We’re also regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore
Here are a few more tips to stay safe with digital banking:
NEVER share your one-time password (OTP) or login info with anyone. Not even with BigPay!
Don’t use the same password or PIN for your account anywhere else
Change your password regularly
Don’t save your login information on your phone or browser
Don’t use public WiFi
Keep your antivirus software up to date
Stay alert for phishing scams - Never use links emailed or texted to you, and make sure to check the email address and phone number. Scammers often portray themselves as BigPay employees to get your information by calling or texting you. Please take note that BigPay never contacts you via WhatsApp.
The Bottom Line
All traditional banks have moved online years ago and even have their own mobile banking apps and internet banking websites that are used by billions of people worldwide.
Therefore, traditional banking isn’t safer than digital banking and is just as susceptible to cyber attacks.
Digital banking is extremely safe when bulletproof back-end security is met with some basic common sense from the consumer.
So stay alert, stay safe, and enjoy the convenience of digital banking.
Download the BigPay app here to start banking with us today.