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GCash to roll out double authentication feature

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GCASH, the financial technology arm of Globe Telecom, Inc., announced on Thursday that it will soon roll out a new security feature aimed at preventing unauthorized transactions.

The financial app will launch a “double authentication” feature in December to ensure that only the account owners have the ability to link their GCash accounts to a specific device.

“This feature removes customers’ dependence on SMS OTP (one-time password), which has been exploited by some fraudsters to scam users. It will provide a unique identifier that can’t be phished by scammers. It also provides an additional layer of security to the current SMS OTP,” Winsley Royce Bangit, GCash chief customer officer, said during a media gathering in Makati City.

“We never stop innovating to make sure our 71 million users have the safest and most convenient experience when they use the app,” he added.

As part of its efforts to combat fraudsters, GCash recently migrated transaction confirmation messages to the app inbox and removed clickable links in all e-mails and texts to users.

The National Telecommunications Commission has directed mobile operators to block links in text messages, which is seen as a significant deterrent against scammers.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has also called on its regulated financial institutions to take action to address cyber fraud and other attacks on financial services.

According to Globe group, it has spent $20 million or about P1.1 billion to boost its capabilities in detecting and blocking scam and spam messages.

“Through aggressive 24/7 efforts, Globe has blocked 610 domains or URLs, 784 million scam and spam messages from January to July this year, deactivated 14,058 scam-linked SIMs as well blacklisted 8,973 others,” Globe said in a statement.

GCash also signed on Thursday a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) to strengthen collaboration in going after perpetrators involved in phishing, smishing, online fraud, e-scams, vishing, and other cybercrimes.

“I would like to express my confidence that through our stronger partnership with the PNP-ACG, we will be able to achieve more in the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of cybercrimes. GCash also assures the PNP-ACG that we will do whatever we can in order to successfully implement our agreement,” said GCash Chief Legal Officer Maricor Alvarez-Adriano.

GCash said it hopes to reduce scam incidents through user education, increased cooperation with law enforcement agencies, and continual improvement of its internal security platform. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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