By Joann Villanueva
MACTAN, Cebu – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe Medalla on Wednesday said digital banking in the country is secured but cited the need for account holders to be vigilant against criminals.
Citing the recent issue involving digital money service provider GCash, wherein around PHP37 million worth of account holders’ money were transferred to two accounts in different domestic banks without the owners’ consent, Medalla said the cause of these incidents is phishing and not hacking.
“For some reason na na-convince yung mga tao na ibigay yung OTP (one-time password) nila despite all the warnings na never share an OTP (For some reason the account holders were convinced to give their OTP despite warnings to never shares an OTP),” he told journalists here.
Phishing is when account holders voluntarily provide information needed for a digital transaction while hacking is the illegal access to one’s information.
Medalla said it is comforting to know that the latest case is not hacking but stressed that it is best if the incidents did not happen.
He said that no matter how secure a digital wallet account is as the owner has the responsibility to still secure it by not sharing the OTP “because the last level of protection is that OTP.”
The government has been encouraging the public to utilize innovations on digital financial transactions and the central bank aims to increase digital payments to account for around 50 percent of financial transactions in the country by this year.
Latest BSP data show that share of digital payments in the total volume of retail transactions in the country rose by around 30 percent in 2021 from year-ago’s 20 percent.
Meanwhile, citing reports, Medalla said GCash was able to fully revert the stolen funds to their respective account holders even without yet getting the money that was deposited to the two bank accounts.
He said around 80 percent of the stolen funds are still with the said bank accounts when GCash was able to check on it.
“By the way, in this case, kung mati-trace natin yung may-ari nung dalawang accounts na yun eh di may possible (possibility) …kasi sila yung kriminal. At kung pinapagamit nila yung account nila, mayroon pa rin silang pananagutan (By the way, in this case, if we’re able to trace the owners of the two accounts there is a possibility that they are the criminals. If they allowed their accounts to be used by other persons they are still liable),” he added. (PNA)