How banks take care of you online

By Randell Tiongson on February 4th, 2019


I am interested to shift to digital banking as I have seen my colleagues drastically cut down time spent in doing daily banking transactions. From queueing at bank branches for forty minutes just to deposit money to transferring funds online in less than four, online banking made me realize that I can spend the remaining thirty six minutes doing something productive.

However, I am still quite unsure of using online banking because of perceived security issues and I wanted to secure my money. How can I safely use online banking?


First of all, it is good that you are cautious. It means that you are aware of some downsides of online banking. I am also well aware that security risk and complexity remain to be a concern for most customers who are not keen on digital banking. These legitimate concerns, however, are not drawbacks, but rather metrics to weed out unreliable digital platforms. Thus, don’t let the downsides override all the good things that online banking can offer.

To build you a scenario, imagine that a bank branch is being robbed; before robbers can access the vault, they have to go through a layer of security measures. The level of security is also the same with online banking. Before anything else can happen to your money, hackers need to go through several layers of safety measures like security firewalls among other things.

No matter how secure a bank is, bank account holders should be accountable as well, if he or she was not cautious enough. This is the same thing as when you flaunt your valuables as you walk on the streets. If you are not careful enough with your personal information, you can be a victim of phishing or skimming in no time.

To avoid this, make sure you use security measures that banks provide.

First of all, banks now have different means of user login. In the past, you only need to remember your username and password. But due to increasing sophistication of hackers, some banks have introduced multi-factor authentication which adds up to a layer of security including biometric authentication like fingerprint authentication that is common in opening your mobile banking app.

The OTP or a one-time-password is one of the security features that banks use today you should appreciate. It is a single-use unique 6-digit code that is sent to the registered mobile numbers of customers as an added protection for online transactions. BDO, BPI and other banks offer this same feature, at no cost. Security Bank, which is the “Bank of Year of 2018” according to the Banker, is among the banks the effectively uses this feature. Websites with the logo of MasterCard SecureCode will require an OTP for online transactions. OTPs are secure because it cannot be reused and expires immediately. Security Bank, for example, has an OTP that’s lasts for three minutes.

OTPs may take up some time but it is an extra layer of security that you shouldn’t miss.

Once you are online banking, you must always make sure to log out of your account especially if you are accessing your account in public spaces. Some banking apps, however, automatically logs out accounts that are idle for a few minutes, regardless, make it a practice to logout your session.

Going back to the Banker, congratulations to Security Bank for winning another award! It is worth to know that it is the “Oscars of the banking industry.” I have read in the papers that it is the only bank that won the award four times in the past decade – a rising mid-size contender among giants. Its Japanese partner as well, MUFG Bank, has won the title same title as Japan’s Bank of the Year, for the fourth consecutive time. But why am I a bit off topic? The same award giving body recognized DBS Bank in Singapore as the Global Bank of the Year. DBS has been driving digitalization in Singapore. These are some banks that you should look at when it comes to digital banking innovation and security. However, most banks should now be able to communicate safe online banking through different channels.

The features that I have mentioned above are just some of the added layers of security of banks, besides regular customer advisories on cybersecurity and system maintenance and upgrade.

It is important to be aware of the extra layers of security in online banking, especially now that the BSP is pushing for the National Retail Payments System or NRPS and increase e-payments by 20% in 2020.

In the end, everything has risks, just the same with banking and entrusting your money.

Just remember that banks have been continously evolving and adapting to technological change.

Happy online banking!








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How banks take care of you online